$1.3 million tech update proposed for Hyde Park schools

Faster web, better phones eyed in upgrading for new school testing standards

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The Hyde Park School District is looking at coming up to speed.

At the board of education meeting Sept. 12, Director of Technology Forrest Addor proposed a $1.3 million tech update that would include faster wireless Internet, telephone upgrades, and new technology infrastructure throughout the district.

The upgrades are partly in response to a state requirement for computer-based testing from Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the consortium involved in measuring the new Common Core State Standards for schools.

The new Internet upgrades would replace and increase data switches, which is what allows devices to connect to the network, increase the district’s bandwidth from 1GBPS to 10 GBPS, modernize core equipment, and add the ability to change Internet providers.

All told, that would give the district 350 wireless access points and Internet throughout all the school and administration buildings. The district currently has only 25 wireless access points.

“In most buildings, staff need to go to specific locations to be in range of the wireless and to gain access to network resources with their wireless devices,” Addor explained.

In upgrading phones, Addor said he envisioned phones in every classroom and phones that had voicemail, PA connections, and 911 notifications.

To pay for the updates, Adorr proposed that the district use $594,387 of its current budget and a portion of its fund balance.

Addor is confident about the proposal. “I was pleased with the reception and the questions of the board,” he told The Observer.

At the board’s next meeting on Sept. 26, residents can listen to a presentation on equipment options for the district that would be linked to the upgrades.

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