MCCSC board discusses new technology, ISTEP scores



Monroe County Community School Corporation is pushing to put iPads and other educational technology in every student’s hands.

MCCSC board members met for a work session Tuesday to discuss changing the technology infrastructure of schools in the district.

Superintendent Judy DeMuth said the existing structures that kept district schools connected to the Internet can’t keep up with technology use.

Because MCCSC is planning to start a one-to-one program with one iPad or other device for each student, the district has to update its existing wireless networks.

“As we add more devices, that’ll just bog the system down even more,” DeMuth said.

The project is expected to cost $1,935,323 total.

That includes $200,000 for software and $15,000 for network training , as well as costs for hardware.

The money will come from loans from the state, textbook rental fees and bonds issued for ?fundraising.

Older wireless access points would be removed from the high schools and repurposed for MCCSC elementary and middle schools.

Because planners predicted more Internet use in the high schools, new devices will be ordered for those schools to install a wireless network denser than the current ?infrastructure.

MCCSC Director of eLearning Strategies Mike Watson presented the design for the new networks and a timeline for rolling out the one-to-one program.

“We’re looking at a very aggressive timeline because we need to get these resources to kids,” Watson said.

In the proposed timeline, hardware for the high school networks will be ordered this month, he said.

High school staff will meet October through December to decide what software and devices will be best for the One-to-One program at their schools.

Ideally, the high school devices would be ordered January through February, while the new network is being tested at the high schools.

By May, they hope to implement the One-to-One program for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The board also discussed district A to F grades and ISTEP scores.

Board members expressed frustration about the grading system, which will change this school year when new ISTEP tests are rolled out.

“This year, for the first time, there was a confidence in how it was calculated,” DeMuth said. “Now, it’s all going to change.”

But, she added, she’s proud of the staff, students and parents for earning a three-peat, the third year in a row MCCSC earned an A grade overall.

Director of Secondary Education Jan Bergeson announced at the public meeting that Bloomington North and South high schools also earned A grades. The Academy of Science and Enterpreneurship, she said, ?earned a B.

“We have to take great pride in what we have done,” DeMuth said. “And in how that was sustained.”

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