Following a Feb. 19 school board decision, North East ISD will begin to replace security cameras in campuses across the district.

The background

The board approved spending $135,762 in federal COVID-19 school relief funds to replace outdated and nonfunctional analog security cameras at Coker and Hidden Forest elementary schools.

District officials said analog security cameras represent older technology that is no longer a leading industry standard due to poor image quality.

Superintendent Sean Maika said replacing analog cameras with digital cameras will bolster school-level security by producing better picture quality, and providing a path toward other campus technology improvements.

According to Maika, NEISD is beginning the security camera replacement program at Hidden Forest and Coker because each campus currently operates on three different proprietary systems.

Dig deeper

Maika said NEISD aims to get even more aggressive with enhancing security and safety at district facilities, particularly in light of a recent intruder detection audit conducted by Texas Education Agency.

In a Feb. 12 board meeting, Maika said TEA staffers audited exterior doors at eight NEISD campuses.

Maika said an auditor recorded a “finding” at three of those campuses, meaning the auditor opened what was supposed to be a locked door and entered a school building.

Maika did not share details on which schools were found to have door issues, but said the district was quickly providing corrective actions at those facilities.

On Feb. 19, Maika said NEISD personnel assessed all district campuses and determined an immediate need to start replacing security cameras beginning with campuses that have the most obsolete and/or longest nonfunctioning equipment.

According to Maika, there are more than 6,800 security cameras in district facilities. While each school has about 100 cameras, upgrading to digital camera systems would reduce the number of campus cameras to as much as 75 but only because the new camera systems tout advanced capabilities.

The Feb. 19 school board decision will result in a Houston-based building consultant, Convergentz, providing and installing the new security camera equipment.

Convergentz was one of four companies to bid on the project involving Coker and Hidden Forest. Maika said the camera replacement work at Coker and Hidden Forest will happen during spring break, March 11-15.

“This is long overdue in getting here, but we’ve had a real struggle getting vendors to do the work or having vendors who can actually get the equipment and do the work within our time frame,” Maika said.