Arizona’s Fastest Growing District Upgrades LAN

Dysart Unified School District in Maricopa County, Ariz., has selected Aruba for its district-wide wireless LAN deployment and upgrade. Working with integration and Aruba Platinum partner VectorUSA, the district has implemented Aruba’s wireless solutions in four high schools and five elementary schools, with plans to extend the wireless infrastructure throughout all of its facilities and beyond.

Long recognized for its integration of technology into teaching and learning, Dysart is using district-owned laptops, student- and teacher-owned mobile devices, Google Apps, videoconferencing and other tools to create an interactive classroom environment. The district also plans to use the wireless network for online testing and expanding its video surveillance system. The deployment of a robust wireless LAN was essential to meet all of these objectives and advance the district’s technology vision.

“We encourage teachers and students to use any available technology for instruction — it’s built into our culture,” said John Andrews, CIO, Dysart Unified School District. “But with the introduction of Bring Your Own Device, we had the daily concern of students not being able to connect because of limitations in our legacy wireless network. Now, with the implementation of Aruba’s solutions, our students and teachers are using technology more than ever. And we have the infrastructure we need to support online assessment testing as well as enhance safety and security.”

In addition to Aruba access points and Mobility Controllers, the district is using the AirWave Network Management System for network optimization and the ClearPass Access Management System for policy management and guest access. AirWave helps the district manage the user experience through visibility into which devices are accessing the network, how much bandwidth is being consumed and other important metrics. ClearPass enables end-to-end device management through granular policy enforcement across mobile users, devices and apps coupled with scalable and secure guest access.

Dysart Unified School District is committed to providing seamless wireless coverage to support ever-increasing numbers of student-owned devices, and has plans to implement Aruba 802.11ac technology as it continues to expand its wireless LAN into additional schools. The district also has a vision for wireless that goes beyond its 26 sites to potentially include Wi-Fi in its 150 school buses that serve a 140-square-mile area. This initiative would provide secure Internet access for thousands of students who spend up to three hours traveling to and from school each day.

“The success we’ve had so far gives us the confidence to think big,” Andrews said. “The network performance has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to the new opportunities it presents for our district.”