Case Study: Green Dot Schools

“We really liked the versatility of the sensor and all the different applications in addition to vape detection, especially air quality monitoring, gunshot detection, and its masking capabilities.”

IoT Smart Sensor Helps West Coast School District Win The War On Vaping

From coast to coast, vaping at schools has become a serious epidemic in our country. With many schools doing their best to create their own solution to the problem, some are rising above by doing their due diligence and researching the various vape detection systems out there to solve this epidemic once and for all. When Green Dot Public Schools in California started experiencing a high rate of vaping in their middle schools and high schools, the administrators knew it was time to find the right vaping solution. Green Dot California Schools was founded in 1999 with a mission to transform public education for students in Los Angeles neighborhoods that had been historically under-served. The vision was to create small, successful public schools that provided students with outstanding educational opportunities. Their belief that public schools can do better on educating has now transcended into doing better on fighting the war against vaping. 

Their first high school opened with just one 9th grade class of 140 students. Today, the Green Dot School District has successfully grown to serve 13,000 students within 11 high schools and 7 middle schools across Los Angeles. Each school has on average between 400-700 students and the school district has 1100 staff members. Over the years, the Green Dot schools have been honored with Gold Ribbon Awards by the California State Board of Education and Academic Growth Awards by California’s CORE districts. As a testament to their success, Green Dot’s Locke High School was even named Charter School of the Year in California in 2019.

However, with their growth also came its set of challenges which included vaping. The goal of any campus-style setting is to create a safe and secure environment for students to learn and have a high-quality education. Having a simple, easy-to-use way of monitoring school grounds is essential to give peace of mind when it comes to safety and security. Green Dot School District puts a high priority on the well-being of its students and found it very hard to control the vaping epidemic at their middle and high schools. “We wanted to deter students from engaging in behavior that is bad for their health,” states Kaleem Ansari, Coordinator of Security at Green Dot Public Schools. “We knew that the only way to accomplish this was by finding a multi-purpose security solution that could be used in areas not covered by traditional surveillance cameras due to privacy concerns, like bathrooms.” After researching various vape detection sensors, one clearly stood out from the crowd. The school quickly made the decision to move forward and implement IPVideo Corporation’s HALO IoT Smart Sensor. “We really liked the versatility of the sensor and all the different applications in addition to vape detection, especially air quality monitoring, gunshot detection, and its masking capabilities,” says Ansari. 

Teamwork Proves Successful In The Battle Against Vaping

For schools, having the right team in place to fight the vaping epidemic is critical. It takes collaboration with experienced security and safety experts to make an action plan work. Green Dot California Schools was lucky enough to find this with IPVideo Corporation and ICU Technologies who joined forces to help the school district successfully stop the vaping epidemic. IPVideo Corporation has a purpose-driven mission to help make the world a smarter, safer, and healthier place. As an industry pioneer since 1996, the company is now at the forefront of developing unique event-driven AI security and safety solutions for schools and other vertical markets. These solutions utilize video, audio, and sensor technology to effectively mitigate false positives, confirm incidents, accelerate response times, deliver long-term actionable intelligence, and help society. ICU Technologies is exclusively focused on campus safety and security for schools in California. Founded in 2006, the company specializes in installing video surveillance & access control systems, emergency response systems, weapons detection solutions, personal duress platforms, IP speaker systems, and anonymous tipping platforms. 

It all started back in the spring of 2022 when a walk-through at the school was conducted by ICU to determine the best course of action. “Schools have the illusion of choice when it comes to vape detection. There is no better solution out on the market today than the HALO IoT Smart Sensor,” states Jason Eatmon, Chief Experience Officer at ICU Technologies. “Schools should only use HALO to expand the momentum of solving the vaping epidemic once and for all.” And that’s what Green Dot Public Schools was looking to do when it selected the HALO sensor. ICU has been an integrator for IPVideo Corporation for the past two years and has done its due diligence on vape detection sensors. “After a thorough evaluation, we knew that HALO is the only choice for schools,” says Eatmon. 

The project consisted of 56 HALO sensors being installed in restrooms at 11 of the 18 schools that make up Green Dot Public Schools in California. ICU managed the entire installation from beginning to end which included working with a cabling company to deploy the sensors in the bathrooms. After the installation, ICU worked closely with the school’s security and IT teams to configure all sensors and provide training to administrators and staff members. “What made this project a huge success was the effective communication from all parties involved,” says Eatmon.

HALO Creates Bright Future for CA School District 

As of now, Green Dot Public Schools is only using sensors to detect vaping. However, the next step in the evolution is turning on additional functions such as integrating the sensors with their current camera system and using other applications. This includes spoken keyword, gunshot detection, and aggression (decibel detection). HALO also offers 3 ways to detect tampering and alerts administrators immediately if a student is trying to tamper with the device.

“IPVideo Corporation and ICU Technologies made the vape sensor project a seamless collaboration,” says Ansari. “Our schools are now equipped to effectively manage vape detection and decrease the amount of vape incidents.” One of the main reasons why the school district selected HALO was having the ability to utilize HALO for other applications in the future which was a big plus for the school. “Both IPVideo and ICU are not just vendors to us as we feel part of their team where we can reach out to them at any given time for general assistance with our vape system and never have to worry,” says Ansari. 

Since the vape detection system went live in the summer of 2022, the school district has received numerous alerts when a student is vaping on campus and corrective action has taken place. Over the years, HALO has become well-known for its broad range of applications such as gunshot detection, keyword alerting, air quality monitoring, vaping, smoking, etc. and other safety features and continues to dominate the market. “We are extremely happy that Green Dot Public Schools put their faith in HALO to help them eliminate vaping once and for all,” said David Antar, President at IPVideo Corporation. “We look forward to helping them address any other challenge that arise in the future and will be on hand to address all their safety concerns with just one device.” Immediate plans at the school include installing 8 more HALO sensors in the high school bathrooms. The battle against vaping in our country is still going strong and schools need to use Green Dot Public Schools as a role model on how to be proactive in solving the problem with the right technology and people behind you.

Green Dot Public Schools – California

We wanted to deter students from engaging in behavior that is bad for their health. We knew that the only way to accomplish this was by finding a multi-purpose security solution that could be used in areas not covered by traditional surveillance cameras due to privacy concerns, like bathrooms.

Since the vape detection system went live in the summer of 2022, the school district has received numerous alerts when a student is vaping on campus and corrective action has taken place. 

We really liked the versatility of the sensor and all the different applications in addition to vape detection, especially air quality monitoring, gunshot detection, and its masking capabilities