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Archive for Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lawrence school district proposes $1.8 million for technology upgrades

May 11, 2014

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Contact Journal-World education reporter Elliot Hughes: ehughes@ljworld.com

Students and staff in the Lawrence school district may soon have much faster and more reliable wireless Internet connections.

The Lawrence school board will be asked Monday night to approve $1.8 million in bond funds to upgrade the district's wireless Internet system.

Officials say the current network was installed in 2005 and would need to be upgraded in any circumstance. But there will be even more need in the future as classrooms shift to what is called a “blended” learning environment, which uses a combination of online resources as well as traditional teacher-led instruction.

The administration is asking the board to approve two contracts with Alexander Open Systems Inc., for the purchase of hardware, software and license agreements to install what is called the Cisco Cloud Wireless Solution.

Last year, voters in the district approved issuing $92.5 million in bonds, which included $6.5 million for technology upgrades.

Also Monday, the board will hear a report about possible changes to the attendance zone boundaries of the district's four middle schools.

Last year, the board established a Boundary Advisory Committee to look at growth patterns and enrollment projections throughout the district. That was prompted in part by unexpectedly high enrollment at some buildings on the first day of class this year.

Board president Rick Ingram said at the time that the district may need to adjust boundaries each year to prevent overcrowding in some buildings and under-utilization in others. If current growth rates continue, though, officials have said there may eventually be a need for at least one new grade school and one new middle school.

In other business, the board will recognize Anna Stubblefield, human resources director, and David Cunningham, director of human resources, legal services and policy, for 25 years of service.

The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the administration building, 110 McDonald Drive.

Comments

Richard Heckler 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Go for it. USD 497 must move forward always.

The Blended Learning application is a huge step forward let's get on with it.

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