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5/17/2013 11:23:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Red Hill Unit 10 school board approves technology upgrade
BRIDGEPORT - With state-mandated computerized testing looming in the near future, the Red Hill Unit 10 school board took action to begin major technology upgrades.

At Thursday's monthly meeting, technology was a big issue with Superintendent Matt Seaton explaining the new state testing series for students from third grade through 11th grade.

Seaton said the state will require students to take the tests three to four times per year to determine students' growth.

"Like every other school district in the state, in the school year 2014-15 we are going to be required to give our students state tests on the computer. Where they are paper and pencil now and we take them in the spring, we will actually take them multiple times a year on a computer device - it could be an ipad, it could be a computer, whatever," Seaton explained.

State officials have issued information pertaining to the capabilities each school system must have to be able to take the tests.

"As far as infrastructure and devices, we're not there yet," Seaton said. "We are going to develop a plan for the next two years so that we're ready to tackle this testing in 2014-15 when it comes down."

Upgrading band widths and the wireless system in the district, along with adding devices will get schools ready for the mandate.

To get the ball rolling, the board unanimously approved an infrastructure upgrade proposed by Unit 10 technology coordinator Tammy Parker.

The proposal calls for upgrades to the wireless systems at Bridgeport Grade School and Sumner Attendance Center at a cost of $19,195.

Already having a fiber optic connection is going to help.

"Our connection speed is going to be critical here and fortunately, and a little over a year ago, the board voted to go with the fiber optic connection which is going to benefit us tremendously," Seaton said. "Then it's really going to come down to devices and many, many of the computers we have in the district right now are not capable of running this test, so we're going to have to work on improving our computers."


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