Newton Public Schools Department of Information Technology and Library Services
To the Newton North Community (Faculty, Staff, and Students):
We know Newton North has been experiencing a number of network connection issues this year, and these disruptions have made work in the school more difficult. The IT department is working to improve the reliability and stability of the system through various hardware upgrades. While these upgrades are being completed, and to help mitigate some of the issues you may be experiencing, we recommend the following:
For those connecting to the wireless network with NPS accounts, please make sure you are using the nps-wireless network rather than the Visitor network. The Visitor network is designed to be a short-term network connection for those that do not have an NPS login.
Make sure you have downloaded and installed the appropriate certificate to your device. For most NPS-ISSUED devices, this certificate has been installed automatically. For PERSONAL devices, faculty, staff and students must manually install the new certificate. You can find the directions for installing the certificate here: Wireless Certificate Directions
Use Chrome or Safari as your browser. Firefox may require an additional security certificate to work properly.
Make sure your operating system is up to date. There are known issues with older operating systems connecting to new Wireless Access Points installed in the building.
While these recommendations may not completely solve network related issues for you, they will eliminate possible causes as we continue to upgrade systems and adjust settings. Below is more information about the work already done and work that will be done to network hardware.
Over the summer and into this year, there have been two major ongoing network projects.
Improved Web-filtering and Security
We upgraded our web content filtering system to keep our network in compliance with regulations that call for the district to filter content (see Children’s Internet Protection Act - aka “CIPA”), to improve filtering when accessing various websites (for example, filter malware and viruses from dubious sites), and to better secure our network traffic (improve data encryption for secure sites).
Because of the new filtering system, all devices must be installed with a certificate that allows you to avoid issues with external sites that report connections as not being secure or that block your ability to access these sites. In addition, our Visitor network now requires a password every time a user logs in. To avoid this login process, please use your NPS account to access the nps-wireless network.
This past summer all the wireless access points (APs) (antennas on the ceiling that send out wireless signals) were upgraded. The new APs can handle more traffic and have a stronger signal than the previous ones. These APs required some new network switches to supply the needed power to each unit, and in some cases, new hardwiring. This work was completed in September. Now, we need to replace the Core Switch on the main NPS Network which controls data sent to and from the APs. This work is scheduled for after school hours on November 7. We are also in the process of determining if we should replace an older core switch at Newton North to improve network functionality.
We will be continually monitoring network services and adjusting settings to improve reliability and stability. Please continue to report wireless issues to the appropriate staff in your buildings.