Ogdensburg school plans several tech upgrades in 2017-2018
Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 4:37 pm

By THOMAS LUCKIE III

OGDENSBURG -- The Ogdensburg City School District plans to make numerous technological upgrades during the school year through the Smart Schools Bond Act Investment Plan for 2017-2018, which was approved by the Board of Education at Monday’s meeting.

Initially approved by voters in a statewide referendum held during the 2014 General Election, the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 authorized the issuance of $2 billion to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure to improve learning and opportunity for students throughout the state.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Technology Kevin Kendall provided a breakdown of the district’s plans during a public hearing held before Monday’s regular meeting.

“We’re looking at replacing older hardware as well as purchasing new hardware,” Kendall said.

The funds requested for the current school year total $839,899, while allocated funds for 2016-17 totaled $153,503. The total portion of the district’s funding was initially $2,264,871, which leaves $1,271,469 in unallocated funds.

High-tech security features account for more than half of the funds requested this year at a total of $469,304. Security upgrades include the purchase of 100 additional security cameras to allow for better coverage of the district’s school and athletic facilities, the replacement of 12 existing cameras as well as expenses for server and camera licenses.

Classroom technology purchases make up $335,595 of the funds allocated for the current school year. These purchases include 350 touch screen Chromebooks, 15 Clear Touch Interactive Displays, 100 desktop computers, 100 laptops, 25 Apple iPads, and other various items.

Kendall said the interactive displays will replace older, outdated Smart Boards. The outlined investment plan also noted that state assessment testing for grades 3-8 is expected to be computer based by the year 2020. Students in third and sixth grades will participate in computer based assessments this school year, while the district plans to add two more grades each school year until the transition is complete.

The purchase of a $35,000 core switch to upgrade the school district’s network infrastructure is also included in the plan. Kendall pointed out that the current core switch is about a decade old and in need of replacement.