New Bedford Public Schools Installs $3.8 Million in New Technology – New Bedford Guide

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While most New Bedford public schools open their first day of classes on September 1, technicians and specialists from the NBPS Technology Services Department have been busy throughout the summer carrying out the annual computer refresh program. of their department for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. The comprehensive district-wide upgrade represents an investment of more than $3.8 million in technology to support students at an optimal level, says Robert P. Tetreault, chief technology officer responsible for technology services.

Superintendent Thomas Anderson said, “The essential role of technology in teaching and learning is indisputable, as the pandemic has shown. Students need the most effective tools available to increase their achievement in all areas. These latest updates build on our ongoing work to provide access to education for every student – ​​all students get what they need to progress academically and to thrive socially and emotionally.

Tetreault notes, “Over 3,000 new Chromebooks are being distributed to all students at Keith, Normandin, and Roosevelt Middle School. We got the funding through the Connectivity Emergency Fund, a federal program. These Chromebooks represent an investment of $1,183,000. »

In their bunker-like tech lab in the basement of the Paul Rodrigues Administration Building, techs prepared thousands of new student devices for delivery across the district. In addition to Chromebooks, the upgrade includes:

• 900 new student laptops; 100 units go to Whaling City Junior/Senior High School with the balance allocated to New Bedford High School to cover the incoming freshman class. All surplus units will replace aging devices. For the purchase of a laptop, the federal government contributed $360,000, or $400 per unit (the program cap per device). The district paid the balance of $234,000 for a total investment of $594,000. All new grade 9 students receive new laptops.

• 2,000 new Chromebooks are being distributed to various elementary schools to replace aging devices, as Tetreault notes: “It’s critical that we keep our technology up to date. This allocation follows the 1,200 new Chromebooks distributed to elementary schools last year.

• $2 million upgrade to district Wi-Fi infrastructure. More than 1,400 new wireless access points are being installed in each school building to replace existing old Wi-Fi equipment. Tetreault notes, “This upgrade will provide each classroom with its own wireless access point to ensure strong wireless connectivity for every teaching space in the district. This includes new switching systems to connect to central administrative platforms and mainframes. »

• Additional educational interactive touch screens for teaching spaces based on school needs. This is in addition to more than seven hundred working 65-inch touchscreens installed last year.

• Additional security and surveillance systems in some schools.

• Upgrades to overall system redundancy processes to strengthen emergency response to unplanned downtime.

• Additional hotspots: Technology Services continues to provide free “hotspots” to NBPS families who need them for home Internet access for educational purposes. If a student is in need, they should contact their school and IT will provide access. Eligible families should contact their respective schools to begin the process of receiving a hot spot.

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