March 22, 2012

SCR-I to Spend $40,000 on Computer Upgrades

Continued transitioning of state-based testing systems to computer-based formats has forced the Scotland County R-I School District to undertake a technology upgrade.

The board of education voted 7-0 at the March meeting to enter a three-year lease purchase agreement through the bank of Kirksville to finance approximately $40,000 worth of technology upgrades for the high school computer lab.

Superintendent Dave Shalley indicated the district will purchase 30 new "thin client" workstations for the computer lab in the library. The lab serves as the primary testing center for the district.

"With the state transitioning to online testing formats, our current computer lab was falling behind the standards," Shalley stated.

Not only will the project upgrade the technology to meet the state requirements, but it will allow the district to double the number of computers available for students from 15 to 30.

In addition to the computers and the main server, the purchase agreement also included new workstations.

The district decided to enter a lease purchase agreement to allow the cost of the new computers and furniture to be divided between three budget years.

"We normally look at these types of agreements to help spread out the cost across the years in which the technology will be used," Shalley stated. "We had not upgraded any computers over the past two budget years."

The district elected to utilize the thin client workstations, which run off a centralized server, to minimize software upgrade requirements. Instead of making changes to 30 individual machines, the system allows the technology department to make all necessary upgrades to the main server only. The system also is expected to generate energy savings through improved efficiencies.

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