Chippewa Valley OKs Another $1.3 Million of $89-Million Tech Bond for New Computers
Chippewa Valley Schools continues to upgrade its student and staff technology, with the most recent purchase of computers totaling $1.3 million.
When Chippewa Valley’s teachers and students return to school this fall, they will have another $1.3 million in new technology at their fingertips.
The district board of education unanimously approved a contract Monday with Netech Corporation for the purchase of $1,373,907 worth of new computers.
At this time last year, the board purchased some $3.3 million in computer equipment from Netech for the district’s elementary, middle and high schools.
“It’s exciting to work in a district where the public is so supportive of our students having access to the latest technology,” said Superintendent Ron Roberts, referring to the $89-million bond passed in February 2010 to upgrade the district's classroom technology.
This latest purchase will include replacement computers for staff at Shawnee Elementary School and the district’s middle and high school buildings as well as laptop carts for the career and technical education programs at Dakota and Chippewa Valley high schools.
Laptops carts, holding more than a dozen laptops each, have been common sights in classrooms and media centers throughout the district for the past 10 years. Because of their wireless capability, these carts can be plugged into the district’s network and the laptops upgraded with new software programs almost instantaneously.
These and other wireless technology purchases support the district’s move toward virtual desktops – a move that will change the way teachers and students interact with computers both in school and at home.
In May, the school board approved $5.5 million to ease the district into the era of virtual computers, where antivirus software is irrelevant, aging computers work like new and students and staff have access their school computers from the comfort of home.
After two years of research and testing in the technology department, the school board approved a $5,551,926 contract that would virtualize 3,000 of the district’s roughly 9,000 computers.
This “virtualization” is currently taking place and should be ready by fall 2012. Although it will affect computers across the district, students and staff won’t see many visual changes in their classrooms or computer labs.
When students return to school in the fall, they will still use the desktop computers and laptops they always have, but between 3,000 and 3,500 of them will be connected to the district’s virtual network.
By using this virtual network, older computers will work like new and the need for antivirus software on every desktop will be eliminated. When a student logs off their laptop or desktop, the computer will be virtually destroyed and another created when the next student logs on.
The final component of this "virtualization" will be remote access. By December 2013, students and staff are expected to be able to access their school computers from their home computers, iPads or smartphones.
With the exception of remote access, this portion of the project will be completed over the summer and ready for use in fall 2012. All of these purchases have been funded by the 2010 bond issue.