How TTI Bolsters Connectivity in the Warwick Valley Central School District

After partnering with Turn-key Technologies, the Warwick Valley Central School District was able to provide everything faculty and students expected and needed from their wireless network — and more.

Research shows that three-quarters of students attending American colleges and universities believe that internet-connected technologies have either a “positive” or “significantly positive” impact on their academic success. To accommodate students’ increasingly digital learning styles, many institutions of higher learning are now integrating a tech component into everything they do.

This trend will benefit students of all abilities and backgrounds in the long term — but in the meantime, it’s placing added pressure on K-12 schools to ensure that students are adequately prepared to succeed after graduation. “Most colleges are using some type of online platform or hybrid model,” says Everett Public Schools Teacher Sarah Pewitt, “so students need to know how to learn online and take advantage of those resources.”

Helping students broaden their digital skill sets is now part and parcel of a K-12 educator’s job, and it takes plenty of digital learning tools in the classroom to do so effectively. However, just as you wouldn’t try to build a schoolhouse without first laying a foundation, educators can’t expect to utilize digital tools without first building a high-functioning school network.

At Turn-key Technologies (TTI), we have nearly three decades of experience helping both K-12 schools and institutions of higher education design, deploy, and manage networks that are powerful (and secure) enough to support students’ and teachers’ digital needs. While we’ve worked with countless schools over the years, one of our crowning achievements in the education space has come right in our backyard.


An Empire-ical Success

During the 2013-2014 academic year, the Warwick Valley Central School District (WVCSD) in Warwick, New York, hired TTI to assess the wireless networks in four of its schools. At the time, the district — which was still relying on a legacy wireless solution that utilized 802.11n technology — was desperate to upgrade to an 802.11ac Wave 1 solution capable of supporting its new tech-centric lesson plans.

As part of our routine network assessment, we carefully examined the networking infrastructure at all four schools to identify any potential bottlenecks or single points of failure. We quickly discovered that the schools’ network closets were too far apart for the existing multimode fiber to deliver 10-gig connectivity, and that the actual connectivity between closets was stuck at only 1 gig. Once we reported our findings, the school agreed that full network upgrades were in order.

We proceeded to replace all of the networking infrastructure in the four schools, a process that included the installation of multiple 10-gig links from core to edge closets. This eliminated previously problematic single points of failure, and paved the way for 40-gig throughputs down the line.

Furthermore, we upgraded all of the schools’ edge closets to support full Power over Ethernet (PoE) to network access points, added more fiber cabling capacity, and installed network visibility and management software to give district IT administrators more control over their schools’ systems. All this on top of accomplishing the district’s initial goal of upgrading to 802.11ac Wave 1.

We still help the district manage its networks to this day. And with TTI’s assistance, WVCSD has been able to eliminate coverage dead spots, expand its outdoor wireless capabilities, create a new digitally-driven media library center, and achieve a 1:1 student-to-Chromebook ratio (the district was supporting four Chromebooks at the start of our relationship).


The Value of K-12 Networking Expertise

There’s little question that the future of education is digital, even if it stays within the walls of brick-and-mortar schools. That said, designing a wireless network that is both powerful enough to support the demands of hundreds if not thousands of devices and secure enough to protect student data without compromising the free exchange of information is easier said than done.

By partnering with an education networking expert like TTI, schools can rest easy knowing that their IT infrastructure will be designed and deployed in the most effective way possible.

To find out how your school district can achieve results like those we delivered for WVCSD, contact TTI today!

By Tony Ridzyowski


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