Tool encourages schools to rate their security

CDW Government published the 2008 School Safety Index Self-Assessment Tool, enabling school and community leaders to take CDW-G’s School Safety Index survey and receive an instant score showing how their school or district compares to the national school safety average.

Using the self-assessment tool, school leaders, parents and policy makers answer 12 questions about physical and cyber safety. Each question highlights an indicator of strong school safety programs, as well as the barriers to improved school safety. The self-assessment results are meant to spark discussion about school security at the local school level.

CDW-G surveyed more than 400 district IT and security directors to arrive at the national school safety average, which was published in the School Safety Index report in May. Key survey findings include:

  • More than half of districts are using network access control (NAC) to protect data and help to ensure that only authorized users and approved applications access their networks. However, budget constraints, lack of staff resources and the need for more IT tools cancelled out districts’ efforts to improve cyber safety.
  • Nearly half of districts are utilizing mass notification systems, and 70 percent are using security cameras; 29 percent of districts report that security cameras have had a positive impact on district safety.
  • Districts should consider the instant access that IP security cameras can give their local police and first responders. While more schools are using security cameras, only a small number of districts provide their local police forces with the ability to access digital footage remotely in real-time during an emergency.

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