Enhancing Physical Security: 3 Solutions for Illinois K-12 Schools

30 May 2024 10 min read
Amanda Bruns
Amanda Bruns
Member Engagement Manager, Learning Technology Center
Sam Fishel
Sam Fishel
Digital Content Manager, Learning Technology Center

Over the past several years, cybersecurity has been the topic de jure in many K-12 school leadership circles. While securing digital learning environments remains a priority, enhancing physical security has become a renewed concern for educators, school leaders, and parents alike.

To meet these concerns, every school needs to adopt comprehensive physical security measures that align with current physical threats and emergencies. Modern security systems aren’t all cameras and locks, though. For many schools, it may include: 

    • Updating rapid response and authorized access protocols
    • Facilitating trainings
    • Installing new hardware
    • Setting up effective systems for communicating emergencies to students, staff, and the community

Physical Security Solutions for K-12 Schools

There’s no time like the present to re-evaluate your school or district’s physical security needs. 

As you evaluate your building’s needs, check out these solutions offered by trusted ILTPP Vendor Partners. Each harnesses technology to enhance monitoring and responsiveness, as well as provide peace of mind and accountability to the entire school community.


Centegix provides a multifaceted approach to school safety through its Centigix Safety Platform, which integrates various advanced technologies to deliver rapid incident response, detailed situational awareness, and seamless communication.

Solution Highlights:

Wearable Panic Button

The CrisisAlert badge, a wearable panic button, allows staff to discreetly and quickly call for help with a single press. This badge does not rely on Wi-Fi or cellular service, ensuring reliable communication across campus. Activation triggers immediate notifications to designated responders with precise location details and situational information, significantly reducing response times.

Automated Lockdown Protocols

In severe threat situations, the CrisisAlert badge can initiate pre-configured lockdown protocols. This action sends out campus-wide alerts, including screen takeovers with audio and visual instructions, guiding everyone to safety. Simultaneously, local law enforcement and 911 dispatch are notified with detailed campus maps for a coordinated response.

Dynamic Mapping and Incident Notification

The Centigix Safety Platform employs dynamic mapping technology to display the exact location of incidents and nearby safety assets, such as AEDs, fire alarms, and evacuation points. This detailed mapping enables responders to act swiftly and effectively, enhancing their ability to manage emergencies.

Visitor Management and Reunification

Centegix enhances visitor management by verifying identities, screening backgrounds, and providing real-time location tracking for all visitors. This system ensures that visitors are accounted for and in appropriate locations during emergencies. Post-evacuation, the platform supports a safe and organized reunification process with real-time digital rosters and custody verification.


SHI offers a range of physical security solutions tailored to K-12 schools’ needs. Through the federal School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) grant, SHI provides up to 75% funding for various security measures, making it an affordable option for enhancing school safety.

Solution Highlights:

Entry Control Equipment and Alarms

SHI offers advanced entry control equipment, including door locking, access control doors, and comprehensive school site alarm systems with motion detectors. These measures help prevent unauthorized access and detect potential threats early.

Enhanced Lighting and Surveillance

Improved lighting on school grounds and advanced video surveillance technology are crucial components of SHI’s security solutions. These measures deter potential intruders and provide real-time monitoring capabilities.

Communication and Emergency Alerts

SHI’s communication technology includes emergency call boxes, intercom systems, and automated emergency alerts (via texts or emails). These systems ensure critical information is spread quickly during an emergency, enabling prompt action.

Identification and Tracking Systems

SHI provides identification technology, including ID scanning devices and tracking systems. These tools help manage the movement of students, staff, and visitors, ensuring that everyone on campus is accounted for and in the right place.

Coordination with Law Enforcement

SHI’s solutions include training for local law enforcement to prevent student violence and improve coordination during emergencies. This collaboration ensures a swift and effective response to incidents on school grounds.


CDW-G’s solutions build on the fundamentals of trusted and proven physical security measures. Their expertise in integrating advanced security technologies also makes them a valuable partner to schools seeking to create a safer school environment.

Solution Highlights:

Access Control and Video Surveillance

CDW-G provides sophisticated access control systems that regulate entry to school buildings and sensitive areas. Coupled with high-definition video surveillance, these systems monitor activities in real time, allowing for quick identification and response to potential security threats.

Emergency Communication Systems

Effective communication during emergencies is critical. CDW-G offers advanced communication systems, including mass notification systems and intercoms, which ensure that important information is relayed swiftly to all students, staff, and emergency responders.

Environmental Monitoring and Control

CDW-G’s solutions also include environmental monitoring systems that detect potential hazards like fires or gas leaks. These systems can be integrated with existing alarm systems to provide alerts that school community members immediately recognize and heed.

Integrated Security Management Platforms

CDW-G’s integrated security management platforms allow schools to manage all their security systems from a single interface. This integration enhances situational awareness and streamlines emergency response, ensuring that all safety protocols are coordinated effectively.

Benefits for Illinois Schools

For schools and districts in Illinois, leveraging physical security solutions offered through ILTPP comes with numerous benefits:

  • Consolidated Purchasing Power: ILTPP leverages the collective buying power of Illinois schools. This allows our trusted Vendor Partners to offer more competitive pricing to ILTPP members. By utilizing these pre-negotiated contracts, schools can save valuable budget space compared to individual vendor negotiations.
  • Streamlined Procurement Process: ILTPP’s platform simplifies the procurement process for numerous tech-powered solutions, including physical security. Schools can browse pre-vetted vendors, eliminating the need for lengthy RFPs.
  • Grant Opportunities: The School Violence Protection Program (SVPP) grant (submission deadline June 11, 2024) offers up to 75% funding for qualifying security measures. Our team can help you evaluate your solution options and align your purchasing with available state and federal grant funds.

Your School’s Security Partner

No matter your size or budget, reliable physical security needs to be on your district’s radar. Every school’s needs are unique, so be sure to keep the above options in mind as you evaluate your current security measures and shop for new, cost-effective solutions.

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchasing Program (ILTPP) can help you enhance your district’s physical security and so much more.

Visit our website to explore specific contracts and learn about the benefits of a free ILTPP membership – including free quote requests and instant discounts on thousands of tech products and services.

Amanda Bruns
Amanda Bruns
Member Engagement Manager, Learning Technology Center

Amanda leads the LTC's efforts to attract, engage, and support members of our free, statewide purchasing cooperative, ILTPP.

Sam Fishel
Sam Fishel
Digital Content Manager, Learning Technology Center

Sam leads and supports the execution and growth of LTC services through the development and creation of innovative, impactful, and timely digital content.