Mt. Vernon Register-News

June 27, 2013

MVTHS approves new tech plan

By TRAVIS MORSE travis.morse@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON – The newly approved three-year technology plan for Mt. Vernon Township High School will help greatly in the transition to a new campus in 2015, school officials said.

Among other things, the document calls for upgrades and new software that will be compatible with the new building. The first two years of the plan cover upgrades at the current campus while the final year lays out advancements planned at the new facility.

The MVTHS Board of Education approves an updated technology plan every three years to outline the district's goals in this field. The latest one was approved June 17. The document is a requirement for schools to receive federal funding.

“The technology plan has been the backbone of all the advancements and successes we've had in the last few years,” said Superintendent Michael Smith. “It's a very important tool, not just to provide direction for the integration of technology (but for) funding also.”

The new plan calls for an expansion of the district's wireless capabilities, as well as “replacing, upgrading and adding” servers, Smith said.

For the wireless upgrade, the district has purchased a Cisco console, which allows for a more “seamless” wireless signal throughout the campus, said Robert Knutson, the MVTHS technology director. The new wireless system will be installed in mid-to-late July.

In addition, the district is upgrading its Internet content filter from a 100 series model to a 300 series model. This will help ensure that all Internet content at the school goes through a filter and that only “appropriate academic materials” are being viewed, Knutson said.

“There should be a noticeable improvement in performance,” Knutson said of the upgraded filter. “It'll be an increase in capacity.”

Also, starting in September, all freshman students will receive a Kuno 4 tablet device that they will be able to use throughout the school year. This is an expansion of an existing pilot program at the school.

Other advancements include a recent upgrade in the district's bandwidth, a plan to move all multi-core machines to a Windows 7 operating system, and the purchase of new copiers.

The goals outlined in the plan will help make sure the new MVTHS campus has greatly expanded technology, Smith said.

“We're basically using our existing campus to pilot technology for the new campus,” Smith said.