Brookfield-LaGrange Park Elementary School District 95 is looking to hire its first technology director to help upgrade the district’s technological infrastructure.
“Technology in schools has become so specialized that in order to incorporate the type of technology resources we need to be a 21st-century learning environment, you have to have someone with the technological background to help direct that,” said District 95 Superintendent Mark Kuzniewski. “[It’s] no different than a person directs the overall curriculum, no different than someone who directs the overall buildings and grounds operation.”
The pay range for the new position will be from $60,000 to $65,000, Kuzniewski said. The school board would like to hire someone as soon as possible.
“July 1 is an incredibly tight time frame, but I think that’s the goal,” Kuzniewski said. “Whether it’s a realistic goal or not, I’m not sure.”
Unlike some other area school districts, District 95 has no plans to equip every student with a computer or other electronic device, even at the middle school level.
“We have not considered a one-to-one program.” Kuzniewski said. “I know there was some work done maybe 18 months ago to evaluate whether or not we wanted to start moving down a one-to-one avenue … and I think [the board] made a philosophical decision that one-to-one was not the direction that this district wanted to go. We wanted to go more in a direction where technology supported the current instructional model.”
Currently, all classrooms at Brook Park Elementary School are equipped with two or three desktop computers, a document camera and a projector. All Brook Park teachers have laptop computers. At S.E. Gross Middle School, there is a 60-station computer lab instead of desktop computers in classrooms, Kuzniewski said.
The district plans to upgrade its wireless connectivity to a business standard from its current capacity, which is akin to home Internet service, Kuzniewski said. The district also wants to upgrade its switches and beef up content filtering and firewalls.
The cost of all the upgrades could reach $350,000 to $375,000, according to a recently performed technology audit.
In other District 95 news, the school board on May 22 unanimously approved spending $86,487 to purchase a new wheelchair lift for S.E. Gross Middle School to replace its current aging wheelchair lift.
According to Kuzniewski, the state of Illinois is reimbursing the district 50 percent of the cost of the lift as part of a capital improvement grant the district applied for.