As usual the initial ‘back to school’ rush has calmed down quickly and everyone pretty much has what they need. We’re still fairly busy though dealing with the day to day things. Small problems here and there, equipment breaking, people requesting slight changes etc. This keeps us hopping from building to building. As I’ve said before, every year we have more technology being used in the district. Our systems are pretty stable and our staff and students much more comfortable with it all, so a lot of our task is just fixing the little stuff to keep everything moving along.
Erate is a Federal plan that helps pay for schools to be connected to the Internet and for networking hardware such as switches, cabling and wireless access points (WAPs), paying up to 70% of costs in our case. The current 5 year round of funding is coming to a close this year and we haven’t been told whether it will continue, so we’re being encouraged to make the most of the remaining funds, with the State offering a competitive grant to help towards the portion that Erate doesn’t cover. We intend to apply for that State grant to help cover new cabling for access points in the primary school portables, new access points for every classroom in the primary school (it currently only has a few in the hallways, not enough for projected usage when it’s a K-4 school), as well as a slew of upgrades to older switches and access points in the other buildings. We’ll know in a month or two whether we will receive the State’s grant, if not we may scale back the upgrades while still ensuring that the primary school has the wireless density it will need.