How should Riverhead spend $2M to upgrade school technology?

01/17/2015 8:00 AM |
Assistant Superintendent David Wicks discusses Tuesday night possible ways to spend more than $2 million allocated to the district for technology upgrades. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Assistant Superintendent David Wicks discusses Tuesday night possible ways to spend more than $2 million allocated to the district for technology upgrades. (Credit: Paul Squire)

The state education department has allocated $2.1 million for the Riverhead School District to use for technology purchases, district officials announced at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Assistant superintendent David Wicks said the district has the money earmarked through the New York State Smart Schools Bond Act, which voters approved by a roughly 61 percent majority in November’s election. The bond authorizes the state to sell up to $2 billion in bonds to invest in technology infrastructure.

The district’s wireless Internet system was cited as a potential home for the allocated funds after it was noted that its current wireless network was originally designed to accommodate only the staff’s devices and school-issued systems, not student devices.

Michael Hugelmeyer, the district’s director of professional development, said tablets that would be used to supplement classroom learning could be purchased with the money.

He also said tablets could be purchased with the money that would be used to supplement learning in the classroom and showed a video from a student explaining how five times five equals 25.

“Little kids eat, sleep and breathe these things,” said school board member Amelia Lantz. “I love the idea, love it.”

Mr. Wicks added that once the state education department hands down guidelines about how to use the funds, the district will create a committee of staff and parents to explore other ways to spend them.

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