By Naomi Hatch
Kent Drugge, who is in charge of technology for the Snowflake Unified School District asked the district governing board Oct. 10 to approve infrastructure upgrades and replacement of teacher computers. Following his presentation, the board granted approval for the upgrades.
“One thing we know to be true is we cannot function without technology and technology costs money,” said Drugge.
He explained that the Apache County Consortium has been doing a great job in helping the district with technology upgrades, then made a PowerPoint presentation showing diagrams of the networks for each school and other offices in the district.
The school network consists of more than 80 Cisco network switches, which have seen few updates over the past 10 years. Drugge noted that they would like to start a program of upgrades and this would be the first stage of replacements.
Upgrades would include updating switches at the data center and the main distribution points at each campus, which is basically the backbone of the network. There would be approximately eight new switches replacing 13 old switches at a cost of approximately $32,000.
Drugge said that teachers are using Windows XP computers, which will reach their “end of life” and be obsolete on April 8, 2014, so Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, posing risks to the network.
The new computers would be Windows 7s, which have more advanced video graphics and memory, and would enhance the teachers’ experience using projectors, smart boards and Beyond Textbooks. They would also include updated Microsoft Office.
The cost for teacher computer replacements is approximately $35,000, and the district would replace the Snowflake High School and Snowflake Junior High School computers this year and the remaining computers next year. Drugge said they would change out the computers during fall break.
He then surprised everyone with a computer that is approximately 4”x6” and would save the district money because 20 of the little computers can run for the same cost as one of the standard computers. “It’s the next thing we’re going to be looking at,” said Drugge.
The cost is $800 for each computer and had nothing to do with the proposal made at the board meeting, but you could see the excitement as Drugge passed the computer to the board members and principals in attendance.
Drugge said that presently they are not set up for these computers, but he is working toward that.
The board unanimously approved the proposed technology upgrade of infrastructure and teacher computer replacements.
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By Naomi Hatch