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Schneider Electric presents $25,000 to Woodland Hills as annual IT Makeover Contest winner

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Schneider Electric presents $25,000 to Woodland Hills as annual IT Makeover Contest winner
Andrew Chiappazzi

The Woodland Hills School District recently received $25,000 on behalf of Schneider Electric as the winner of the company's annual APC K-12 Makeover Contest. The award allowed the district to relocate its data center and make several upgrades to its IT infrastructure.

Schneider Electric, the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announced Woodland Hills School District (WHSD) as the recipient of the $25,000 APC K-12 Makeover Contest to update its IT environments to best support the learning experience and ensure continued student success. With the funds, the district relocated its data center to a larger, more secure room, replaced its open frame rack with a secure enclosure and updated existing legacy Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units.

The pandemic sent a shockwave through educational institutions as they were forced to shift to a virtual setting, and this environment continues to evolve. As K-12 schools and districts build for the future, today's classrooms must be designed with innovative curriculum, interactive learning, and student engagement in mind–and have technologies that enable, enrich, and support the modern learning experience.

Dr. Daniel Castagna, Superintendent, Woodland Hills School District said, "The Woodland Hills School District is truly grateful for the recognition from Schneider Electric and the APC K-12 Makeover Contest. Infrastructure is a challenge for every school district, especially one of our size. The updates to our IT department through this award will improve our efficiency and security. It is partnerships like these that help school districts thrive, and we could not be more appreciative of everyone involved."

"The last few years have been tremendously difficult and straining on every school district in the country, even well-resourced districts are finding these challenges to be quite daunting," said Shannon Sbar, NAM Vice President of Channels, Schneider Electric. "When we can step in and help, even in the smallest way, it is very rewarding. We look forward to working with Woodland Hills School District not just now, but for years to come."

With their more modern and secure equipment, WHSD prioritized additional investment in new switches for the rack and refreshed older UPS units in areas of need. CCL Technology, a Schneider Electric partner, worked closely with WHSD to deliver:

  • 10 Rack-Mount APC Smart-UPS units with Network Card (SMT2200RM2UNC)
  • 2 Rack Power Distribution Units (AP9562)
  • 1 12" APC NetShelter Cable Management, Power Cable Ladder (AR8165AKIT)
  • 1 APC NetShelter SX Rack Enclosure (AR3347)

"Like a lot of districts over the last couple of years, our focus has been on making sure our students have access to the technology they need in order to learn from wherever they need to be," said Johnathan Kim, Director of IT, Woodland Hills School District.  "But we also needed to be able to make sure the programs and services our students and staff need to access remotely are safe and reliable. The generosity from Schneider Electric means we're able to provide a more secure location for our data center, gives us much more reliable power to our networks, and has helped us modernize the entire system." 

With the upgrades, WHSD's new equipment is now protected from environmental conditions and vulnerabilities and will provide more reliable power to connected devices. Further, a reliable battery back-up capacity will supply power through outages or shut down systems before anticipated failure, while an advanced dynamic battery management enables them to replace batteries before the unit fails.

The UPS units are also SmartConnect-enabled, giving the IT team more visibility into unit status. Through this remote monitoring interface, the IT team can now receive automatic notifications, firmware updates, and advanced support to ensure a consistent learning environment for their students. Finally, the network management card will allow the IT team to securely connect and control individual Smart-UPS units from a web browser, command-line interface, or SNMP.

Woodland Hills School District (WHSD) is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and serves 12 municipalities in the Pittsburgh area. The district has some 4,000 K-12 students in five schools, as well as an online academy for remote and hybrid learners, and a summer educational camp for K-5 students.

The 2023 contest will open in January. Enter the Schneider Electric APC K-12 Makeover Contest by submitting a picture or video at k12makeover.apc.com.