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Lemon Grove School District

San Diego County, California

History

“Cox Business was the perfect fit for our Connected Learning Community, and our partnership with them has been key to making it a reality.”
Darryl LaGace - Director of Information, Lemon Grove School District

Services Provided: Virtual Private Network (VPN) Cox Optical Internet T-1 Telephone Access" TO "Services Provided: Virtual Private Network (VPN), Cox Optical Internet, T-1 Telephone Access

Located near San Diego, Lemon Grove is a low-income community where English is a second language for 17% of the students. The Lemon Grove school district consists of 4,600 students in grades K-8. To improve student achievement, the district wanted to provide computer technologies to students at home. But only 16% of students currently had home computers, and only 7% of those had Internet access.

Solutions

Lemon Grove School District and Cox Business worked together to create a private education network (VPN) called Project LemonLINK that connects schools, homes and city government facilities. The school provides centrally housed educational software and content that can be accessed from any computer hooked up to the network, at school or at home. Cox provided a dedicated fiber-optic connection between the network and Cox's hybrid fiber coax (HFC) plant that links the homes to the district's Internet. Cox Business also provided 20Mbps of filtered, managed access to the public Internet and 5 ISDN T-1 lines to handle the district's telephony needs.

The network provided enough bandwidth to support a full duplex Ethernet connection up to 100Mbps from the district office to the schools and other remote locations. The school district, in conjunction with Cox Business, provides Internet services for other city agencies, which offsets its costs. The unique design and robust platform allowed the network to do all the work, so the software could run on affordable, scaled-down PCs. This allowed the district to deploy more computers in the classrooms, and reduce the student to computer ratio to 2:1. Cox Business also worked with the district to create an affordable computer package for students to use at home.

Results

Thanks to Project LemonLINK, the district was able to implement a technology-rich curriculum that helped improve students' motivation to do well in school. In recent studies, all Lemon Grove schools rated at or above the state average in a statewide ranking. Three of the schools ranked among the top 15 most improved in San Diego County. Nearly 40% of at-risk middle school students posted gains of as much as 2 years' growth in reading and math in the first 6 months of the program. The elementary schools in Lemon Grove achieved the greatest 2-year improvement of any district in the state.
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