CRCSD Students Lose WiFi Privileges


Sam Bloomquist

Cedar Rapids Schools have removed the WiFi that non-school devices can connect to.

As of the 2022-2023 school year, an open wifi network is no longer provided for students in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. The only internet in the building is a locked network that connects automatically and exclusively to school devices.

In previous years, WiFi had been provided for students to connect their phones to during the day. However, that network was removed after the CRCSD data leak.

“Ever since this summer, we have not had an open wifi network. This is true of all CRCSD buildings and was a district decision,” said Associate Principal Jessica Johnson. 

Following the cyber security incident this summer it was decided that an open network could no longer be allowed in the name of student safety.

“This decision was 100% security related,” Executive Director of Digital Literacy and Information Technology Craig Barnum said. “Given what happened last summer, we can no longer allow anonymous users and unauthenticated traffic on the district network.”

Some classrooms may allow students to use phones in place of Chromebooks if needed but without internet access that can be difficult. Despite this, the district can’t risk allowing anyone to connect to district wifi.

“We really need to know who is attached and what they are doing on the network,” Barnum said  “So, the open wifi that we had previously will not be coming back in the foreseeable future.”

Other solutions to this problem have been talked about but it is improbable that an open network will return to CRCSD schools any time soon.

“We have been considering ways to allow authenticated guest access,” Barnum said. “But this is proving hard to do in a secure, safe and unobtrusive fashion. So, any changes here will be way into the future, likely months.”