Ontario Schools Test New Access Control Measures

Ontario Schools Test New Access Control Measures

Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute is now using a key fob entry system for interior doors. The schools already required a swipe card with the user’s photo and job title for access to exterior doors.

The Lakehead District Public School Board is running trials of new security measures at two Thunder Bay schools this year.

Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute is now using a key fob entry system for interior doors. The schools already required a swipe card with the user’s photo and job title for access to exterior doors.

"That pilot went well, so we decided to do an interior door pilot at a secondary school, and we installed the same type of card readers to control access in and out of the classrooms," said Jim Desaulniers, Manager of Property Services.

All teachers and instructional staff at Westgate are required to use the cards. Students are able to exit classrooms, but someone must open the door to let them inside.

"It's still in the pilot process, but so far the feedback is positive. Teachers control the access to the classroom, and that gives them a sense of control," Desaulniers said.

Desaulniers said the board’s Safe Schools Committee will review the policy and procedures to see if they need to be adjusted before the security system is expanded to the district’s other high schools.

The board is piloting a new camera entry system at the main entrance of Sherbrooke Public School. The system is called Eye Doors.

According to Desaulniers, many of the board’s schools have “poor line-of-sight access,” meaning staff can’t see who’s at the front door, and this system will help with that.

"We piloted Sherbrooke because it doesn't have a very good sightline. The system is basically an audio/visual camera in the vestibule,” Desaulniers said. “When someone comes in, it rings at the secretary's desk, or it can go to the principal or vice-principal smart phone so they can let someone into the school if they're not in the office."

He said the old system required staff to be tied to their desks in order to monitor access to the campus. The new technology allows them to “know exactly who is in their school at all times,” he said.

The board plans to expand the Eye Doors system to other campuses where office staff don’t have a clear sightline to the front doors.

The board is also in the process of changing the keys to all door locks to increase school security.

"We're going to re-key the whole system so that we're starting fresh and we have a record of everybody that has keys," Desaulniers said.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.


  • Buffalo Public School District Modernizes Security With New Cameras NVRs

    i-PRO Co., Ltd. (formerly Panasonic Security), a provider of professional security solutions for surveillance and public safety, recently announced that the Buffalo Public School District (BPSD) has modernized its security footprint with i-PRO multi-sensor and 360° fisheye network cameras, and i-PRO NV300 network video recorders (NVR). The BPSD serves 28,000 K-12 students out of 70 facilities in western New York. Read Now

  • Lessons Learned from Past School Shootings

    Two experts are working together and collaborating on new ways school campuses can develop a proactive and comprehensive security plan. For three consecutive years, the U.S has had a record-high number of school shootings resulting in a repetitive cycle of grievances, anger, and frustration. The U.S. had 344 school shootings in 2023 which surpassed the record-breaking number of 308 school shootings in 2022 as reported by K-12 School Shooting Database. Read Now

  • Mother of Michigan School Shooter Found Guilty on Four Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter

    The mother of the teenager who killed four students in an Oxford, Michigan school has been found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter because of the shooting. That’s according to a report from CNN. Read Now

  • Utah State Legislature Funds Gun Detection Technology and Incident Management System in All Public K-12 Schools

    ZeroEyes, the creators of the only AI-based gun detection video analytics platform that holds the US Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation, and AEGIX Global, a Utah-based provider of industry-leading critical incident management services, recently announced that the Utah State Board of Education has approved a contract to provide the joint solution for all Utah public K-12 schools, including charter schools. Read Now