Technology Replacement Plan Moves Forward
A multi-year, multi-million dollar plan to replace desktop computers and printers in every Huntington School District building, as well as in the central administrative offices is moving forward. The district is funding the first year of the program through regular budget appropriations, not via a bond issue.
"As discussed during the budget construction process, it is critical that we build our technological capacity to better prepare our students for college and career in the 21st century and to furnish our teachers with the ability to more effectively address individual student learning needs, as well as forthcoming state testing requirements," Superintendent James W. Polansky said. "I am particularly pleased that we are moving forward as planned in terms of upgrading and augmenting computer hardware across the district."
While most students are off during pursuing their favorite vacation activities, the district has been busy putting its plans in motion. "Over the last two weeks, the business office in conjunction with the technology department, started implementation of the district-wide technology plan," Assistant Superintendent Sam Gergis said.
The district utilized a New York State contract to purchase 400 Dell computers and 150 Hewlett-Packard printers at reduced rates. "The district placed an expedited request, with the goal of delivery within two weeks or the beginning of August," Mr. Gergis said.
District computer technicians began removing computers in the five elementary school buildings earlier this month. The units are being stored at Jack Abrams School.
All of the computers at Flower Hill, Southdown and Washington primary schools have already been removed. At Jefferson School, most of the existing computers have been removed with the exception of eight units that were left behind for an ESL summer program. Woodhull's computer lab units have also been disconnected and put into storage, except for some being utilized by the summer special education program.
"At the end of the district's summer programs, any remaining computers will be removed and sent to Jack Abrams School for storage," Mr. Gergis said. "The district is researching surplus companies interested in purchasing old machines, as well as reselling discarded machines in bulk through a government auction website."
Once the new machines are delivered, district technicians will begin the process of installing the equipment in time for the start of classes in September. "Due to the volume of machines ordered, Dell is providing technology specialists for a nominal fee that will assist in machine installation, disposal of cardboard and computer imaging within each classroom," Mr. Gergis said. "This will greatly assist the district staff with the timeline of the 'Year One' implementation."
Once this round of the project is completed, district executives plan to discuss use of the remaining "Year One" funds and determine if the replacement of equipment at J. Taylor Finley Middle School can be accomplished ahead of the original schedule. "The goal is at least partial implementation of the replacement plan for Finley's classroom and lab computers," Mr. Gergis said.
The remaining three years of the plan calls for the following:
Year 2: Replacement of 197 computers and 87 printers at J. Taylor Finley Middle School and where needed for district purposes at Jack Abrams School.
Year 3: Replacement of 464 computers and 198 printers in classrooms at Woodhull School and Huntington High School and the Finley computer labs.
Year 4: Replacement of 258 administrative and office computers across the district and network switches.