Berlin kids, technology add up
Hillside School fourth-graders from left, Elija Gilcris, Kyra Woodward, Mickailey Walsh, Kelly McCormick and Colten Lapointe work in class. Berlin school officials are asking the city for $150,000 in the next budget for computers. (COURTESY)
Corinne Cascadden, superintendent of School Administrative Unit 3, is spearheading the effort that will require city council approval for $150,000 in the first year of the proposal. She acknowledged Thursday that it's not a small undertaking, considering that city council support will be required to ask taxpayers for the money. The SAU has some 700 computers that will need replacing on a regular basis, she said.
If students are going to compete, it's essential they become well-versed in the latest technology, Cascadden said.
She noted grant money for equipment is no longer as readily available.
"Traditionally, we've been able to get computers and other equipment through various grants. Now, we're going to ask to get it from the taxpayers," she said.
City Manager Patrick MacQueen said Thursday it's too early for the city council to have a reaction to the proposal. It won't be presented to them until the school board submits its portion of the municipal budget in March.
"We can't deal with something we don't have a request on yet," he said.
Asked how her SAU stacked up on providing technology instruction to students, Cascadden said she had no figures from other New Hampshire superintendents for comparison, but said advancing Berlin's computer technology has been a priority of hers. School board members also consider it important, she said.
"I think that we are very progressive," she said.
Cascadden said in a memorandum that all classrooms have projectors and electronic whiteboards, and that such equipment as laptop computers, iPads, document cameras and e-readers are available to students.
She said in the next two years, the SAU would also seek to add the position of "technology integrator" - at about $75,000 per year - to keep students and faculty up to speed on the latest equipment.
There are more than 1,200 students, kindergarten through 12th grade, in the city's schools. Cascadden cited the results of a recent survey that she said showed computer technology is important to Berlin's students and their families.
The survey indicated that a large majority of student homes have access to a computer, Internet, laptops and various other communication devices such as tablets and iPhones.
Cascadden said that since the 2011-12 school year ended, Berlin has added 52 wireless access points in the schools, installed new network wiring, updated seven of its 10 computer servers and completed work that now has about 95 percent of the SAU's computers running the latest Microsoft software.
READER COMMENTS: 5
- New headmaster eager to take the reins at Pinkerton - 0
- SNHU, NH Institute of Art merger talk creates anxiety for some - 4
- UNH- Manchester looks to move into Pandora building - 2
- Wilton school project begins - 0
- Nashua explores taking over Brentwood School - 0
- Franklin Pierce lays off four full-time employees - 0
- New Highland-Goffe's Falls principal starts job today - 0
- Board to vote on new graphic design program - 0
- Londonderry names assistant superintendent - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- 132-mph street racers blow by trooper in Nashua, one of two arrested; motorcyclist arrested on I-93 doing 107 mph - 0
- Mazzaglia to be sentenced Aug. 14 for murder of UNH student - 0
- Lost Massachusetts hikers found safe in NH - 0
- GOP criticizes Shaheen flip flop on gas tax - 6
- No one has a clear claim to NHMS supremacy - 0
- Sentence fragment: Coco's cuckoo release - 0
- Charles Arlinghaus: Does Concord have a big spending problem? - 1
- Ban fireworks? Get serious - 11
- Another View - Kevin Smith: Londonderry is showing how to make NH business-friendly - 0
Police say Manchester woman arrested for punching ex-boyfriend during custody exchange in Walmart parking lot
Bikers say under-30 generation isn't interested, and can't afford many of the top motorcycles
Praising freedom: While curtailing it
Ban fireworks? Get serious
GOP criticizes Shaheen flip flop on gas tax