Pioneering College Prep School Deploys Wireless LAN

Brewster Academy, an independent college preparatory school in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, is deploying a new Aruba wireless LAN (WLAN) with the AirWave Network Management System and the ClearPass Access Management System. The new, enterprise-grade 802.11n network is designed to help Brewster Academy to accommodate the increasing number of smartphones, tablets and laptops being brought onto campus. It will also deliver secure, campus-wide wireless access to Brewster’s 358 students and 175 faculty and staff, as well as guests at the 80-acre property.

Brewster Academy, which follows a curriculum based on best practice methodologies and focused on individual student learning, was the first educational institution to implement a 1:1 programming initiative when in 1993 it provided a laptop to each of its students. Today, Brewster pupils continue the tradition of marrying technology with an innovative, educational curriculum by using the new Aruba WLAN and Apple MacBook Pro laptops to access applications such as Moodle, Google Apps for Education, custom wikis, curricular file servers and classroom management systems. Brewster is also using the WLAN to pilot new programs, including iPad and Apple TV testing programs.

Phase one of the new WLAN deployment, which includes 130 Aruba AP 105 wireless access points (APs), AirWave and ClearPass, is complete and delivers wireless access to all of the Academy’s academic areas, including classrooms and congregational areas. Phase two will add an additional 145 APs, delivering wireless coverage to 100% of the campus, including 20 residence halls, and is expected to be completed in July 2013.

When reviewing WLAN solutions, Brewster Academy’s IT department wanted a comprehensive system that allowed efficient management and troubleshooting of the network as well as secure, differentiated access for students, faculty, staff and guests. The academy also wanted to allow its users to register their own mobile devices. Aruba’s AirWave allows Brewster’s IT department to identify who is on the network, where they are accessing the network, the mobile devices they are using and how much bandwidth is being consumed by specific devices. Aruba’s ClearPass enables the academy to securely onboard any device onto the network. By centralizing access policies across the entire network, ClearPass ensures that each user has the right access privileges based on who they are and what device they’re using.

“Having introduced computers into our curriculum twenty years ago, we believe Brewster Academy has more experience with integrating technology than any other secondary school in the United States. Accordingly, we were very deliberate in selecting the Aruba WLAN solution,” said Eileen Taylor, Manager of Information Technology for Brewster Academy. “Our new Aruba WLAN benefits students and faculty and enhances the overall Brewster Academy experience.”