Networking & Wireless

Kentucky District Upgrades WiFi with Extreme Networks

The largest school system in Kentucky has gone public with an upgrade of its wireless network. The refresh at Jefferson County Public Schools included WiFi 6 access points from Extreme Networks, as well as that company's ExtremeCloud IQ network management platform. The upgrade built off of or replaced existing Extreme gear. The district has about 115,000 student and staff users in 169 schools and 165 buildings.

District digital initiatives have included a 1-to-1 device program, to provide students with iPads, Windows devices and Chromebooks, and a virtual "Backpack of Success Skills" platform for students, to demonstrate learning and collect artifacts such as pictures and video with Google tools. Assessments are done online. And the schools 3,000-plus IP-connected cameras with gunshot recognition capabilities and electronic access control.

The latest technology implementation included:

  • Nearly 8,400 Extreme WiFi 6 access points and Ethernet switches both inside and outside of buildings and sent home with families;

  • ExtremeAnalytics software to track usage of the Backpack program and other applications and identify and address network connectivity and performance issues more quickly; and

  • ExtremeCloud IQ, for network visibility and monitoring.

"We are working with a small IT group in an enormous district, and my network team has to fill multiple roles. Without good support and dependable infrastructure, all our resources become locked up in network management," Annette Harris, assistant director of infrastructure services at the district, in a press release. "With Extreme, we're currently reporting 99 percent network uptime, and our team likes every product we've deployed."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.