Chesterfield County Public Schools Fights Pandemic Problem with Citrix

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COVID-19 has forced schools around the world to think outside the box when it comes to educating students. And Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS) has risen to the occasion.

Leveraging digital workspace solutions from Citrix Systems, Inc., the district is providing the more than 5,000 students enrolled in its Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs with secure and reliable access to the systems and software they need to excel while learning remote.

“Meeting the needs of all students during the pandemic required Chesterfield Schools to identify a solution to extend specialized computer-based learning to the home environment,” said Brian Jones, Executive Director of Technology Services, CCPS. “Waiting until students could return to their CTE labs was not an option.”

A Flexible Approach

But the district realized it would face some unique challenges in finding the right offering. The STEM-based curriculum taught as part of the district’s CTE programs relies heavily on memory and compute-intensive software run on CAD stations set up in labs across 12 schools.

“This isn’t software that can be loaded onto your average PC,” said Achim Purdy, Network Manager, CCPS. “And without access to the high-powered machines on which it is run, students can’t effectively learn.”

Facing the same plight, many districts across the country opted to suspend their STEM programs until students can return to classrooms fulltime. CCPS chose a different route.

A Powerful Solution

Like the more than 400,000 companies around the world using Citrix digital workspace solutions to power the flexible work models that COVID-19 demands, the district chose to implement Citrix® Virtual Apps and Desktops™ Service and Citrix Remote PC Access™ to deliver a familiar virtual desktop from which CTE students can safely access all the resources they need to learn and a high-performance experience that enables them to excel from home.

And in less than two weeks, it had achieved its goal.

“With Citrix, students can quickly and easily connect to the CAD stations they use in our labs from their school-issued Chromebooks” Purdy said. “Everything looks the same and is delivered in a reliable way so they can just focus and do their best work.”

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