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School district makes technology upgrades | Herald Community Newspapers

Building Technology for the Glen Cove City School District, provided a comprehensive technology update during the May 22 School Board meeting. Her presentation outlined key progress and future plans to improve educational and operational efficiency across the district, focusing on energy efficiency, cybersecurity, and improvements funded by the Smart Schools Bond Act.
To promote sustainability and cost savings, the district has introduced smart plugs as part of an energy savings contract. The smart plugs installed in various buildings allow for the scheduling of the appliances’ power consumption, minimizing electricity consumption during off-peak hours, such as nights and weekends when the buildings are unoccupied. This initiative is a step towards reducing the district’s overall energy consumption and operating costs.
Another important development is the widespread upgrade to Windows 10 in nearly all of the district’s buildings. This move is designed to improve safety, productivity, and overall instructional quality. Safety and security have also been enhanced with the introduction of a new, AI-powered security monitoring system. This state-of-the-art platform is designed to improve the safety of students and staff across the district. Building managers and security personnel have been extensively trained to ensure effective use and management of the new technology, reinforcing the district’s proactive stance on safety.
To meet the need for modern printing and faxing solutions, the district plans to replace its aging Dell printers with new copiers at community locations over the summer. In addition, an e-fax solution has been purchased to replace traditional fax machines. This switch to a paperless, environmentally friendly alternative is expected to be both cost-effective and efficient, and align with the district’s broader sustainability goals.
The district will also implement multifactor authentication for all employees in the coming months. This additional layer of security is critical to verifying user identities and protecting sensitive data. The initiative is consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and ensures compliance with cybersecurity insurance requirements.

A key part of the update focused on the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014, which allowed the state to borrow up to $2 billion to fund technology improvements at schools across the state. It provides funding to improve educational technology infrastructure. The Glen Cove City School District was allocated $921,754, of which $169,500 is earmarked for private entities, leaving $687,323 for district projects.

“The funds are allocated based on enrollment data,” Policastro said. “That means 22.6 percent of Glen Cove City School District’s funds are given to non-public entities. The funds must first be spent from district funds, and after the money is spent, we seek reimbursement from the state.”

One of the main projects is the modernization of the district’s wireless internet infrastructure. The district plans to purchase 250 upgraded wireless access points to replace those installed in 2015. The current access points are struggling to cope with the increased number of devices and connectivity demands.

The new access points provide faster and more reliable internet connections, which are critical to modern educational needs.

This upgrade supports the district’s long-term technology goals and ensures that students and staff have reliable access to online resources. Policastro noted that faster, more reliable internet connections are critical, emphasizing that modern wireless access points can handle a greater number of connections as students and staff use multiple devices simultaneously.

“As the number of devices in schools continues to grow, upgraded wireless access points can scale to meet increased demand without compromising performance,” Policastro said. “Upgrading the wireless access points ensures that this long-term investment can support the district’s educational goals and technology plans for years to come.”

In addition to upgrading the wireless infrastructure, the district will invest in 200 new interactive display boards to replace outdated projectors. These new boards will greatly enhance the learning experience by allowing students to interact directly with the content. Teachers will be able to incorporate multimedia elements into their lessons to accommodate different learning styles and make lessons more engaging. This investment is part of a broader effort to integrate advanced technology into the classroom and prepare students and teachers for a technology-driven future.

Installation of the new wireless access points and interactive display boards, commonly referred to as smartboards, will occur throughout the year. Technicians have assessed the current state of technology in each classroom and prioritized replacement equipment as needed. Classrooms with the most outdated equipment and the highest frequency of repairs will be the first to receive new equipment. The district is coordinating with building and grounds facilities to ensure the necessary cabling and infrastructure is in place for the new installations.

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