Like many districts and schools this summer, Kansas-based Shawnee Mission School District is making back to school plans and gearing up for the possibility of continued virtual learning. To prepare for their new normal, Shawnee Mission is adjusting their district calendar for more professional learning, installing sanitizing stations in schools, and purchasing a filtering solution to facilitate safe learning—on and off campus.
To gauge the needs of stakeholders for a new filter, Shawnee Mission surveyed parents and staff, finding some of the top priorities to be:
- Prioritizes efficient and reliable student internet connection
- Difficult for students to bypass
- Filtering is required while devices are away from school
In order to best meet the needs of their staff, students, and parents, Shawnee Mission explored solutions providers, narrowing down to their final two options – Lightspeed Systems and Securly. Shawnee Mission looked closely at each provider to choose the safest, most comprehensive option for their students and devices. After thorough review, Shawnee Mission chose Lightspeed Systems over Securly.
PRIORITIZES EFFICIENT AND RELIABLE STUDENT INTERNET CONNECTION
Coming off a filter that required everything to proxy back to the district’s network, Shawnee needed a solution that could provide a safe learning experience, while also avoiding network bottlenecks. While other solutions proxy all traffic back to the school network, Lightspeed’s Smart Agent filtering approach provides easy SSL decryption without the hassles of proxies and PAC files. By utilizing a cloud-based approach that doesn’t drain district resources, SMSD found that Lightspeed could provide the best potential for reliable and efficient connectivity.
DIFFICULT FOR STUDENTS TO BYPASS
Since devices cycle between home and school – and could spend even more time at home with students for virtual learning – Shawnee recognizes the importance of secure filtering. In selecting a new filter, they wanted to ensure that students couldn’t circumvent protections, a problem the district ran into in the past. Lightspeed fit the bill, with secure Smart Agents that are installed on the device, and that students can’t remove.
FILTERING IS REQUIRED WHILE DEVICES ARE AWAY FROM SCHOOL
With virtual learning at the forefront of their plans, Shawnee chose Lightspeed because of how much it provides beyond remote filtering. A remote filter may not be hard to come by; however, Lightspeed’s cloud-based, multi-OS remote filter – complete with remote reporting, AI student safety monitoring, custom YouTube controls, hierarchical customization abilities, and more – is one-of-a-kind. In addition to the comprehensive filtering capabilities, Lightspeed’s tools for remote data reporting on ed-tech efficacy and AI classroom management for on or off campus learning solidified Shawnee’s decision.
As a company, Lightspeed Systems has always been on a mission to be innovators for students and schools, and as the need for student safety evolves, so do we. Shawnee Mission School District is one of over 28,000 schools trusting Lightspeed Systems for online student safety. Make sure you head into the fall with a trusted partner ready to adapt alongside you.