100 Gigabit Ring Connecting 3 Hub Sites and 10 Gig to 18 District Buildings Enables New Technology and Learning Tools
Strengthening its position as one of the most technologically sophisticated k-12 school districts in Ohio, Worthington School District today announced it has implemented a state of the art network connecting 21 locations.
The network consists of 10 Gigabit point-to-point circuits for 18 sites feeding into a 100 Gigabit ring connecting the three Worthington Schools’ hub sites. Operationally, the network design allowed the district to consolidate servers and storage sites, improving its ability to manage equipment at all 18 sites.
“We were looking to develop a centralized network to maximize the effective utilization of technology which will heighten student learning,” said Keith Schlarb, Director of Information Technology at Worthington.
Schlarb’s approach was critical for the district in a number of areas. One critical platform was the implementation of core common standards in-line with The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). This entails a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. They are high quality, computer-based K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy giving teachers, schools, students, and parents better information whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, as well as tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs.
“The key to our equation was upgrading our bandwidth to support these initiatives,” said Schlarb. “We partnered with Fibertech Networks to build a fully scalable network that can better support our needs now and well into the future.”
Fibertech was able to utilize Ciena’s converged packet optical and packet networking solutions to leverage its existing 350-mile network in Columbus, to build direct fiber optic connectivity into each Worthington School District site. The upgraded network is now able to deliver the required connectivity needs, while also ensuring the highest levels of reliability and security.
For the 9500 students and 800 teachers within the Worthington School District, the new network has produced immediate results. Issues such as using web video sites, and video communication such as Skype or Adobe Connect – are now possible without pauses, connection loss, or latency issues. Use of web-based instructional software is also now full-speed ahead with students making full use of instructional time on devices.
“It’s quite gratifying to provide school districts such as Worthington withinfrastructure that will provide financial benefits for years to come, while at the same time enabling educational and safety applications that were previously bandwidth constrained,” said Mike Hurley, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Fibertech. “With the growing importance of video use in instruction, this new network provides the speed and bandwidth to support their technology initiatives.”
According to Schlarb, the new network opens the doors for the district to increase availability for technology and other computer devices for student use without concern for bandwidth. With increased access to online instructional materials Worthington schools is well positioned to take advantage of the most cutting-edge learning and teaching tools.
“The network also allows us to provide Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for district users, centralizing support and maintenance of desktop applications,” he added. “We are confident that whatever on-line instruction or technology tools the district decides to implement in the future the bandwidth is available. We have no real restrictions on our bandwidth and that will mean better prepared students for life after high school.”
About Fibertech Networks
Headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., Fibertech Networks is a leader in providing fiber-optic based network services throughout mid-size cities in the Eastern and Central regions of the United States. Fibertech was founded in May of 2000, has built metro-area fiber networks in 30 mid-size markets in the Eastern U.S., and is led by Court Square Capital Partners of New York, N.Y. Further information about the company can be found at www.fibertech.com.