St. James board planning technological facelift

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 3, 1999

By STACEY PLAISANCE / L’Observateur / Febuary 3, 1999

VACHERIE – The St. James Parish School Board launched plans for atechnological facelift for the school system, as the board recently approved network designs for new computer systems infrastructure.

Designs were submitted by CompuTech Solutions, Inc., and encompass bothlocal and wide area networks integration. This will include a privateinternal (Intranet) and public (Internet) scheme with various other service features, such as the physical topology of hardware and software in picture and logical form, the router(s), server(s) and workstation(s).

“This isn’t just computer upgrades,” said Michael Small, representative with CompuTech Solutions, Inc. “This plan will take care of any technologyand equipment for the future. We will begin to see more live video andaudio features, and St. James Parish needs to keep up with theseadvancements.”Average cost for the system was estimated at $300,000, according to Rhonda Lee, technology facilitator for the school system.

“The world of technology has moved so quickly that our school system has not been able to keep pace,” Lee stated in her design and implementation plan for the board.

With the advent of available federal and state technology funding, it has become necessary for the St. James Parish Schools to adopt a five-yeartechnology plan that will impact student learning as well as restructure classroom instruction, Lee added.

The St. James Parish School System has been moving through a 10-yeartechnology plan which has not kept pace with recent advances in technology, and equipment has been purchased on an “as needed” basis, Lee said.

“Our needs are too great, and this plan will be exciting for the entire school system,” she said.

CompuTech Solutions, Inc. will provide training on all major software andproprietary packages, including Microsoft, Corel and Lotus Office Suites.

The training process is imperative to ensuring that each student leaves a course confident and experienced in the skills presented during the course of the training day.

CTS focuses on business-relevant training, an approach that not only builds computer skills quickly, but also promotes immediate, on-the-job application of those skills in the work and school environment.

The courses will provide a hands-on learning environment guided by training professionals experienced in product usage and effective teaching practices.

Because CTS believes that effective training requires sound instructional design, all courses – introductory, intermediate and advanced – on thorough research into not only the capabilities of the software, but also its usage by customers.

Lee said she looks forward to getting trained with other school system employees.

“In order for the school system to advance in a timely way, it is evident that this design which infuses new technology is needed,” she said.

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