Independent school relies on fiber connectivity to support its emphasis on outdoor education

Albany, NY – September 29, 2020 – FirstLight, a leading provider of fiber-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud, and unified communications services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast, announced today that Windham Woods School in Windham, New Hampshire, has selected FirstLight to be its fiber provider offering Internet and unified communications services.

Now in its second year of operation, Windham Woods School offers a unique program for students from grades 1 to 10 with mild to moderate learning challenges and whose families are looking for a hands-on, dynamic educational setting. With a 250-acre campus including four miles of private trails, the school emphasizes outdoor education through hands-on learning. Classes have a maximum of 10 students, allowing teachers to truly differentiate their instruction for each child.

The school is built with energy efficiency in mind, and instructors incorporate the facility’s solar panel energy production and geothermal heating into their curriculum.

“We are a specialized school with unique programming that offers a variety of indoor and outdoor learning environments best suited for our students,” explains Matt Taffel, Assistant Head of School and Middle/Upper School Director. “Fiber connectivity is critical for any school, but with our institution, our students really need interactive technology to help them access the curriculum, while also making the classroom a modern, engaging, and exciting place to be.”

Each child experiences a course unique to Windham Woods focused on Engagement, Communication, and Organization (E.C.O.). “This class meets daily and is designed to help students navigate the ever-changing and often complex social norms inherent in today’s society,” says Taffel. “Technology is a critical tool in that mission.”

The school was so successful in its first year of operation, that it needed to double the size of its facility, requiring an addition complete with more classrooms and a water feature. In addition to requiring fiber connectivity, doubling the number of classrooms meant adding a dozen new phones, which they again turned to FirstLight to accommodate.

“We’re proud to play a role in Windham Woods’ important mission to provide education to children who learn differently,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, President & Chief Executive Officer. “Access to technology is one of the foundations that levels the playing field in providing opportunities to children of all abilities. We are excited to grow with Windham Woods as it evolves and continues positively impacting lives in the community.”


About Windham Woods

Windham Woods School offers a unique program for students and families looking for a more hands-on, dynamic educational setting. The team carefully reviews each child’s learning profile to ensure all academic and social needs are addressed in order to unlock the true gifts that live within each learner. Students grow and build confidence while becoming immersed in nature on a 250-acre campus.