Technology at the Hillsboro City Schools is ahead of the curve compared to other area school districts, technology coordinator Eric Hennison said during a presentation to the school board Monday.
“I’d say for a district our size we’re pretty good to ahead of the curve, compared to other districts,” Hennison said when the board asked how Hillsboro stacked up technologically compared to other school districts. “I feel very good where we stand compared to other districts. I feel very good about where we sit at the moment.”
Hennison was at the monthly board meeting to present an overview of the district’s technology accomplishments this school year.
Some of the things Hennison highlighted in his presentation included:
• The district purchased 350 new Chromebooks to spread across 14 carts, bringing the district to its goal of a fleet encompassing one cart per teacher team overall in grades K-7, with a few spares to be used as needed. That also put the district at one dedicated cart per classroom.
• With the high school campus system failing (it was installed when the school was built 10 years ago) the district decided to overhaul the systems at both the elementary and high school/middle school campuses. The overhaul of the high school/middle school system was completed during fair week last year. The elementary switchover took place during winter break.
• Transitioning the high school/middle school campus to a new wireless network is in progress to better meet the density needs and throughput needs of the devices on the campus. The new system gives the technology department better control and performance insight than the former system. The old access points will be moved to the elementary campus in the spring for better performance where the throughput and configuration flexibility demands are not as high.
• The high school/middle school campus is being transitioned over to 1080p full HD networked cameras as time allows. The new system has much greater visual detail and also features an interface that is more intuitive for administrative and support staff use. The existing camera system will remain functional during the transition.
Hennison said the district now has motion activated cameras in areas like the entrances to restrooms, and many other locations throughout the campus, to better monitor issues the district has had in those areas. He said the cameras can store information for one to two weeks, depending on the amount of footage coming from all the cameras.
He said the district has analogue security cameras outside the building, and that those will be converted to HD cameras, probably sometime in the summer. Hennison said the district wanted focus on areas of student activity inside the building first.
The district has approximately 1,900 Chrome devices operating each week, Hennison said.
“We’re definitely not a district that has fallen behind technologically,” board president Bill Myers said.
In other news from the meeting, the board approved the school calendar for the 2018-19 school year. Thanksgiving break runs Nov. 21-23, winter break runs Dec. 24 to Jan. 4 and spring break is April 19-22.
Superintendent Tim Davis said the district staff was given three calendar options and that the one approved by the board was the one the majority of the staff requested.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]