Com­mit­tee con­sid­ers tech­nol­ogy pur­chases

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Meghan Ross

The Pen­nridge School Board Fi­nance Com­mit­tee con­sid­ered sev­eral tech­nol­ogy pur­chases at its meet­ing Tues­day, Oct. 16.

The board rec­om­mended a com­puter re­place­ment project for North Mid­dle School at $206,811 and a lap­top re­place­ment project at Cen­tral and South mid­dle schools for $43,042. The board rec­om­mended a Win­dows plat­form over an Ap­ple plat­form for both schools be­cause it would save money.

In ad­di­tion, the board re­com- mended JLR Con­sult­ing for on­go­ing tech­ni­cal sup­port for $130 per hour for ad­vanced tech­ni­cal sup­port and $55 per hour for as­so­ciate net­work sup­port.

Su­per­vi­sor of Tech­nol­ogy Ser­vices for the Bucks County In­ter­me­di­ate Unit Kasey Kol­lar also dis­cussed a Mi­crosoft li­cens­ing pack­age that would in­clude li­cences for Win­dows, Of­fice and a server plat­form, which comes with an au­to­mated help desk. The pack­age costs around $62,000. In ad­di­tion, de­ploy­ment and pro­fes­sional con­sul­ta­tions from the Bucks County In­ter­me­di­ate Unit cost $2,400 each.

An­other tech­nol­ogy is­sue fac­ing the dis­trict is a ba­sic Web fil­ter­ing sys­tem for teach­ers and students. Right now, teach­ers have no ac­cess to sites like YouTube be­cause the school can­not only give ac­cess to teach­ers and not students, ac­cord­ing to Javier Ro­driguez, the founder of JLR Con­sult­ing. Also, ac­cord­ing to Ro­driguez, 100 per­cent of down­loads are blocked, which can be an is­sue for teach­ers who need to down­load ma­te­rial for their classes. A fil­ter costs around $35,000 to $40,000, with some an­nual main­te­nance costs.

The com­mit­tee also rec­om­mended a plan for a dis­trictwide in­ven­tory and in­ven­tory re­fresh by As­set­works that will cost $45,000 to $60,000 as a one-time fee, with $2,500 as an an­nual fee.

Dur­ing the pub­lic forum, the board was asked about the dis­trict’s plan to deal with the tax col­lec­tors’ back wages.

School board Pres­i­dent David Thomp­son said the board was in a tran­si­tion process to its own coun­sel and that the mat­ter was sub­ject to fur­ther dis­cus­sion.

John­son said the dis­trict had the

money if the board de­cides to pay the back wages.

Res­i­dent Jeff Rum­bold asked the board to pay the back wages dur­ing the pub­lic forum.

“Let’s move on from it,” Rum­bold said.

In other busi­ness, the com­mit­tee rec­om­mended not push­ing for an ac­cel­er­ated bud­get sched­ule, which would re­quire the com­mit­tee to sub­mit a pre­lim­i­nary bud­get by Jan­uary. In­stead, the com­mit­tee sug­gested con­tin­u­ing with a tra­di­tional bud­get sched­ule, which would be pre­sented later in the school year and would need to be ac­cepted by June 30.

Ad­di­tion­ally, all of the board mem­bers present ap­proved of the con­tracts that needed to be re­viewed, with one ex­cep­tion.

Frank Peif­fer took is­sue with a Pen­nridge High School stu­dent assem­bly by Gerety Pre­sen­ta­tions, which would be paid through a gen­eral pur­pose ac­count over­seen by the stu­dent coun­cil. Peif­fer called the price, which is $3,500, “ex­or­bi­tant” for a stu­dent assem­bly.

“For $3,500 you’d think he’d lev­i­tate and dis­ap­pear,” said Peif­fer, who drew a laugh from those present.

The tech­nol­ogy pur­chases, con­tracts and bud­get de­ci­sions will be brought to the at­ten­tion of the full Pen­nridge School Board at its meet­ing Mon­day, Oct. 22.

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