Mediapolis Community School District
Serving nearly 800 students across three facilities – an elementary school, middle school, and high school – in Mediapolis, IA, and surrounding rural areas, the Mediapolis Community School District is dedicated to making sure that its classroom technology can be used to support learning. Teachers and staff challenge students to strive for excellence and become lifelong learners.
Knowing that its IT infrastructure was becoming outdated, Mediapolis Community School District decided to begin a revitalization by first virtualizing its servers. The district also needed to move from Windows Server 2000 to Windows Server 2008. Dennis Jandrey, IT director, called on CEC for direction based on a long-term relationship, knowing the project would run smoothly with the CEC IT team involved.
The next step in this infrastructure revitalization was updating a decade-old switch in the middle of the district’s network. Knowing that the switch’s days were numbered, Jandrey says he constantly worried about it failing. “I began every morning knowing that my entire network could go down if that switch didn’t work,” he explained. After CEC replaced the switch, the network’s core switch was also replaced – along with improvements to the district’s VPN to improve network efficiency. CEC deployed a new backup system for the district as well, eliminating the need for Jandrey to feed tapes daily.
As he worked down his wish list for the district, one item remained: updating the wireless infrastructure. After the district moved from a 2.4G network to a 5G network, the existing wireless system struggled to provide consistent, reliable connectivity.
CEC worked with Jandrey to find a wireless solution that would support constant connectivity for the district’s teachers, students, and staff, reducing frustration and unplanned downtime.
For this project, Mediapolis Community School District was up against a deadline: the first day of school. After a scheduling issue prevented the system from being installed according to the original timeline, CEC created a temporary solution to get the district’s wireless system up and running in time: Switches were configured to allow wireless arrays to be plugged directly into classroom computer ports instead of connecting in the ceiling.
Two weeks later, after school was back in session, CEC returned for two weeks to install cabling and properly mount wireless arrays in classrooms as originally planned. To minimize classroom disruption, CEC worked closely with Jandrey to make sure students and teachers weren’t interrupted during installation.
With new IT infrastructure and an updated wireless system in place, Mediapolis Community School District now has:
- Wireless connectivity that students, teachers, staff, and visitors can all rely on
- 80 wireless arrays placed around the school to provide excellent coverage in any location
- An automatic, reliable backup system that doesn’t require daily tape feeding
- Reduced downtime with instant recovery, ransomware detection, and automated disaster recovery testing
- Decreased IT costs and fewer physical servers onsite
“I get compliment after compliment on our new wireless system – and compliment after compliment on the CEC crews that installed it. They went above and beyond. It was amazing that CEC was able to do this for us. In technology, it’s not always about what you know – it’s about who you know. I have a group of individuals at CEC that I can reach on the phone anytime and have real relationships with.”