- Robust enterprise-grade solution enabled District to roll out 1:1 initiative and accommodate needs for greater density
- Students and teachers able to leverage reliable Wi-Fi to engage in digital communication, collaboration and research
- Scalable network that can grow to meet future needs and requirements
- Distributed network architecture with simplified centralized management and control enabled IT team to quickly make network changes
Exemplary Michigan School District Makes the Leap to Enterprise-Grade Wi-Fi
The West Bloomfield School District serves more than 6,000 students in grades K-12 in the heart of West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, providing education for the cities of Orchard Lake Village, Keego Harbor and Sylvan Lake. All seven schools in the district have been named National Exemplary Schools and student achievement ranks among the highest in the state.
West Bloomfield School District is located within Oakland County and can receive services from Oakland Schools, an intermediate school district that functions as a regional service agency to offer support services to local school districts. The Technology Services Department for Oakland Schools supports technology implementation and planning for all seven West Bloomfield schools, as well as administration operations and the transportation and operations facilities in the district, through a cost-recovery arrangement.
Before Oakland Schools began managing technology for the district, the Wi-Fi solution was ad hoc with minimal consumer- grade access points placed at random locations among the schools. The existing network design was very unreliable, and classes could not have more than four or five students connected to the Wi-Fi network at one time. When the District was tasked with moving to a 1:1 environment, the IT team needed to deploy a comprehensive enterprise-grade networking solution to meet these new demands and bring all schools up to a higher technology standard.
After a vigorous bid process, Aerohive proved to be the all-around superior solution. The District also worked with Aerohive reseller Delta Network Services for installation. Since this was the West Bloomfield School District’s first enterprise-grade wireless solution deployment, the flexible and simplified network architecture provided by Aerohive was a key differentiator for the IT team.
West Bloomfield uses Aerohive AP330 access points, with network management from HiveManager set up as a virtual appliance. The District launched Wi-Fi at the high school initially, and ran a beta test at each of the remaining schools and locations. The District used a captive web portal to control the number of devices that could connect at one time during the beta testing phase and to allow network users to acclimate to the new solution.
During regular school hours, West Bloomfield has approximately 2,000 simultaneous network connections including district-issued Chromebooks. Two SSIDs are set up to separate guest users from the students and staff. The District has recently applied for E-rate to secure funding to deploy access points in every classroom.