Buchanan schools need tech upgradePublished 11:04pm Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Buchanan Community Schools is in need of major upgrades to its technology, including infrastructure and hardware, in order to better serve students and become compliant with recent state and federal mandates.
Supt. Andrea van der Laan said the district has a five-year technology improvement plan totaling more than $700,000.
District officials are in the process of seeking donations from local businesses and applying for grants to fund the upgrades.
Van der Laan said the district would need around $100,000 this year to get the project “moving forward.”
“If we got the $100,000, we would be able to update the five-year plan and redo it to get the computers faster,” van der Laan said. “It’s the infrastructure that is holding us back right now.”
Many of the district’s computers are outdated.
Ottawa and Moccasin elementary schools are using computers purchased in either 2001 or 2002, while Buchanan Middle School is using laptops purchased in 2004.
The district is also looking at extending fiber optic lines to all buildings, increasing internet speed. Doing so, van der Laan said, would help the district become compliant with a state mandate requiring all students to take the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test online by 2014-15.
“Right now, we don’t have the infrastructure to allow all students to take the test at the same time,” she said.
“The state hasn’t told us yet if every student has to take it at the same time or if we can schedule it over a couple of weeks.”
Donations should be sent to her in care of the superintendent’s office.