NJ school overhauls network, boosts opportunity

The Glen Rock Public School District includes 2,500 students and 300 staff in six schools across five buildings. While the district has long supported a technology-infused curriculum, a legacy network had begun limiting opportunities to advance learning. The district was eager to overhaul a telecommunications network based on T-1 lines connecting schools to a main hub and shared 3 megabit connection, as well as a phone system that was keeping voice costs high and billing unpredictable.

“Technology is extremely important to our school district because we realize the tremendous impact that it can have on improving education opportunities,” said Tom O’Gara, network administrator and engineer for the Glen Rock Public School District. “Over time, we got to a point where participation in emerging educational programs and access to general online resources were limited because our network simply couldn’t support it. We knew it was time for a change.”

Going the Distance

Glen Rock Public Schools began evaluating service providers and selected Optimum Lightpath®'s 100 megabit, 100% fiber-based Internet Voice Bundle which offers fast, scalable Internet access. The bundle also includes a new voice system that includes long distance and VoIP capabilities to help improve internal communications, and is provided for a flat monthly rate. As a result of the upgrade, which was conducted in phases between 2008 and the summer of 2010, Glen Rock Public Schools has significantly boosted performance while saving thousands annually.

“As a result of the upgrade with Optimum Lightpath, we have the flexibility to infuse technology into the Glen Rock Public Schools curriculum like never before,” said Dr. Kathy Regan, director of curriculum and instruction, Glen Rock Public Schools. “We’re currently evaluating opportunities for high-definition video conferencing, programs that let students take virtual field trips, distance learning and advanced course management systems for faculty. Soon, we’ll even be able to add new course options – and it’s largely a result of having a high-performing network that can support our ambitions.”

A Smooth Transition

“We’ve been extremely happy with the Optimum Lightpath service,” said O’Gara. “All install timelines were met, the transition was smooth and we’ve found that we have access to high quality customer support when we need it. In one case, we even received a proactive call when Optimum Lightpath realized that we’d had a power outage.”

Optimum Lightpath works extensively with schools throughout New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area and has selected Glen Rock Public Schools as its Customer Spotlight of the Month for October 2010.