North Tama Community Schools Graduate to Toshiba IP Video Surveillance

Dec. 27, 2013
Stage 1 called for new Toshiba IP cameras in the areas currently unmonitored by the analog cameras. Over time, the school system plans to replace all the older analog cameras and DVRs with networked Toshiba equipment.

Located in Traer, Iowa, the North Tama Community Schools serve over 500 students ranging from kindergarten through high school. The older of the two schools, a three-story building constructed in 1917, is home to North Tama High School/Middle School. An elementary school was added in the 1960s a short distance away. The two schools are connected by an enclosed hallway.

Seeking the safest, most productive environment for students of all ages, the North Tama school board recently made the decision to migrate from an older analog CCTV system to  IP video surveillance. To get the job done, school principal Craig "Josh" Youel turned to American Business Phones (ABP), the Toshiba ProfitMAX® dealer in Des Moines.  
Ross Atwood, Senior Design Engineer at ABP, oversaw the video surveillance project: "The two schools had three analog systems that operated independently; however, many critical areas were unmonitored and it was difficult to identify individuals due to the analog cameras' poor image quality."
Like all schools today, North Tama is faced with tight budgets. To get the job done in the most cost-efficient manner, ABP was hired to move in stages towards a final goal of an all IP video surveillance solution. The first stage, completed in 2013, called for ABP to only install new Toshiba IP cameras in the areas currently unmonitored by the analog cameras. Over time, however, North Tama Schools plans to replace all the older analog cameras and DVRs with networked Toshiba equipment.
"North Tama would not be considered a high-crime school by any means, but like every school it has its share of mischief like petty thefts, vandalism and fights," said Atwood. "With the new Toshiba high definition IP cameras installed, multiple sensitive areas can now be monitored. Students who get in trouble will find it hard to deny it when they are captured on video."
In the initial phase, ABP installed a total of 24 Toshiba IK-WD14A indoor mini-dome IP cameras in the unmonitored hallways, multi-purpose room, cafeteria, and entryways. The IK-WD14A was specified in part because of its wide dynamic range. This capability allows areas where outside sunlight can cause interior images to appear backlit to be accurately monitored. In the detention room a single Toshiba IK-WR14A vandal-proof IP dome was deployed rather than the IK-WD14A, owing to concerns over tampering.
ABP installed Ethernet cables from the cameras to PoE switches leading to a Toshiba NVSPRO enterprise-class network video recorder populated with 10 removable hard drives. ABP opted for a RAID5 configuration for performance and data security.
"The NVSPRO offers expansion versatility of up to 16 HDDs and 64 channels to meet the school's evolving IP requirements," said Atwood. "On-board Surveillix VMS software makes it simple for even a beginner to playback, search and monitor live video from computer desktops or from mobile phones.  Also, in the event of an emergency, the local Sheriff's department can be granted remote access to video."
Because the cameras operate at a high-frame rate (20-25 fps), the school board will be able to achieve the fluid motion they wanted in surveillance video.
North Tama is now on the way to providing its students and teachers with the security of a full Toshiba IP network video solution. To date, the clarity of the images captured by the high definition network cameras has already allowed school administration to identify students involved in several disciplinary incidents. Atwood notes that school officials were gratified that cameras identified a student entering a bathroom around the time when a sink was stopped up. Initially denying he was involved, the student admitted to the flooding after being confronted with the video evidence.
For more information about Toshiba IP Video Surveillance, visit