Milford schools

Cyber ​​Security, Smart Boards and Chromebooks Top Tech Demands for New Milford Schools

NEW MILFORD – Schools in New Milford aim to avoid any cybersecurity threat with a proposal to upgrade their technology system.

In the district’s five-year tech capital application, which totals approximately $ 478,000 for the 2022-2023 school year, the district’s acting director of technology Jaime Terry said that a way to prevent cybersecurity threats involves replacing firewalls on a regular basis when current hardware has reached the end of its life. .

“If you let it go, you are going to face security vulnerabilities,” she said.

To this end, it offers a high availability firewall at a cost of $ 70,000.


Another device related to security on the budget is called “hard tokens”.

This device would be provided to teachers so that before accessing their district mailbox, they would have to authenticate using this tool.

Hard tokens are estimated at $ 17,000 for 600 devices.

Terry also offers wireless controllers for $ 30,000.

“These controllers are the brains for bringing wireless to your district,” said Terry. “If these pass their end of life, there are security holes, but you also risk that your Internet service is not available to your students in their classrooms. “

For certain items of the technology budget, the district is eligible for an E-rate grant, a federal program that aims to ensure that schools and libraries have access to affordable telecommunications and information services.

Chromebooks

A demand for student Chromebooks under the five-year proposal is estimated to be around $ 204,000.

The district’s current Chrombooks all expire by 2024 in terms of lifespan and the district is “seriously low on inventory” of these devices, Terry said.

To this end, the district shared devices.

“Schools share the equipment of whatever is available to make sure that students are not left without a device, so that they can continue their education,” she said.

She added that device warranties have expired, which means repairs can take longer and be more expensive.

“If you wanted to put these devices under warranty for a year, it would cost around $ 95,000, which is over $ 300,000 if we wanted to put them under warranty until 2024,” she said. “I wouldn’t recommend this.”

Instead, she recommends starting a “refresh plan” from the 2022-2023 school year.

“The cost is around $ 200,000, but you buy a warranty with those and extend it for four years,” she said.

Families may have the option of purchasing insurance for their devices for themselves.

Technical packages, Smart Boards, projectors

Tech packs, which are used for kindergarten children and newly enrolled students, are listed in the plan for $ 39 each. Each student has a case, a mouse and a headset.

Neither the case nor the headphones can be reused if a student leaves school and returns the tech pack, due to the ongoing pandemic.

Additionally, Terry said the smart boards and projectors in all classrooms are in poor condition and should be replaced.

“This will be a very big project for your district and definitely a project that needs to be started,” said Terry, adding “it takes a long time to implement a project like this. “

She said these devices are at the end of their life. “If you go into some classrooms the visibility is very bad,” she said. “The screens appear white. It is very difficult to see what is actually on the screen.

Also, in the lower grades, the interactive touchscreen features of smart boards don’t work, she said.

On headlamps, bulb replacements are an ongoing need to supply within budget.

“The projectors are also old and are over ten years old, so they overheat,” she said.

To replace or repair these items, Terry recommends a “step-by-step” approach. The capital demand for them is $ 35,000, which would cover 15 boards to be replaced each year.

The project paves the way

Engineering desktops for Project Lead the Way, an engineering study program for students, are also a budget item.

“The engineering degree program uses industry-based software. This is powerful software that must have specific hardware requirements for the software to function properly, ”said Terry.

The total cost of replacing the labs is $ 75,000.

A detailed breakdown of the five-year technology capital budget is available on the New Milford Board of Education website. The entire New Milford school board will review the capital plan in January and make changes, if necessary, at that time.


Source link