RESD schools now wireless; cost $1.1 million

February 22, 2018

CGRESD Technology Director Ken Chinevare presented results of recent technology improvements in the district.

CGRESD Technology Director Ken Chinevare presented results of recent technology improvements in the district.

By Pat Maurer

The technology age has truly arrived for students.

Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District Technology Director Ken Chinavare was at the Clare Board of Education meeting Monday evening with a presentation on the recently completed wireless infrastructure project.

The project replaced outdated wireless access points and installed additional ones totaling 678 in all the five local school districts – Clare, Farwell, Harrison, Gladwin and Beaverton.

The new wireless access project blankets the districts’ buildings making internet access for both students and staff more accessible than ever before, Chinevare explained with a power point presentation.

Chinevare said the project, now completed in all five schools, had a total cost of $1,144,101.49. The cost for Clare was $246,542.63.

He said a large part of the cost was covered with Universal Service Funds, raised through phone, and technology fees that everyone pays. For Clare, who received 124 new “AP’s, it meant that their share for the technology upgrade was 35.6 percent or $88,015.00, the highest of the five schools. The local share was determined by the amount of free and reduced lunches in each of the school districts.

Overall the USF Discount covered $854,031.71 of the five districts’ costs.

Chinevare explained the services offered by the CGRESD Technology Department – to provide “corporate level information technology to local school districts at very reasonable costs.”

Those services, he said, include management of fiber network; providing purchasing power for software and hardware; and a full range of technical support for

New Primary Special Education Teacher Caitlin Field.

New Primary Special Education Teacher Caitlin Field.

each of the schools.

Another presentation made by Clare Middle School Principal Steve Newkirk shared findings from the Accreditation Engagement Review that was conducted by the AdvancEd team January 30 & 31.

The review by a four-man team looked at and talked with students about what they are learning and how they are learning.

Newkirk said they do not have the results of the report because they have not been released yet, but they said they found that CMS has a “welcoming, family like atmosphere” and that the school showed that they value “continuing improvement.”

The team also reported on needed changes. The school needs “curriculum alignment” with teachers working together to develop lessons that relate to each other in the different grades; and that more technology should be integrated into lessons in the classrooms.

Newkirk said he was surprised to learn that CMS was one of only two middle schools accredited in Michigan.

In another matter, the BOE approved amendments to the 2017-18 budget which take into account the district cost for the fire; an unexpected increase in At Risk and Title funds; the recent purchase of two vans a truck, and a new bus; and the cost of roof replacement.

The amended budget for this year shows a total of $15,440,785 in expenditures and total revenues of $15,572.386, which will add almost a percentage to the fund balance which increased by $131,600 to a total of $2,484,761.

The only other action item on Monday’s agenda was the approval of new Primary Special Education Teacher Caitlin Field. Originally from Clare, she is a student at Spring Arbor University and is completing a Bachelor of Education in Special Education: Learning Disabilities and has certification in that and Elementary Education. She was a student teacher at Clare Primary School in second grade last fall.

In his report to the board, Superintendent Jim Walter II said two sections of the high school roof are out to bid, the roof over the gymnasium and the portion over the locker rooms. “We will re-bid the roof sections using different specifications this time and should have a bid for your approval in March,” he told the board.

He also said a pre-bid meeting for playground equipment updates was scheduled for Thursday the 22nd and the board would be voting on a bid award in March.

Other business Monday evening included:

*Recognition to new Eagle Scout Samuel Humphrey for his accomplishments.
*Administrative reports.
*Approval of bills totaling $265,625.37.

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