Jefferson County Public Schools Advances Digital Education for 200,000 Users with Extreme Cloud Networking Solutions
Upgrade to Industry’s Leading Wi-Fi 6 Solutions Enables Kentucky’s Largest School District to Deliver Innovative, Tech-Driven Educational Programs and Improve Student Safety System-Wide
Extreme Networks, a cloud-driven networking company, announced Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), the largest school system in Kentucky and the 29th largest in the United States, has deployed Extreme high-density Wi-Fi 6 access points and the ExtremeCloud IQ network management platform as part of a district-wide upgrade. The refreshed network enables remote learning and powers cutting-edge digital education programs and applications for 200,000 users across 169 schools, ensuring consistent and secure access to critical educational resources and allowing the district to utilize data to improve student safety.
JCPS is a technology-forward district. The IT team leverages E-Rate funds to deliver a secure and resilient network that supports and advances digital learning opportunities for all students. This includes providing students with iPads and Chromebooks as they move toward a 1:1 device initiative and a digital “Backpack of Success Skills” platform for students to demonstrate what they are learning throughout the year with pictures, videos, and other digital tools. The district also offers Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in networking, robotics, manufacturing, medical training, and other hands-on apprenticeships. Further, 100% of testing during the school year is done online, and all security camera data and facilities access controls are only accessible through the network.
- Scalable, Reliable Infrastructure: JCPS deployed nearly 8,400 Extreme Wi-Fi 6 access points and high-performance gigabit Ethernet switches in buildings and outside, where they’ve created a wireless mesh network for video surveillance on 950 school buses. JCPS has deployed over 3,000 cameras, some with gunshot recognition, making instantly accessible data a crucial part of student safety. The district also invested in ExtremeAnalytics™ software to more quickly identify and address connectivity and performance issues. With more bandwidth-consuming applications on the horizon, having a scalable, high-capacity core wired infrastructure as well as a reliable Wi-Fi 6 connection is a necessity, not a luxury.
- Flexibility in Uncertain Times: When students and staff were sent home due to the COVID-19 crisis, the IT team jumped into action to identify solutions that would allow everyone to continue operating from home. The district had to ensure its network was able to handle increased and unpredictable activity, and its updated core infrastructure was always running. Some families without Wi-Fi were also provided with Extreme Networks access points at home to keep students connected. The IT team’s fast reaction combined with the reliability of Extreme’s network infrastructure allowed JCPS to successfully close out the 2019-2020 school year and meet the challenges of keeping students engaged in 2020-2021.
- Cloud Network Management: The Extreme-powered network supports the use of 10s of thousands of devices across the district. With ExtremeCloud IQ, JCPS has end-to-end network visibility, unlimited data perspective, and industry-leading service uptime so IT can easily monitor and manage its vast network of access points, mobile, and IoT devices for optimal performance without traveling between the district’s many buildings. ExtremeCloud IQ will also allow the district to leverage user-based authentication to more easily and securely add devices to its network.
JCPS was already an Extreme customer, and the organization once again turned to Extreme and its partner StepCG to provide an advanced, next-generation solution to support the system’s digital learning efforts for years to come.
Annette Harris, Assistant Director of Infrastructure Services, JCPS
“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. But with Extreme, we’re currently reporting 99 percent network uptime, and our team likes every product we’ve deployed. When we’re asked how we could quickly pivot to remote learning and still accomplish so many technology-driven initiatives in a system with nearly 200,000 users, it is because of the reliable support and network infrastructure that we know we can expect from Extreme.”
David Savage, Senior Director of Education Sales, Extreme Networks
“Jefferson County Public Schools is a forward-thinking district, and its cloud-driven approach to digital transformation is one to emulate. With our industry-leading cloud management platform and wired and wireless network solutions, the JCPS IT team can focus on more than ensuring consistent, basic connectivity – they are fully utilizing their network to make data-driven decisions that improve their district’s security posture, help close student achievement gaps, and ensure continued education during challenging, uncertain times. This is what all schools should be striving for.”
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