Technology buying spree benefits high school most

Lease allows schools to replace technology on four-year cycle

Feb. 24, 2009

New technology is in place in St. Francis schools, but more is likely to come.

Last year, the St. Francis School Board approved spending $200,000 on a technology lease in which equipment will be replaced on a four-year cycle. New technology was distributed to the district's three schools last fall, Business Manager Julie Kelly said.

The money was used to buy more than 20 laptop computers at St. Francis High School, which now has a mobile laptop science lab, a business education lab and a computer-assisted drawing lab, Kelly said.

The computer-assisted drawing lab features the "most advanced computers in the district," Principal Mark DiStefano said. These allow engineering students to develop site drawings and designs of projects, which are then used to create projects in their construction classes.

Steve Erickson, coordinator of information technology systems, said about 60 computers were distributed at Willow Glen and Deer Creek.

Smart Boards were installed in all three schools.

The passage of the district's $14.9 million referendum last fall gives officials $365,000 to spend on new technology, Kelly said.

The money will be used to install a new phone system throughout the district and for infrastructure updates such as modernizing the district's servers, which likely will be done this summer, she said. New phones will be put in every classroom.

The funds could potentially allow the computer labs at each school to be updated.

Chantel Balzell can be reached at (262) 446-6602.

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