‘Tis the season — for WiFi hookups?

For many schools across Idaho, Thanksgiving week is a full week off — an appetizer of sorts for the longer Christmas/new year’s break.

Garry Lough
Garry Lough

But installing WiFi takes no holiday.

Education Networks of America is working with about 20 schools statewide to schedule WiFi hookups during the holiday breaks, said Garry Lough, ENA’s Idaho director of customer services.

ENA is supposed to install WiFi at some 200 high schools and junior high schools by March 15, the start of a controversial multiyear contract between the state and the contractor. Scheduling has been one of the obstacles; some schools only want installation done at specific times. But Lough says school officials and IT managers have been “awesome” about working during the holidays.

One such school is Vallivue High School outside Caldwell, which originally expected WiFi installation in October. ENA approached the school about allowing a walkthrough or other work during one of the holiday breaks, said Shane Schamber, the district’s director of technology. “We said we’re open to that.”

Last week — about three months into the WiFi project — Lough said ENA had completed installation at about 30 schools. However, he says the company is on schedule to complete the installation by the March deadline. (Here’s a link to our most recent story on the project.)

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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