Gold Trail considers $1.6 M in IT work

Board looks at report from IBM IT review of Gold Trail schools, decides where it should begin.

Gold Trail Board of Education Trustees are looking at a major revision of the District’s current Information Technology (IT) as they passed a motion at their Apr. 17 meeting to review a recent report by IBM that calls for $1.6 million in upgrades and expansion of their system.

Last year the Board contracted with IBM to conduct an IT Optimization Assessment and Long Term Strategic Review. The review was conducted from November 2011 through to February 2012 and presented to the Board in March.

The consultants identified nine areas that they considered priorities for the District. While much of the study called for new hardware and software, the Wireless Infrastructure Assessment, Optimization and Centralization ($218,623) priority also recommended the creation of an acceptable use policy for staff and students while they are using either school or personal devices at school.

The report also called for Backup and Disaster Recovery Planning ($35,387) to safeguard the District’s electronic information, moving to a centralized control of IT decision making so that the District as well as the schools are all operating with the same equipment, and the Bring Your Own Device initiative ($30,000) – so students, staff and other school users can bring their own computers, readers, etc., and be able to use them.

Trustee James MacArthur asked the Board to use caution in implementing the recommendations of the report.

“This is a whack of money,” he said. “We’re in a supply side approach to this. I think it’s too early for budgeting.”

Secretary Treasurer Lynda Minnabarriet noted that School District 54, with whom she works as well as S.D. 74, “went through similar process about three years ago. They were happy with it,” she said.

“We’re just asking staff to review the costs in the report and come back with recommendations,” said Trustee Varcoe-Ryan. “I agree, it’s a shwak of money.”

“I like the idea of having this knowledge,” said Trustee Valerie Adrian. Information Technology review are sort of new, she said, so there won’t be many Districts who have any experience to comment on.

Trustee MacArthur voted against the motion.