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Community Academy Public Charter Schools

Children from the Community Academy Public Charter Schools using computers

When the Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter Schools (CAPCS) began receiving broadband services from DC-Net in September, 2012, they were looking to better use technology to fulfill their mission of helping elementary and middle school students develop in all aspects of learning—from critical thinking to mathematical reasoning and scientific inquiry.

“Technology is playing an increasingly larger role in all aspects of our operations,” said Wesley Harvey, Director of Operations and Financial Services, at CAPCS. “It enables us to streamline our internal systems, improve our response time, and reduce costs. Some of the biggest gains have come from the integration of technology into our academic program.”

So when the opportunity to receive reliable, high speed services from the District of Columbia became available through the federally- funded DC Community Access Network (DC-CAN) project, CAPCS used this to connect each of its four school campuses.

The DC-Net connection provides 60 Mbps Internet connection to the CAPCS main campus (Amos 4 at 1351 Nicholson St., NW) and from there high speed access to its four other campuses (Amos 1, Amos 2, Amos 3, and the Butler Global campus), enabling CAPCS to significantly and cost-effectively increase its communication across campuses and to the Internet.

“The DC-Net solution enables us to provide our staff and students with a fast and reliable connection to the vast resources available through the Internet,” said Harvey. “It allows our teachers to bring global experiences and information to our students. Teachers and staff have access to the latest and greatest in best practices, research and instructional tools. DC-Net also increases the efficiency of our organization as we work collaboratively across our network of multiple campuses.”

CAPCS teachers are making more robust use of Discovery Streaming due to less buffering time. Students across every grade and every campus are being exposed to more streaming multimedia. Video communication tools such as Skype are used to connect campuses for training and professional development.

DC-Net is also saving CAPCS money while providing more bandwidth backed by a Service Level Agreement and 24/7 coverage.

“In the past when we had problems with the network, it would take days, in some cases weeks, to get them fixed, even after making multiple calls and opening multiple trouble tickets,” said Kyle Williams, CAPCS Director of Technology. “Now, with DC-Net, we are often alerted to problems before we are even aware of a disruption in service! Complaints and frustration have decreased markedly.”