Water Valley School District may be a little school, but they are big on technology. The small district is home to 350 students in grades K-12 in mid-west Texas. Over the years, the school has installed several consumer-grade video surveillance cameras. However, in 2007, the school’s IT department decided to start looking at replacement technology.


Director of Technology, James Ditmore, recognized the benefits of IP (network) video over analog. “The cameras we purchased years ago were just out-of-the-box cameras from a retail store. They are beginning to show their age in terms of performance and don’t offer the reliability, durability, or scalability of commercial-grade products. Each brand of camera works a little differently, so they are difficult to service as well. As we considered replacing the system, I knew an investment in network video would eliminate many of the proprietary interconnectivity issues and service challenges we’ve had over the years,” said Ditmore.


In early 2007, Ditmore attended the Texas Computer Education Association Conference to research his options. He was able to meet with several providers of surveillance solutions, including Wren, a provider of video surveillance solutions for more than 20 years. Ditmore recalls, “To my surprise, most of the vendors were still talking about analog video. But I knew that IP technology was much more flexible, easier to use, and more manageable than analog video. I wanted ‘future-proof’ technology that would be esy to manage and scale. I quickly realized that Wren was extremely knowledgeable, not only about IP video, but about how it could be used in schools like ours,” said Ditmore.


Initially, the school wanted full video coverage of the gymnasium and even planned to provide a live feed to LCD monitors to allow parents working the concession stand to see their kids playing in the games. A small implementation would allow Water Valley to ct- effectively try equipment and experience the benefits of network video, without undertaking a comprehensive replacement effort within a tight timeframe. Water Valley purchased a network video solution.


It isn’t uncommon for the principal or superintendent to drive to the school in the middle of the night in response to a call from police reporting an open door on the campus. Once legacy equipment is replaced with network cameras, software will give them the ability to view the video over the Internet and verify if there has been a security breach.