Nuts & Bolts: IT infrastructure upgrades

As our world becomes increasingly technology dependent, it becomes even more necessary for students to utilize educational technology to become successful citizens. Educational technology goes beyond using a tablet or smartphone for instruction; classroom spaces must allow students to easily collaborate, communicate and think critically – the essence of 21st century learning. A reliable, secure infrastructure is necessary to meet these needs.

Designed and implemented almost 15 years ago, the district’s computer system and network infrastructure has reached the limit of its capabilities and is now struggling to meet the demand of our students, faculty, staff and mission critical applications. With the district moving toward an internal 1:1 device/student model and the growing necessity of enhanced technology-based security, an imperative need has been created for a reliable, high performance, secure, managed network system to fully support our students’ 21st century education.

Under the Capital Improvement Project, the District Computer System will be overhauled with new, upgraded network switches, wireless coverage will be expanded in all buildings with the installation of an entire, new wireless network system to support curriculum initiatives that include utilizing district, student and staff mobile devices. In addition, new cabling throughout the district, allowing for faster data transmission speeds, will improve computer network performance as a whole.

With the installation of a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone system, district-wide communications and security will be improved and enhanced. The VoIP system will replace the existing telephone system whose reliability has been severely diminishing over the years.

The district has been allocated approximately $1.3 million by New York State through the Smart Schools Bond Act, which was approved by voters in 2014 to provide school districts with funding for new educational technology and infrastructure improvements.