Updates from May 2017

Another school year with no major outages or downtime!

Technology Services requests $99,000 annually for Capital Improvement funding to replace staff computer equipment. If funded, this would allow the division to operate a five-year replacement cycle. The department was issued $35,000 of the $99,000 by Dr. Parker with this year’s reversion funds. We surveyed staff interest in switching to Chromebook laptops instead of Windows laptops (any staff who might use a laptop daily, not just our Digital Conversion Champions). The $35,000 will be used to purchase 33 Samsung Chromebooks, 14 HP Chromebooks, 1 Acer Chromebook, 2 Lenovo Chromebooks, and 8 Dell Chromebooks.

Our Network Administrator will begin upgrading Bowling Green Elementary School’s network in June. The network today operates at 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) with wire connections to desktop computers operating at 100 Mbps. Mr. Singh’s upgrades will get BES caught up with the division, with a 10,000 Mbps network and wire connections operating at 1,000 Mbps.

Updates from April 2017

Throughout April, we have been conducting a wide-area-network (WAN) request-for-proposal (RFP) process. The evaluation committee will review all proposals and make a recommendation to both the E-rate program and the School Board in May.

Our Network Administrator recently completed a small upgrade at CMS. The $12,000 network switch purchased with E-Rate funds has been installed. We look forward to new network switches at BES (a $65,000 upgrade) scheduled after students and teachers leave for summer.

Contractors continue to pull new network wire to every classroom and office at CMS and LCES. This is the bulk of work for the projects to implement voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phones at CMS and LCES. These are the last two locations to join the division’s telephone network. The projects at CMS and LCES were funded with $85,000.00 of the Returned Funds from Delta Dental and Anthem Health Insurance were marked for Capital Improvement (Technology).

Cox Communications and Unite Private Networks completed the 5,000 Mbps Internet connection upgrade. We are in a testing phase at this time and expect to change the division’s Internet service in early May.

RFP 05052017-1400 Caroline County Schools WAN-Internet

CAROLINE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS (CCPS) and Caroline Library, Inc. desire to engage the services of qualified firms to provide Wide Area Network / Internet Access as detailed in “RFP 05052017-1400 Caroline County Schools WAN-Internet”.

The primary goal of this RFP is to secure the most reliable, efficient, and cost effective WAN, Internet access service for students and teachers in CCPS and Caroline Library patrons while remaining in compliance with all rules, regulations, filing and application procedures and deadlines of the Universal Service Administrative Company, Schools and Libraries Division.

Download: RFP 05052017-1400 Caroline County Schools WAN-Internet (PDF)

Download: RFP 05052017-1400 Caroline County Schools WAN-Internet RFP Responses to Questions (PDF)

Updates from March 2017

We have completed our wide-area-network (WAN) request-for-proposal (RFP) document and will soon file FCC Form 470 applications for internet access, WAN connectivity, telephone services, and various other eligible services. After each application has been made public for 28 days, a committee will participate in a competitive bidding evaluation. The committee’s selections will then be submitted as FCC Form 471 applications. The FCC’s E-Rate program will check the information on our applications for completeness and accuracy. When complete, we will be sent Funding Commitment Decisions Letters for the services approved for funding. Letters could arrive any time between July 2017 and March 2018.

From last year’s E-Rate application, we were recently funded for all new network switches at BES (a $65,000 upgrade) and a small upgrade at CMS (a $12,000 upgrade). The small upgrade at CMS is scheduled after Spring Break. The complete upgrade at BES is scheduled after students and teachers leave for summer.

At Lewis and Clark Elementary, four new Ricoh copiers are being installed for the main office and the teacher workrooms. The new copiers are a significant upgrade from the aging copiers currently in use at LCES.

We recently started projects to implement voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phones at CMS and LCES. These are the last two locations to join the division’s telephone network. The projects at CMS and LCES were funded with $85,000.00 of the Returned Funds from Delta Dental and Anthem Health Insurance were marked for Capital Improvement (Technology). New network wire will be run to every classroom and office before handsets are installed.

Cox Communications and Unite Private Networks are nearing completion of our 5,000 Mbps Internet connection upgrade. For most of this school year, the division has been using 100% of its 200 Mbps Internet connection.

The department continues to assist with various parts of the renovation projects. We’ve been assisting with everything from intercoms and fire alarms to HVAC and time clocks.

With renovations around the old CHS library nearing completion, we are beginning to plan the consolidation of our server room and the old library AV room. The server room houses all of the division’s network servers and storage equipment. Two equipment racks will be relocated from the server room to the old library AV room. With all of the division’s most important equipment in one room, we are naming the space the network operations center (or NOC). The NOC will have an outer-office that will house our Network Administrator and one of our IT support staff.

On March 15, we had to finalize any purchases related to the School Security Equipment Grant. Roughly $74,000 or 59% of the funds have been spent on electronic access controls, $13,000 or 11% on security cameras, $32,000 or 26% on door lock enhancements, and $5,000 or 4% on visitor management software. These purchases will be delivered and installed by May, in time for our reimbursement process in June.

Updates from February 2017

The Technology Services department is continuing a Google Chromebook rollout. We are preparing to share information about Chromebooks at each schools’ staff meetings. We’re also going to review how PK-5 will log in using student badges. If the reversion funds are available, we’re going to give staff the option of replacing their old laptop with a traditional Windows laptop or Chromebook.

With the School Security Equipment Grant funds now appropriated, we are rapidly placing orders with vendors before our March 15 due date. 35% of the funds will be used to add badge/card readers at LCES, 50% will be used on the badge/card readers at MES, and the remaining 15% will be used on security cameras for both MES and LCES.