Ogdensburg school district using $2.2 million grant for technology upgrades

pOGDENSBURG — City school officials will begin purchasing new computer hardware and security cameras in the coming months, paid for with a portion of $2,264,871 received through the state’s Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014./ppThe $2 billion bond act was approved by voters in a statewide referendum in November 2014. The initiative authorized the issuance of $2 billion of general obligation bonds to finance technology and related infrastructure improvements in schools across the state./ppOgdensburg School Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey said the district learned several months ago that it would receive more than $2.2 million in grant money for technology improvements. He said he expects the money to be parceled out over the next three to six years and to be spent on technology and security updates as needed./pp“This allocation will help the district stay current with technology and security features for the next several years,” Mr. Vernsey said. “This will also free up funds for other school-related programs since we will use this money solely for technology purchases.”/ppBeginning in the 2016-17 school year the Ogdensburg district is planning to begin spending a portion of the $2.2 million technology grant. Early investments will include $134,000 for improving Wi-Fi speed and capabilities within the district’s campus buildings and another $100,000 to purchase new laptops and laptop carts./ppIn addition, the district is planning a $400,000 investment in new security features that will include the purchase of as many as 100 cameras to improve coverage of the buildings and athletic fields./ppMr. Vernsey said the district has developed an initial three-year plan for using the money, but said he believes the $2.2 million could last as long as six years. /pp“We will begin purchasing hardware and security cameras this year,” Mr. Vernsey said. “Things like laptop carts will also be purchased.”/ppSchool officials say all of the technology upgrades will help position the district to not only better serve its students, but to provide better technology access to the greater Ogdensburg community as well./ppDistrict officials say a major goal is eventually offering 24-hour access to technology and digital content that will include opening district buildings on nights and weekends to facilitate community and parental involvement, and to afford all families access to digital content and Internet access./ppTo help accomplish the goal, the district has completed the installation of a wireless network on two out of three campuses, and will use the latest technology funds to complete installation of wireless connectivity districtwide, Mr. Vernsey said./p
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