Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 15, 2013

CISD approves tech upgrade

New Data Center, wireless service at high school coming

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — The Corsicana Independent School District Board of Trustees took a major step forward in improving technology in the district with its approval of a $776,000 technology upgrade Monday.

Dr. Joe Young, Deputy Superintendent, gave trustees an overview of the plan at the board’s monthly meeting Monday. The project, already in the district’s budget, will provide essentially a complete overhaul of the district’s communication capabilities, with a new Data Center at the heart of the system.

“Our goals are to get technology to students in the classroom and improve student achievement,” Young explained.

The CISD recently upgraded some 375 computers in the district, and the next step approved Monday will be a dramatic improvement of the computer “infrastructure,” he explained.

Infrastructure — including servers, routers, and switches — had not been addressed in several years, he said.

“Just like cellular has gone from 2G to 3G to 4G LTE, so has computing. We have not kept up,” he said.

New servers, data switches, routers, upgraded cabling, and the addition of wireless Internet at Corsicana High School are highlights of the plan. With the district’s eighth graders now using iPads in the classroom, carrying that technology to the high school will now be possible with the wireless project, he said.

“We developed a plan that is sustainable, has a cycle, and is already in the budget,” Young said.

Young explained that the vendor, Cisco, will make use of some existing facilities that are compatible, while replacing older technology with new to bring the full power of the new Data Center to each campus and administration location in the district.

“This allows us to do a huge, huge project immediately,” Young explained, with the five-year lease purchase agreement with Cisco.

Young said the interest costs of the project — about $19,000 — are coming back to the district in the form of a $22,000 discount the district is getting in the package.

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By Bob Belcher/ Daily Sun Staff Writer

School Board honored

With January being School Board Month, trustees were presented with a gift Monday - a Corsicana Tigers flag that had been flown over Tiger Stadium. The flags were encased in a frame with a plaque of appreciation to each trustee.

Superintendent’s contract extended

Trustees voted Monday to extend the contract of Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost through the 2017/2018 school year. Board President Kerri Anderson-Donica praised Frost’s performance as the district’s leader; Frost credited the work of her staff members for the success of the district.

ESC 12 Snapshot report presented

Dr. Marti Shaner presented the district’s plan to address findings by the Education Service Center’s “snapshot” report on the district. Communication with staff and parents, monitor and implement needs assessment and planning process, continue implementation of CSCOPE, continue to explore competitive salary options, and ensure assessment and benchmark data is monitored throughout district were among the recommendations. A plan of action is to be submitted to the TEA in March, Shaner said.

2013/2014 School Calendar adopted

Trustees approved the school calendar for next year, with school starting on Aug. 26, 2013.

Polling place changes made

Two polling place changes for CISD elections were approved by trustees. Precinct 308 will be moving to Winkler Masonic Lodge, and Precinct 306 will be moving to Retreat City Hall.

Bond refunding approved

Trustees voted Monday to approve authorizing the superintendent and chief financial officer to pursue the refunding of 2004 and 2005 bond issues, a move that could save the district up to $4 million over the term of the bonds. A 180 day window of authority was granted to allow the district to take advantage of rates as they become available without having to wait for a board meeting.