Englewood Cliffs public schools system, based in Bergen County, New Jersey offers classes to children from K-8 grades. The school system consists of two schools, the North Cliff school serving grades from K-2 and the Upper school serving grades from 3-8. The school system utilizes cutting-edge technology to assist learning from the classrooms equipped with technology, the 1 to 1 computer tablet initiative to the 6th, 7th and 8th graders to upgrading to the best-in-class wired and wireless infrastructure needed to support the advanced technologies.


At a Glance:

Located in: Bergen County, New Jersey

Number of students: 478

Number of teachers: 39

Access-Points: Thirty three units of 3602i with the 802.11ac module and two units of 3602e

Switch and Controller: Ten units of 3850 Series switch, that offers 40 Gig of line-rate performance even with imix traffic. Wireless LAN controller functionality is run within the switch itself. The switches are deployed in stacks of two and the rest are single switches. The wireless controller functionality is operating on the main stack in each school MDF. Operating in the latest release IOS-XE 3.3.3

We talked to Gavin MacTaggart, the engineer from HighPoint and Scott Burrows, the head of IT at Englewood Cliffs around the deployment.

At the time of implementation the districts current 1 to 1 laptop initiative included 7th and 8th graders as well as all teachers. Our future goal was to extend that initiative all the way down to our 3rd graders. We were just about to roll out brand new Apple Macbook Air to be used by our 5th-8th graders. In order to accomplish this we needed to do some major upgrades to our network infrastructure to achieve our goal. It was very important for us to build a solid and reliable infrastructure before we deployed hundreds of brand new laptops. If our network couldn’t handle the load, the roll out wouldn’t be very successful.

We reached out to HighPoint based on their outstanding customer satisfaction and Cisco knowledge. The combination and flexibility of the 3850 series switches and 3602 access points were the right choice for us. It was perfect timing as Apple had just announced that their new Macbook Air’s had 802.11ac. Therefore, we opted to get the 802.11ac modules and make use of the increased speeds.

After having the system in place for a year, the network has been rock solid. Speeds and wireless coverage have drastically increased compared to the previous year. We will reach our goal for the 2014-2015 school year where every 3rd through 8th grader plus teachers will have a Macbook Air. Our mission is to be the most technologically advanced school district in the area and the Cisco equipment that we have implemented will help us reach that goal.

It’s always thrilling to hear about our customer’s successful deployment stories. To learn more about the Cisco Unified Access portfolio, visit www.cisco.com/go/unifiedaccess.


Jeevan Patil

Director, Product Management

Wireless Network