New Security Sensors Approved For Osbourn Campus With A March Debut Planned: Updated

Osbourn High School will soon be installing new high-tech security sensors. In December 2022, the Manassas City school board held a meeting discussing the new security sensors and they then voted on it. According to Inside Nova, the final vote to approve the sensors was 6 in favor and 1 against. Osbourn will be the first school in the state of Virginia to be installing these sensors. 

“We’ll be the first school in Virginia to get it. We won’t be the last. We’re kind of the tip of the spear, we’re leading the way,” said Principal Pflugrath.

With Osbourn being the first to install these security sensors, there is a lot of excitement amongst the staff and students. This is mainly because of the fact that we will be the first in Virginia with these security sensors and we may be a big influence on many other schools. “Norfolk, Fredericksburg, and Prince William County have all reached out to us to see how they can learn from Osbourn,” said Principal Pflugrath. Many good things are coming from installing these sensors. Both students and staff will be able to feel more secure. The addition of these sensors will also give security one less thing to worry about, and a chance to focus on other campus safety issues. 

According to Principal Pflugrath, the system will be installed in early March of 2023, which is just weeks away. There will be newsletters sent out, meetings held, and presentations on the procedures and routines that will be implemented. It will take time to get used to the sensors and to get the procedure down, and time will also be required to get the sensors to adapt.

“There’s gonna be some training that takes place and practicing. We need to provide education on how to process through it and how to use it before we start using it daily. Even though it may get installed in early March, it may take us a few weeks before we start using it,” explained Principal Pflugrath.

According to a WJLA news story that aired in January, the division spent about $400,000 on a four-year contract with the company Evolv Technology.  This is a four-year plan where the division will spend about $100,000 per year. Cost also depends on how many entrances these sensors will be added to.  The sensors will be installed at the three main entrances of Osbourn: the main office entrance, the commons area entrance, and the JLC entrance.

With this new system being installed, there will be many questions from students and staff about it. According to a source from the Inside Nova coverage, the security sensors aren’t invasive at all. They’re the complete opposite of that. The sensors won’t cause changes in the current schedule or require students to come earlier. The sensors operate fast and allow students to walk at a normal pace.

Osbourn is also at an advantage with the school having multiple entrances, making the daily routine fairly fast. The new sensors are nothing like metal detectors at all, as they focus on detecting objects in students’ and staff’s bags and mapping them out. The system doesn’t require students or staff to take off their bags or empty their pockets. If the sensors detect a concerning object, they will beep to alert security, and the bag would be searched at a designated checking table. Over time, the security sensors will learn what specific shapes of the objects are and use that information to avoid false alarms. 

“The research shows that this is a proven technology that is currently in use in schools across the country. It’s also used in other venues like the Capital One Arena, museums, and sports events. So it’s proven to work. It is the least intrusive way we can ensure security for our students and staff, it doesn’t require people to take off bags, be searched, or slow down much when walking by,” said Principal Pflugrath.

We will update with more details when the new sensors are in place.

What are your thoughts on the new security sensors coming to Osbourn? Tell us in the comments!

Update: The security sensors are finally here! In our last article, we talked about how Osbourn High school would be soon implementing security sensors in the school.  We mentioned how these security sensors would work, what the process would be when using them, and how they’d be in use in early March. In late February, the school was working on getting the sensors installed and ready to be used in early March.

On Monday, March 6th the security sensors were finally put to use. The sensors were put in the three main entrances of Osbourn. Students started their morning as always with school doors opening at 7:50, the same time as when students get let off the bus. This first morning was a bit different than the others since students would be going through the Evolv security sensors for the first time. Once students entered school, they had to take out their computers and water bottles to go through the Evolv security sensors.

So, how did it go?

“I do think that they are taking the right steps in the right direction for safety procedures and protocol. I just hope that people take it seriously and follow the guidelines for the sensors that are provided,” said history teacher Ms. Michelle Dailey. “I was pleased to hear that there were steps being taken to ensure the safety of students and teachers, and I am hopeful that there are going to be expectations that will be applied to ensure that students and teachers continue to be safe.”

“It was a little unorganized on the first day. They block off a lot of hallways so it’s harder to get to class. It takes longer than it should to get inside the school,” said sophomore Tiffany Baitinger Fuentes.

“Honestly I think it’s buggy. I know that the sensors are learning, but it’s taking long throughout the morning. I think they should have a little more time for people to get in. The entrance from JLC is always crowded,” Kevin Orrego Campos said.