IHS Wi-Fi gets a signal boost

S3 grant funding help school expand its technological reach

By Brock Ver Hoeven, Staff Writer

Recently around the school, you may have noticed that your phone or tablet has a Wi-Fi signal choice called “USD 257 Guest.” With the help of the school’s Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) grant, the technology department expanded the reach of wireless Internet service.

The effort is directed at helping students utilize the technology they already have in their hands, S3 grant coordinator Melissa Stiffler said.
This will cost the district $5,099.66 for the access points, which are being placed in all high school buildings, according to Brett Linn, information technology director for USD 257.

The district also had to buy two switches to distribute the stronger signal and to manage the data for an additional $1,090, he said.
The project will be completed during holiday break. Linn noted that the upgrade will help support BYOD (bring your own device) efforts, and the project falls under the S3 grant guidelines about communication, technology and education

As a result of the project, he said, filters have been modified to block audio and video streaming, which at times takes up too much bandwidth. This includes services like Pandora and YouTube. The IHS News broadcast is streamed though a separate sever, so students still can view that.