No Connection: DeForest Area High School’s Internet Connectivity Complications

Students and staff at DeForest High School have reported issues with the Wi-Fi connection throughout the building impacting their schoolwork and abilities to teach.

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At DeForest Area High School in DeForest, WI, students, teachers, and administrators have reported experiencing difficulties regarding the Wi-Fi connection throughout the building.

After the shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a vast majority of classwork has transitioned from paper to utilizing Chromebooks and other devices for convenience. However, as the school building remains under construction due to numerous renovations, many new investments have been made to support the students and staff of the school, including the internet connection.

Kimberly Bannigan, the learning information systems coordinator at the District Office, reported that there are faulty systems in various regions of the building, resulting in slower connections near those access points.

“We did do some pre-ordering for access points for the new sections of the school building, so if those arrive, we’d make a swap with the older ones for the newer ones that don’t have the problem,” Bannigan stated.

With the continued impact on businesses due to reduced staffing as a result of the pandemic, companies have been on backorder for months, limiting the supply of particular products.

Although there are developments to improve these connection errors, there are many reports from students and staff that the internet connection is negatively affecting their ability to complete assignments and to instruct.

In a recent poll that was conducted, 92% of respondents, both teachers and students, have reported that they are experiencing difficulties regarding Wi-Fi. This connection has also prevented many students from being able to complete assignments and access documents.

“The poor Wi-Fi in the social studies department compromised my offered testing time for AP Gov. We were given 85 minutes, but I and many students couldn’t get on because of the Wi-Fi. The tech director had to come in and fix all of our computers one by one, leaving us only with about 20 minutes to take the full unit test,” Jack Smith, a junior at DeForest High School, reported.

“I had a project that I had to do last week, which required a fair amount of online research, and it was difficult for students to work on the project due to the Wi-Fi connection,” Timothy Wells, a business and finance teacher at DeForest High School, described.

The DeForest Schools technology department is currently working on resolving this issue in order to provide students and staff with adequate internet access. The network access points are unable to be updated due to the company’s inability to alter the firmware, making them unavailable for update without a new system installed.

As the District anticipates the arrival of the new access points, students and staff must work through these difficulties to the best of their ability at this time.