New district technology

By on December 28, 2011

By: KIMBERLY MARSELAS Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

Cocalico School District’s board of directors last week approved two new technology contracts aimed at streamlining technology upgrades and cutting costs.

The first contract with Microsoft will allow the district to simultaneously upgrade all of its computers whenever new software is issued. In the past, the district has had to purchase an individual software license for each machine and make upgrades in stages. The contract is based on the school system’s number of full-time teachers, meaning that costs won’t necessarily increase if the district buys more computers.

David Davies, assistant to the superintendent for administrative services, said the five-year contract was valued at $123,000.

A second contract with IU 13 provides new cloud-based back-up services as well as security, maintenance and server assistance.

The board approved both agreements at a meeting on Dec. 19.

In other action that night, the board approved supplemental contracts with two special education providers. New Story, a Wyomissing school for autistic students, will provide classroom services. Superintendent Bruce Sensenig said the staff specializes in applied behavior analysis.

"Students who are going there need that kind of support," Sensenig said, adding that the district would pay per-day for students to attend. New Story will be used instead of a program in Malvern.

Another contract calls for a middle school student with specific needs to attend a program in the Ephrata Area School District, instead of at the I.U.

"We’re breaking away from the IU," said Sensenig. "We’re all trying to find a much lower cost and still provide the services our students need."

Sensenig also presented principals from all of the district’s schools with Keystone Awards from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The awards recognize schools that made adequate progress on the state’s standardized tests two years in a row.

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