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School board takes first step towards updating technology infrastructure at Wauneta and Palisade Attendance Centers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 21:36

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze


The Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools board met Monday, May 13 for their regular meeting. Much of their discussion during the meeting focused on review of the recent technology audit performed by the Educational Service Unit (ESU) 15 and 20/20 Tech of McCook.

Within the audit report, Shane Gerhartz with ESU 15 made seven recommendations for action within the schools’ technology infrastructure. Brett Warren with 20/20 Tech was also in attendance to help explain portions of the technology audit.

To date, the vast majority of technology issues have been managed by Aaron Behrends. After discussing technology issues with Behrends during the technology audit, Gerhartz recommended purchase of a couple different tech management programs to make this job less time consuming for Behrends. The board felt this was a valuable use of school resources because it would allow Behrends to spend more time teaching and less time managing the school’s technology.

Next, the audit recommended updates to the school’s servers, which the audit stated were out of date. Gerhartz and Warren also recommended purchase of UPS battery backup units, which allow for battery back up in case of a brown out or loss of electricity, for key technology units within the school.

Gerhartz and Warren also recommended using new avenues to purchase software licenses for Microsoft products as well as implementation of other software management solutions and implementation of Google apps to help manage student document storage and possibly email.

The technology audit also recommended updating the Wi-Fi network, updating wiring between switches, updating the wireless router in Palisade and updating the Wi-Fi system in Palisade.

After much discussion, the board voted to procure bids from 20/20 Tech and ESU 15 for updating the seven recommendations. Rough estimates for software and hardware purchases and labor were expected to be around $35,000. The board’s next step will be to review actual bids from 20/20 Tech and the ESU for the recommended updates. The board will make its final decision on how to proceed after reviewing the actual bids.


2013-2014 School Calendar

During Monday’s meeting the school board also approved the proposed 2013-2014 calendar.

Key items included on next year’s school calendar include Aug. 15 as the first day of school for students, followed by an early release on Aug. 16. The calendar offers students a full two weeks off in December and January as well as the Friday before and Monday after Easter off. The 2013-14 school year will conclude on May 21.


Staff resignation and other business

Superintendent Randy Geier read a letter of resignation from Mrs. Shari Goodenberger as the school’s guidance counsellor.

In her letter of resignation Goodenberger said she will be moving to an administrative position with the Wallace school district. The board mentioned their thanks to Goodenberger for her years of service to the students and school.

Geier provided the board with an update on tax receipts into the district. He stated the district has now received 79 percent of their tax askings.

The school board discussed the possibility of eliminating tryouts for cheerleading participants. Currently cheerleading is the only sport at W-P that utilizes tryouts. No final decisions were made on the issue.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be Monday, June 10 at 6:00 p.m. MT/7:00 p.m. CT at the Wauneta Attendance Center. The public is welcome to attend school board meetings.