Schools upgrading technology infrastructure

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teachers and students in the Andalusia City School system are getting an early Christmas present – improvements to the information technology system that should facilitate more use of electronic devices by students, electronic textbooks, and online standardized and end-of-course testing.

The board accepted the low bid of $213,000 from Information Transport Solutions of Montgomery to upgrade the IT infrastructure in the oldest part of Andalusia High School. Because all three schools’ technology is routed through AHS, the improvements mean better technology for all Andalusia students.

Even better, half of the cost will be funded by a “charitable donation,” Superintendent Ted Watson said. He did not disclose the source of that donation.

“This will get us where we need to be for some time to come,” Watson said.

He said the project should be completed before Christmas.

The improvements are part of a five-year capital plan approved by the board Monday night. Other capital projects, aside from the completion of additions to Andalusia High School and Andalusia Elementary School in 2014, are:

• AHS roof, estimated at $50,000, in 2015.

• AES roof, estimated at $100,000, in 2016

• AHS renovations of Old Main in 2015, estimated at $500,000.

• Renovations for the Andalusia City Board of Education office, estimated at $100,000. Watson said he’s not sure if the improvements will be made at the board’s current office, or if it will be moved to the current site of Andalusia Middle School.

In other business, the board:

• Approved an early release day for Nov. 20. Students will be dismissed after lunch, and teachers will spend the afternoon working on strategies for meeting Common Core Standards.

• Moved Shena Odom from cafeteria assistant manager to manager at AES.

• Hired Amy NOrris as a cafeteria worker at AES.

• Hired Shanna Davis as a library paraprofessional at AES.

• Granted a leave of absence to Bettie Holmes, building service worker at AES.

• Granted permission to Barbara Peek, talanted and gifted program teacher, to take students on two overnight field teachers. Fifth grade students in the program will take a three-day, two-night trip to Space Camp in Huntsville. Students in third and fourth grades in the program will take an overnight trip to Atlanta where they will tour the CNN Center, the World of Coke, the Fernbank Museum, and spend the night in the Georgia Aquarium.