How a Tech School Is Preparing to Meet Tomorrow’s Security Challenges

Hudson Valley P-TECH in West Nyack, N.Y., is engaging local businesses and college partners to prepare students for professions in cyber and physical security careers.

Safety and security have been at the forefront of national and local agendas in recent years. As school leaders, we routinely plan and hold safety drills, research and implement safety “best practices” and install the latest technology to protect our students, staff, and families.

Not only do we consider the best methods to protect the physical safety of our student population, but also how to safeguard our data and our building safety plans.

As principal of Rockland BOCES’ Hudson Valley P-TECH, I have been involved in the planning for and installation of security cameras, key card access and background check software in two different schools. But, in these unsettled times, I can’t help but wonder if there’s more we could do to protect our students.

Could we provide more surveillance​ in spaces of limited staffing? Could we rethink security on an individual building level that is affordable, efficient and dependable?

As a P-TECH school, we have engaged local businesses and our college partners to prepare students for the next phase of their lives. What we have come to learn is that security — whether it’s cyber or physical security options — are areas in need in today’s economy.

At present, Hudson Valley P-TECH is finalizing a degree pathway for cybersecurity, and we continue to coordinate with local business associations to gain their support in this endeavor.

Security is on the agenda of small and large businesses. It’s on the agenda of technology companies, schools and police forces. And it is on the agenda of our school to provide students with in-demand training to fill the economic need in this growth area.

Natasha Shea is Principal of Hudson Valley P-TECH, an integrated, six-year science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program at Rockland BOCES in West Nyack, N.Y. She is also a Robolliance Expert Sponsor. To learn more about security applications for robots and drones, visit Robolliance Expert Corner.

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