Roselle Catholic High School is a co-ed private high school founded 61 years ago in Roselle, New Jersey. Home to more than 400 students, Roselle Catholic is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

In its community, Roselle Catholic is known for its core values promoting academic excellence, service, and tolerance. Like many high schools across the country, Roselle Catholic High School relied on outdated technology to communicate between the front office and classrooms.

Outdated intercom system

While the front office could connect with the classroom through its dated one‑way intercom system, teachers could not communicate with the front office from the classroom. In the event of a classroom emergency, such as a student suddenly falling ill or a classroom disruption, teachers had to rely on a student to run down to the front office to request assistance.

Our school is in an older building and the original communication system layout doesn’t have the talkback option to the main office,” said Principal Tom Berrios. “That left teachers in a bad spot if they ever had to reach an administrator for an emergency.”

Lack of visitor management system

School administrators sought a new system that could provide communications between teachers and staff

The school also lacked a visitor management system allowing the front office to visually confirm and speak with anyone before permitting them to physically enter the building. In addition, with new health and safety concerns from the COVID‑19 pandemic, the school wanted to implement new measures to help screen visitors before they enter the building.

As part of its efforts to improve security facility-wide, school administrators sought a new system that could provide internal communications between teachers and staff—while sending audio alerts in the event of an emergency. They also needed a visitor management system enabling them to visually confirm and communicate with visitors before they enter the building.

IP video intercom system

To assist with these challenges, the school installed the IX Series Peer‑to‑Peer IP Video Intercom System from Aiphone. Installing the system was Maffey’s Security Group, a systems integration company from Elizabeth, New Jersey, with close ties to the high school.

Roselle Catholic High School is my alma mater and we try to help them keep up‑to‑date with the latest technology and security,” said Ed Maffey, president of Maffey’s Security Group, a family-owned and operated business for 110 years.

By leveraging a program through the state of New Jersey, the high school was able to apply and receive a grant designed to support security improvements at both public and private schools. The grant was used to help pay for the new Aiphone IX Series Peer‑to‑Peer IP Video Intercom System, which included two master stations, two IP video door stations, and 43 IP audio substations for classrooms.

The IX Series delivers flexibility

The benefit of the IP video intercom system is its ability to integrate with a recently installed thermal imaging camera

The IP system is a scalable, enterprise‑level solution that uses Power over Ethernet (PoE), eliminates the need for a power source for each intercom and substation. The system can easily integrate with access control, video, and other security devices to provide a fully unified solution.

One main benefit of the IP video intercom system is its ability to integrate with a recently installed thermal imaging camera system, which is being used to screen students, staff, and visitors before the entrance. A thermal imaging camera located at the front entrance will screen people for a mask and elevated temperature, and only allow access if that visitor is cleared.

Video-based monitoring system

With the new Aiphone IX Series system, front office staff can respond when a visitor rings a bell asking for entrance. Staff can speak to the visitor and also make visual contact before pushing the door release button to allow that person to enter. The school is equipped with two touchscreen master stations, with one located in the front office and the second located in the principal’s office.

The live video also helps to prevent people from following an approved guest through the doors. Trained front desk staff can monitor a visitor as they enter the building to ensure additional people aren’t following behind.

Added benefits with emergency notifications

In addition to enabling communication directly from teachers to the front office, they also can put the entire school on a lockdown notice in the event of an emergency. The Aiphone IX Series can send a pre‑recorded notification building‑wide, alerting students or staff of a problem and providing directions about what steps to take next.

With one push of a button, a message will play continuously and that message can be used for a variety of scenarios

The system makes the teachers feel more secure with what’s going on in the building and they have an easier way to communicate,” said Berrios.

Maffey called this feature a “hot button” capability. With one push of a button, a message will play continuously and that pre‑recorded message can be used for a variety of scenarios, including fire drills, emergency evacuations, and lockdown situations.

Entry door security  

The school is also using the Aiphone IX Series on an entry door located in the back of the building, which is frequently used by students heading outside for athletics or gym class.

After school, the intercom system has become an added security feature because we can now visually see the students who need to enter the building and the locker room,” said Berrios. “Before we had to keep the door propped open or students could not gain access from the back of the building.”

Leveraging IP connectivity

Maffey said the installation was relatively easy because he was able to leverage the school’s existing IP network to run the new IP‑based video intercom system. Additional switches helped to fill in areas where network connectivity wasn’t available.

When we install an Aiphone system we can walk away confident that it is going to work,” said Maffey. “Aiphone has been our go‑to intercom system for over 20 years.”