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Adair Schools take giant $549,678.65 leap forward in technology

And addition of over half-million dollar installation of Chromebooks & iPads, giving the district an ideal 1 device to 2 student ratio is just part of the technology transformation. Security is being beefed up, a better voice over internet protocol system will give better communications with great costs savings, and internet speeds have been greatly increased.
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By Shamarie Harper

It is an exciting time in the Adair County Schools right now. We are in the process of purchasing mobile computer devices in the form of Chromebooks and mini IPads that will create a 1 device to 2 student ratio across the district and completely rebuilding our computer network to support our needs currently as well as the foreseeable future. The 2016-2017 school year will be the dawning of a new day in Adair County Schools.

Superintendent Reed said it best "installation of the new fiber optic infrastructure and a 1:2 computer or device ratio per child, puts Adair County Schools out front and ahead of many districts in Kentucky. We are also adding high speed wireless access points in schools and classrooms all over our district so that students can learn anywhere they need to be and not tied to desks. When students and teacher return to school this fall, they will enter a whole new era for technology in our schools."

Largest investment in technology district has ever seen

It is the largest investment in technology the district has ever seen and the credit goes to our wonderful school board and their forward thinking. If you have a chance we hope the community will give them a pat on the back for a job well done. The total being invested including e-rate, local funds, KETS matching funds, and sales of surplus equipment, is a staggering half million dollars. The exact figure to date from purchase orders is $549,678.65 sources include E-Rate/KETS/General Fund/Avaya Buy-Back Program.

Technology Coordinator: Most rewarding time in her 20 year career

Adair County District Technology Coordinator, Carla Perkins, commented on the drastic changes taking place "During my 20 year tenure, I can think of no time that has been more exciting or rewarding for me as District Technology Coordinator. This is not to discount all of the good things that have occurred with technology in our schools over the years because there have been many. However, Mr. Reed's and the Board's commitment to technology, an improved budget that allows for more funds to be allocated for technology, and over $200,000.00 in e-rate funds have afforded us the opportunity to accomplish greatness in a short amount of time."

Now, ACES Tech Coordinator can say "Yes" to devices for whole classrooms

Over the years our district has been plagued with slow, unreliable network issues and teachers having to wait for access to mobile devices. There is nothing more frustrating than having innovative teaching ideas and being unable to bring them to fruition. No one knows this better than Adair County Elementary School, Technology Teacher and building Technology Coordinator, Alice Curry. When I ask Mrs. Curry about what the new ratio of devices to students would mean to her school her response was "Teachers at ACES use every technological device in our possession in classrooms every single day.

As School Technology Coordinator, teachers will call upon me and want a classroom set of iPads or Chromebooks to use in their classes and I have to tell them that there are none available for that day. Teachers WANT to incorporate technology into their lessons however there is not enough to meet the demand. Mr. Reed, our School Board and Administrators have made technology a priority for our district of which I am so very thankful!"

Core switches and Wi-FI has been replaced. Better coverage. Faster speeds

Mrs. Perkins also gave some insight in connection to our network infrastructure and other technology related improvements coming out of the funds, "we have replaced our core network switches and Wi-Fi system throughout the district for a robust, state-of-the art network that will support our technology devices for many years to come. Cabling has been installed in schools, as needed, to ensure all areas have Wi-fi coverage. Each school's fiber connection back to the district hub site has been upgraded for 1 GB to 10 GB for increased network speed and performance. The multi-mode fiber connection between the district technology hub site and Adair County Middle School is in the process of being upgraded so that all schools on campus are connected via single mode fiber.

In addition to these things, the first phase of security cameras is underway, which includes school-wide cameras at Adair County Middle School, a base camera system at Adair County Primary and Adair County Elementary, and external cameras at Adair County High School. Phase 2 of security camera installation will be completed this summer to include a complete system for Adair County High School and an addition of any needed cameras at Adair County Elementary and Adair County Primary.

Phone system replaced

The Board has approved the purchase of the necessary equipment to replace phone systems at Adair County Elementary, Adair County Middle and Adair County High Schools and upgrade the phone systems at Adair County Primary and the Board of Education for a districtwide Voice Over IP phone system. Voice Over IP will allow 4 digit dialing between all school extensions on campus, which will reduce the number of phone lines required to support the district. A Primary Rate Interface (PRI) line will provide 23 channels of access to phone lines to be shared by all schools to reduce the need for traditional phone lines. The number of phone lines will be significantly cut as we will only be required to keep one line for emergencies per building in addition to the required fire alarm or elevator lines. A districtwide voicemail system will be installed at the Board of education and caller ID will be available for all lines. The new phone systems will result in cost savings for phone lines, streamlined communication between buildings and staff, create a safer school environment, and free up time spent answering calls for receptionists to complete other needed tasks."

District Engineer Jason Rector summarizes updates and changes

District Engineer, Jason Rector, had the following update on the changes and where we are in the process "Being with the school district for many years now, I have seen so many things in the world of Technology grow and expand over the years which has enhanced and continues to enhance the educational process for students and staff. Sixteen years ago each school only having one computer with internet access in the library of each school via dial up connections when I first started working in the school system to today each classroom being wired for up to four student computers, one teacher computer and one phone connection. Recently just a few years ago we expanded with Wireless abilities within our schools to further expand the ability for more mobile technology usage building upon the basic fundamentals of engaging students in the learning process and I feel that most students when being able to utilize technology first hand enhances them in achieving greater and staying more focused in the learning process. Just recently we had our internet connection upgraded by the State Department of Education to allow additional things such as online courses to be offered to students and additional resources to be better accessed by Staff for instruction. Our district has just completed the installation of all new Network equipment to update our Network Infrastructure to better allow for expansion of wired and wireless devices across the district. We are currently planning the installation and implementation of a new VOIP phone system districtwide which will increase abilities for staff within the district to communicate without having to "tie up" an outside line as they will simply utilize an internal four digit "in house" extension when dialing to reach another district employee or school site which will permit more elimination of getting a busy signal when someone is attempting to reach a school."

Future just got a lot brighter for Adair County School District

As you can see the future is bright for the Adair County School District, we are seeing the future come alive and greatness happening right in front of us. Superintendent Reed, had these last words " I want to be sure to acknowledge the work of Carla Perkins, Technology Coordinator, and Jason Rector, District Engineer, and the rest of the technology staff for pulling all of this new system together into one integrated system that is will be ultra-efficient."

Our entire staff is excited about the improvements that encompass not only computers, but phones, cameras, and safety! The 2016-2017 school year should be the best ever, for teachers and students.

This story was posted on 2016-04-27 14:15:09
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Unpacking new technology equipment for Adair Co. Schools

2016-04-27 - Adair County Schools Campus, Columbia, KY - Photo by Shamarie Harper, Adair County Schools Media PR/Technology Resourse Teacher/Migrant Recruiter.
Technology staff members Trey Grider and Dylan Claiborne working hard to sort through new purchases as they have been arriving. - Shamarie Harper

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