New Wi-Fi routers in classrooms

Mary Corkery, News Editor

In order to strengthen connections in classrooms and make technology use easier, plans to intsall new Wi-Fi routers in each classroom have been put in place.

Technical support specialist Bob Schaeg said the goal of installing new routers is to give every class their own Wi-Fi access point.

“Right now, we have approximately one access point to every two to three classrooms. Ultimately, the goal is to have one access point in every classroom, but that’s always depending on funding and product availability,” Schaeg said.

Routers will probably be installed this summer, Schaeg said, but the process has gone on for longer. There is uncertainty regarding timing because of scheduling, organization, and supply chain issues.

“Right now, we are waiting on the actual equipment from vendors, so as far as a time frame goes, I can’t answer that,” Schaeg said. “There still seems to be some lingering supply chain issues with our vendor that we get the

access points from. Once that gets solved and we actually get the things, then you have to plan out getting into the classrooms and getting all that installed. More than likely, it’s going to end up being a summer project. This is something that has been in the works for a while. For a couple of years. It’s just a matter of if Summit gets theirs first, or if one of the other schools gets theirs first, [and] how much money we have on hand. We’re not doing the entire district at one time. Everything is just always moving, and things get replaced.”

For students and staff, such as sophomore Aliza Carlson and Spanish teacher Kimbelry Lackey, spotty Wi-Fi connection can make communication difficult. Not being able to contact her parents throughout the day is one of the biggest issues for Carlson, she said.

“It works sometimes, but it’s mostly really spotty. It’s really annoying because when I need to text my parents about picking me up or something they need to bring me because I forgot it at home, I can’t, because most of my classes are in places where they don’t have Wi-Fi,” Carlson said.

Lackey said that the service in her class and other rooms in the basement is worse compared to previous years.

“I feel like in the past I could, during my plan time, send a photo from my phone to my Google Drive so I could use it for class, or I could read a text from a friend. But I can’t this year,” Lackey said. “I don’t know why we don’t have service in these rooms. If that is the problem, that the Wi-Fi routers are too far, then sure, let’s fix it.”

Schaeg said that connection has faltered over the years because technology has evolved and the amount of devices has increased.

“Technology changes. What’s in place now has been here at least eight years or so. Whenever these access points were put in, we didn’t have every student have a Chromebook,” Schaeg said.