Picayune School Board met Tuesday to discuss plans for updating the district’s wireless network.
According to Network Administrator, Jason Wheat, the current network can not handle the district’s needs. Eight years ago, when the network was installed, there were only a handful of mobile devices throughout the district; today there are close to 3,000 mobile devices being used daily in the schools making connecting to the out of date network an ongoing issue.
“We put this wireless in before the iPhone was even invented,” Wheat said. “It’s problematic to say the least trying to put that many devices on something that was never envisioned for it.”
The overall goal of the project is to create an access point in every classroom across the district to make it easier to connect mobile devices to the network and cut down on cabling issues.
District Technology Coordinator, Fred Parker, explained to the board that whole project is estimated to be $226,523. However, the district has applied for an E-Rate program from the Universal Service Administrative Company, and if approved the program will cover 85 percent of the project costs, leaving the district responsible for the other 15 percent.
“This worked out really well for us,” Parker explained. “We got really good prices on the this.”
The district has never had an E-Rate project be denied, Wheat explained. However due to the high demand of E-Rate projects it could be end of summer before the project is approved.
Also during the meeting West Side Elementary Principal, Carey Wilder, recognized their newest Hall of Fame members. Hall of Fame members must have been "Tricked out Gators" during the school year which means they had excellent attendance, obtained 80 percent or higher in iReady, and scored all As, Bs or S on their report cards. These new Hall of Fame members were Braylen LaFontaine, Samuel Shroder and Brooke Rouse.
Lastly the Board approved Exceptional Education IDEA and Preschool Amendment for Fiscal Year 2017. Director of Special Education Office Diane Wise said this is extremely important to help students with cognitive disabilities stay in school. Wise also stated that her office has struggled maintaining personnel and funds. The Board thanked the three students for all the hard work they put in this year