St. Joseph’s Collegiate readily adapts to safe learning and collaboration with AI-driven Juniper network

Technology is woven artfully into instruction at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, a Western New York high school known for academic rigor and service. An AI-driven network from Juniper took high honors as St. Joe’s tackled the dual challenges of keeping students safe and engaged while learning during the pandemic.

Overview


Company St. Joseph Collegiate Institute
Industry Education
Products used Wi-Fi AssuranceWired AssuranceMarvis VNA
Region Americas
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Customer Success At-a-glance

85%

Of students are learning in person

2X

Increase in number of devices connected to the network during the pandemic

Challenge

Academic achievement and engagement during a pandemic

Students everywhere are experiencing burnout from remote learning. But not the 600 teenage boys at St. Joseph’s Collegiate. With a decade of success using technology to improve learning outcomes, St. Joe’s was ready for an unprecedented pivot.

“The majority of our parents want their sons to attend school in-person,” says Steve Koniarczyk, director of technology at St. Joe’s.

The Buffalo, NY high school created a flexible learning environment that allows students to learn safely in the classroom and shift as needed to the home. That agility requires a strong foundation.

“We have greater digital dependence now that we’re in a Covid world,” Koniarczyk says. “Supporting distance learning at the same time as in-person learning requires a solid network connection.”

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Solution

Student sets up Wi-Fi after classes

“Our ‘aha’ moment with Juniper was the installation and deployment,” says Koniarczyk. “One of our work-study students helped our small IT department install the wireless network. We were up and running in a matter of days.”

Koniarczyk helmed the Juniper Mist portal, while the student climbed ladders and jacked up the scissor lift to hang Juniper Access Points in buildings and outside around the campus.

Simplicity is enabled by Juniper’s modern microservices cloud. Juniper Access Points work in conjunction with the Juniper Mist Cloud Architecture and Mist AI to optimize the network user experience while streamlining IT operations.

St. Joe’s relies on Juniper Networks® EX Series Ethernet Switches for its campus network and Juniper Networks SRX Series Services Gateway for firewall and internet connectivity.

“Having everything be Juniper is simpler to manage,” Koniarczyk says. “I can see the entire network from one place, from the switch interfaces to APs and client connections.”

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Outcome

Mobility enables Covid-safe learning

“With Juniper, we can provide a mobile, adaptable space for students and teachers to come together and collaborate in new ways,” Koniarczyk says. “We are using every square foot of our campus like never before, which is possible because we have wireless coverage everywhere on campus.”

Stunning touchscreen displays help teachers bring lessons to life both in the classroom and at home. Students can spread out and move around easily, whether they’re doing chemistry experiments, writing papers, or building robots in the maker space. Teachers and administrators can collaborate from anywhere.

Beyond a better learning experience, AI-driven operations streamline troubleshooting. Juniper Driven by Mist AI™ immediately pinpointed DHCP issues that were behind longstanding user connectivity complaints. It was a quick fix once the root cause was revealed.

Ultimately, an AI-driven network from Juniper freed up Koniarczyk. “With Juniper, I can focus on work that directly benefits students and teachers, like teacher training and support,” he says.

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" There’s no doubt that having Juniper wireless throughout our campus has helped us return to school in a safer manner. "
Steve Koniarczyk Director of technology, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute

Published March 2021