August 28, 2008

5-Year School Computer Plan OK’D ; Officials Say They Want Classrooms That Contain Up-to-Date Technology


The school committee has approved a five-year plan aimed at providing up-to-date computer technology in the classroom.

The annual cost will be about $200,000.

"It's a good step," Mayor Joseph Sullivan, who is also a school committee member, said Monday night. "I hope to update it as we move along. We need to do a lot more in this area."

Committee Chairman Sean Powers said the plan should be reviewed yearly to keep up with constant advances in technology.

Powers said school officials should also see if grant money is available to help pay for computer improvements.

The school department has to update its technology plans every five years to qualify for grant money.

Plans now call for replacing up to 60 percent of classroom computers over the next five years.

William Kendall, the school department's director of math and technology, told the committee last month that Braintree has made great strides since being rated among the state's worst school districts regarding computer technology as recently as six years ago.

The schools currently have 1,136 computers for class and staff use.

Kendall said the new technology was needed to better prepare students to compete in a global economy.

In another matter, school officials said they hope to work with state highway authorities to possibly prohibit commercial truck traffic near the Ross School on Hayward Street during certain hours because of longstanding safety concerns for students walking to and from school in the morning and the afternoon.

The committee also got an update from the school department's business manager, Peter Kress, about the changes and improvements made to school buildings during the summer.

During a report of objectives for the upcoming school year, Superintendent Peter Kurzberg told the committee that an extra effort will be made to ensure that all students attending the town's schools live in Braintree.

The superintendent said school officials have teamed with the police department to make random checks to ensure the residency of all students.

Originally published by Patriot Ledger staff.

(c) 2008 Patriot Ledger, The; Quincy, Mass.. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.