Southington Public School District
Connecticut School District Deploys Flexible Enterprise Wireless Infrastructure with Aerohive

Why Aerohive Was Selected

  • Put control in the hands of the IT team right at the network edge, with cloud-based network management
  • Allowed bandwidth allocation to different SSIDs for flexible solution
  • Along with E-rate funding, proved a cost-effective enterprise wireless solution that met our budget parameters
  • Set a solid foundation for future expansion and growth, including ability to accommodate online testing requirements next year

Connecticut School District Deploys Flexible Enterprise Wireless Infrastructure with Aerohive

About Southington Public School District

Situated in a picturesque suburban location, the Southington Public School District is about 25 miles from Hartford, Connecticut and serves approximately 7,000 students across 11 schools and an additional two administrative office locations. Due to its location in the Harford metro area, it experiences consistent growth in enrollment.

The District has eight elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school, recognized in 2013 by US News & National Report “One of America’s Best High Schools” as a Silver Medalist. With 1,100 employees, Southington strives to meet the diverse needs of its students, including offering programs for alternative education and adult education.

The Challenge

Southington Public School District had a consumer-grade wireless network in place, but with an increase in BYOD, forthcoming mandated online state testing and a greater need for technology integration in the classroom, the District needed an enterprise solution. While not a 1:1 school district, the majority of schools and classrooms use Chromebooks, iPads and laptop carts.

One of the greatest concerns about the network was security. Students and staff were not only experiencing issues with reliability, but all passwords to connect to the network were the same, creating severe security concerns for the IT team. In addition, the IT team needed to centrally manage the network and push out changes all at once with remote management and control. The District had recently undergone an infrastructure upgrade of its switches and cabling, so the wireless network planning was ready to move forward.

The Solution

The District turned to Digital Back Office to help with an overall site survey and evaluation for solution providers. Southington looked at solutions from Aerohive and Aruba, choosing Aerohive for its network management system and the outstanding support. It was also a great advantage that Aerohive integrated seamlessly with active directory and also with Cisco VLANs, which allowed the IT team to easily segment users by school. Southington deployed Aerohive AP330, AP121 and AP230 access points and uses HiveManager Online for cloud-based network management.

The Aerohive solution has allowed greater control and flexibility for the District across all schools and administration. The IT team can now restrict MAC addresses and make sure devices connect to the correct SSID. With an almost seven-fold increase of access points, the network is robust and reliable and teachers and students have integrated blended learning, as well as the ability to fully embrace Google Classroom, PowerSchool, and wireless printing at each school.

The District recently hired a Media & Technology Integration Specialist to help teachers and staff as they lean on Wi-Fi to a greater degree and begin to use more classroom tools, including use of video and audio. Science teachers already use digital textbooks and schools will eventually use PowerSchool tools habitually in the classroom for more than just digital attendance. The District anticipates adopting a learning management system in the near future to bring a greater number of digital resources in the hands of students and teachers.

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