Technology upgrades to take place at Fillmore Central this summer
Wednesday, June 04, 2014 3:24 AM
Neil Lundgren and Aaron Janssen informed the Fillmore Central School Board of their intention to perform a major upgrade of the district's technology as they attended the regular school board meeting on Tuesday, May 27.
The current network is segmented, requiring certain items to be plugged into specific switches. This does not allow the freedom to plug in to any switch in the buildings. This system is better for buildings with different businesses on different floors, but is not what would fulfill the goals of the school to the best quality.
"We want to set up the plugs to be the same through the school," said Lundgren. "And now any time we need something, we must call the company and work with them to solve it. Every time we call we get another bill."
The upgrade would not simply be a wireless overhaul, and it would clean up the wires around the school. The old system is also much slower working with 10/100 speed than the gig offered now. Access points would go into the classrooms, not the hallways. Presently there are only 15 access points and no more. This is mostly a problem in the elementary school since there are dead spots there. They have also been asked about getting access points extending to the fields. With the new system, they would be able to add those requested access points.
The total cost for the upgrade would be $27,461. However, Lundgren spoke of a company in St. Paul that buys old technology systems. That company quoted $8,100 to buy the system from Fillmore Central. This would put the cost down to $19,361. This total is within the technology budget for the 2013-2014 school year and not requiring the board's approval for the project. In addition, Cat 6 Wire will be put in, which is capable of handling 10 gigs in the future.
Part of the funding for this project comes from purchasing certain computers for specific groups. The middle school would have 50 MacAirs and fifth and sixth graders would work with Chromebooks. The difference in cost is very large. MacAirs cost $850 presently, while Chromebooks cost $250. The only problem would be Chromebooks would need Internet connections at all time. If some students did not have access to the Internet at home, they would not be able to work with the Chromebooks.
Board member Craig Britton updated the board on changes made to the parking lot plans at the elementary school. The curve to the entrance of the school will be more gradual than it currently is, gaining four more parking spots on the north side of the east parking lot. This increases the total to 50 spaces. Nine more spaces will also be added to the northwest lot.
The project will probably start in the last part of June or the beginning of July. Contractors will work through August to complete it prior to the beginning of the next school year.
The garage sitting across from the kitchen would be moved to another location. The contractor will also remove the small building by the current garage as well as taking away the Crow's Nest and a couple of basketball hoops.
It was also noted that the electronic signs were to be delivered this week. Superintendent Richard Keith spoke of working with Ron Scheevel to demolish the current signs, since no one wanted them. The sign in Harmony would be almost at the same place since they must use the electricity running through that area. They will be installed and working within the next couple weeks, the third week of June at the latest.
The negotiations committee met with employees, community education director, mental health therapist, paraprofessionals and custodians to discuss their new contracts. All the contracts except for the one-year mental health contract are for a two-year duration. The board approved the new contract rates.
The board approved the resignations of custodians Jon Haug at the elementary school and John Koch at the high school and Katie Sveen's resignation as the special education paraprofessional.
It also authorized a resolution for terminating the contract of Connie Lindstrom.
The board approved hiring Dustin Ferri to take the place of John Koch and Logan Whitehill who would replace Jon Haug for the summer.
In addition, it sanctioned hiring Melissa Slezak and Mary Breon in the daycare, the extended school year staff, Title I summer school staff and a long-term sub.
The extended school year staff include Kelsey Ristau for the K-12 teacher, Jolene Glasesmann, Jennifer Lindstrom and Jade Sexton as the K-12 paraprofessionals, Connie Berg as the ECSE teacher, Jennifer Lindstrom as the ECSE paraprofessional and Paula Birch as the speech teacher.
Title I summer school staff include Mary Beth Ostrom and Jolene Nelson as teachers and Nancy Broadwater as a paraprofessional.
Angie Simon will be the long-term sub to finish the year as a kindergarten paraprofessional.
The board also approved the 2014 fall football coaches. Chris Mensink will be the head coach, Kyle Rundquist will be varsity assistant coach. Andrew Peterson is the B-squad coach, David Broadwater is the ninth grade coach. Tim Ostrom will coach eighth grade, Tris Tollefson will coach seventh grade and Jim Love will coach volunteer football.
Volleyball coaches were also approved. Travis Malley will be the head volleyball coach. Ashley Case will coach ninth grade and Melissa Simonson will coach eighth grade. B-squad and seventh grade volleyball have yet to be filled.
Buffy Bathke was also approved to coach the cheerleading squad.
The board authorized a contract with the same audiologist as before, but since he will be working on his own, the amount is $700 less than last year.
The board approved another three-year contract with Taher for food services.
The board also accepted donations from the Minnesota Twins in the amount of $5,000 to be used for baseball field improvements, the Harmony Area Community Foundation for $6,000 for preschool scholarships and $15,000 for the electronic sign and the Preston Area Community Foundation for $6,000 for preschool scholarships.
Last month, Superintendent Keith brought to the board's attention the possibility of contracting with Teachers On Call under the Aesop program for substitutes. The cost is a one-time $4,000 fee plus an annual subscription. Though it is a little more than hoped for, Superintendent Keith believes it will still be a definite benefit for the district especially with the record-keeping requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The cost for Teachers On Call is a set 25 percent of the sub cost that is basically recovered through less cost to the district in taxes and benefits. The subs employed now by the district would have to apply for Teachers On Call to be used at the school. The board approved the agreement to participate in the program.
Finally, the board approved the sports sharing agreements with Lanesboro and Mabel-Canton for cross-country, wrestling, boys and girls track, softball and baseball with Lanesboro and wrestling with Mabel-Canton.