Several of the buildings and many of the students in the Mineola School District will be getting updated technology equipment after the approved the next year’s worth of purchases in the district’s multi-year plan through BOCES.
The district currently employs a , replacing everything bought in year one (2007-08) during year six (2012-13). The amount expiring this year from the purchases made in the first year is $81,278 and will ensure that the budget will continue to not exceed $512,000. The for students is pegged at $50,000, leaving $30,000 without an increase in the budget.
“What we’re trying to do in every K through 4 classroom is to have a computer center for every classroom,” Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler said during the June 6 meeting of the board of education at the . “The idea is children can cycle through their centers and do work with the technology.”
Some of the upgrades include putting wireless technology in Hampton and Meadow and having an interactive whiteboard in every room. Dr. Nagler said the district is “pretty much done” in terms of all the wiring at , while would be tackled in the summer. is already wired and has student centers but those computers would will be enhanced. In the middle school every student is scheduled to receive an iPad, so there is no need for centers.
The list of purchases is as follows:
- new computers at Hampton Street and Jackson Avenue Schools
- new Smartboards for kindergarten rooms – the district will be reusing the 15 board from the first floor at Willis Avenue, necessitating the purchase of only 3 more so every K and pre-K class has a board.
- projectors for the Smartboards
- speakers for the boards – in the first round boards at the high school were missing speakers
- 40 wireless access points for wi-fi access for iPads – “We’re looking to be a little in the overkill department to make sure we have connectivity in that building,” Dr. Nagler said of the middle school, “especially with the old, thick walls.”
- Also, 54 newer computers from Willis Avenue will go to Meadow Drive
The entire plan will help move the district down the path of according to the superintendent, who pointed to – Success Maker in kindergarten, Compass Learning in Jackson (2-3) and E-Spark – as examples.
“The last 2 years’ purchases have really had a tremendous effect from pre-K to seven,” Dr. Nagler said. “We’re proving that we’re leading the way in pre-K to seven, how .”
All three of the programs individualize work for students taking scores from NWEA and tailoring work for students based on their skill level.
“Not only would I like to see that happen in centers in a classroom, but I’d also like to see that happen for homework,” the superintendent said. “I would like our homework to be focused on where children are.”
He added that he would also like to see differentiation through technology happen during class time as, with four computers in a room, teachers can cycle children through the center during a block of time.
“The programs we’re talking about, if they go to log on to a computer in a center, it will give them their work. Once they log on and put in a username ID, even though it’s a shared computer with the whole class, they get their individual work.”