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Hopewell City Public Schools adopts cloud-first strategy with iboss
Learn how Hopewell City Public Schools keeps students safe while innovating with iboss cloud
About Hopewell City Public Schools
Supporting children 2 years old - Grade 12
Connectors for students and staff
in VA to initiate year-round schooling
Hopewell City Public Schools provide educational programs for approximately 4,200 students and is the first school system in Virginia that moved to a year-round schedule in July 2021. This innovative approach incorporates a balanced calendar to address student needs, such as focused learning and enrichment programs. With seven campuses including three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and a learning center, Hopewell’s staff aims every day to provide students with a quality education that will serve them well long after high school.
At Hopewell City Public Schools, students come first across its seven campuses that serve kids from two years old through high school. A district that continually embraces innovation, Hopewell incorporated year-round schooling with a balanced calendar during the 2021-2022 school year. Keeping students and staff safe while online is paramount as Hopewell develops effective initiatives and programs for the school population; this was no less important as COVID-19 affected the entire community in 2020. The pandemic forced Hopewell to reimagine how IT manages resources in a traditional school environment as students quickly needed support with devices that were filtered and safe for remote use.
As the district maintains a one-to-one device policy for every Hopewell student, Hopewell wanted to find a solution quickly. Kris Reed, Supervisor of Technology, explains, “We always want the kids to have the best environment possible when it comes to technology.” In his role, Kris embraces the district’s vision in how technology plays a key role in student learning. His team maintains the network, software and hardware systems while ensuring safety, visibility into remote student access and compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The COVID pandemic presented a unique opportunity for Hopewell to quickly embrace a cloud-first strategy.
Hopewell City Public Schools have been using iboss to keep its 6,200 students and staff secure for approximately ten years. During the height of the pandemic in April 2020, the district migrated from iboss’ on-prem offering to the iboss Cloud Platform when the entire student population moved to remote school learning. Although Hopewell was already considering a cloud-first strategy, the pandemic incentivized Kris and his team to immediately migrate to iboss cloud to ensure students and staff would have safe online access from home and other remote locations. Gaining visibility into what students were accessing, with the flexibility that filtering provides, was vitally important to maintaining their safety.
In Hopewell, we stress innovation and forward thinking. At iboss, they don’t just produce an amazing product, they fit our mindset of being innovative and forward thinking with the educational community and they align with our mission of kids first.”
The redundancy of the cloud – and removing the gateway appliance from the network – inspired Kris Reed to migrate Hopewell to the iboss Cloud Platform. “Getting rid of that single point of failure and moving to the cloud makes our network stronger. It’s never going down,” he explains. Moreover, deploying the cloud connectors to all devices was very simple. His team eliminated data backhaul and significantly reduced its data center footprint while improving mobile user security. When Hopewell’s seven different sites turned into thousands during the pandemic as students and staff worked from home, the district’s technology team was able to secure any type of environment with the iboss SASE Cloud Platform.
The granular reporting and increased visibility via SSL decryption on all traffic associated with our devices is amazing. Our users are always connected to the cloud regardless of the type of device we have assigned to them or their physical location. The flexibility of secure connectivity as a service ensures that we are CIPA compliant no matter where our students are learning or our staff is working.”
The iboss Cloud Platform helps Hopewell maintain its priority to keep students safe while online. “If we don’t keep them safe, we aren’t doing our jobs,” Kris Reed states. Moreover, the 6,200 students and staff can work more efficiently with increased security regardless of their location.
Hopewell seamlessly adjusted to the network security challenges that arose after the COVID-19 pandemic when it migrated to the iboss cloud. Since the district’s small IT department doesn’t have the staff size of larger school divisions, iboss enables Kris Reed and his team to spend more time on school initiatives, make sure the students have the resources they need and help teachers with their technology requirements.
Cloud-first strategy – Adopting the iboss cloud SASE platform provides a cost-effective and scalable solution for 6,200 students and staff
Innovation throughout the school district – Hopewell will seamlessly benefit from the iboss offering as it moves to a year-round learning environment
Equity and safety within and outside the classroom – Every student has access to a device for home/remote use that is properly filtered and safe
Elimination of proxy/gateway appliances – Move to the cloud and remove physical hardware strengthens and secures the Hopewell network