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ETIL Planning Guide Section E. Technology Infrastructure and Support
This section is designed to address planning for the physical technology infrastructure required for the district to deliver ET-IL services. This includes elements of hardware, software, telecommunications services, and staffing needed to support the ET-IL program and subsequent technology infrastructure. The key elements of technology infrastructure are outlined below. Your district may have additional items that need to be included in your ET-IL plan based on local initiatives. Please remember that services that are requested on the Form 470 used in the E-Rate application process need to be reflective of the ET-IL plan.
- Telecommunications Capacity
- Telecommunications Services
- Equipment Access for Curriculum Support
- Equipment Access for Instruction, Including Assistive Technologies
- Equipment Access for Data and Assessment
- Equipment Access for Delivery of Library Services, Including Assistive Technologies
- Network and Data Security
- Level of Technology Staff Support
- Internet Access Capacity
- Describe your basic technology infrastructure. Include telecommunications.
- Identify what you will need to do to provide adequate telecommunications capacity to meet ET-IL and district program needs.
- Describe your basic telecommunications services.
- Identify what you will need to do to provide adequate telecommunications, internet, and network services to meet ET-IL and district program needs.
- What infrastructure/services are needed to assure district curriculum support?
- What infrastructure/services are needed to assure assistive technologies are identified, provided and supported?
- What infrastructure/services are needed to support staff use of assessment and data tools?
- What infrastructure/services are needed to support delivery of library information services? What infrastructure/services are needed to support network and data security?
- What level of technology staff support is needed to assure the infrastructure/services identified above?
- How does your infrastructure support communication and involvement of parents and community?
INFRASTRUCTURE & SUPPORT
The District maintains a strong Wide Area Network (WAN), designed and functioning with modern hardware and modern networking protocols, to connect all school buildings to the core network and for access to technology provisions. The WAN consists of high speed T-1 Circuits connecting each building to the core network using modern network routing equipment. Each school building is connected with at least one full T-1 to support voice and data traffic. Larger buildings such as high schools are supported through two T-1 circuits. Voice Over IP (VOIP) trunking has been in place for over five years, which provides greater bandwidth and performance to all schools. The District is currently planning the design and the budget for the next generation of networking environment, which will utilize IP Telephony. During this planning, the District will also be evaluating the bandwidth usage over the T-1 circuits. The District will be looking at the most cost affective solutions to increase bandwidth which may include possible managed and/or fiber lit services.
The District’s network components are consistent with a single vendor and platform. All core and edge site routing equipment is maintained with annual support/maintenance agreements with the vendor. Spare routers are available and installed when a site router experiences a failure so that minimal down time is experienced. The District maintains a single Network Operating System through all sites. The NOS, as well as the servers that support it, are maintained with all necessary service packs and security updates on a regular basis. On an annual basis, a portion of the budget is dedicated to regular upgrade and replacement of servers. This contributes to consistent and uninterrupted network services including e-mail, network authentication, print services, data storage services, security, access to all expected curriculum applications, access to the student system and assessment systems, Internet access, and other functions.
Each school building has a modern Local Area Network (LAN) for support of all technology provisions within the building. All District LANs are based on consistent network switches in a switched 100 Base environment. All classrooms have network connectivity and at least one computer. Most schools have library labs as well as technology labs.
D50 standards need to be assessed to determine where technology and information literacy standards integrate appropriately and ensure the hardware; software and facility needs are addressed at each site. In the past three years, D50 has dramatically increased access to technology within buildings.
To ensure access to technology and meet the changing technology needs, configurations, and platforms the district has scheduled:
- Server upgrades: Annual Server upgrades are built into the capital reserve budget. Approximately 15% of all remote servers are upgraded/replaced. Approximately 10% of all central servers are upgraded/replaced. And central servers are added annually based on software application requirements.
- Telecom circuit upgrades: Detail Telecom circuit information and E-Rate funding information is included in a separate matrix. Another important implementation is the addition of the Qwest Metropolitan Optical Ethernet (QMOE) LAN. The District obtained the QMOE connection in January 2006. This did not replace the standard OC-3, DS-3, and T-1 circuits that support the WAN infrastructure but it did augment the current WAN capability. The QMOE provides an additional 45 meg connection to the state fiber network through Qwest communications. The District is using this for a live Disaster Recovery and Redundant network. It enables the District to connect to an alternate IT services site/provider for nightly transfer of critical data for backup purposes. The data transfers include the Oracle student information system database, user storage for all staff data, and Exchange e-mail databases. This serves as live, nightly data backups with immediate accessibility and restorability, in addition to daily and weekly tape backups that are stored offsite. Added to the QMOE connection are redundant T-1 connections to each remote school location for a complete redundant network used for disaster recovery purposes. The redundant network completely circumvents the regular core/central network location. Redundant WIC interface cards have been added to each edge/remote router to facilitate the redundant network links. Seamless failover access is available to the Oracle student information management system and to Internet access through this redundant network. In school year 2006-2007, the goal is to provide seamless failover access to user storage and Exchange e-mail. When a full IP network is implemented, the disaster recovery (redundant network) will also support voice.
- Phone System Replacement and total IP network implementation (IP Telephony): A multi-year plan is in place to implement full IP. This will use full IP Telephony in a collapsed network. Year 1 (2006-2007) Goal: All Cisco Routers will be upgraded at core location and edge locations, and all network switches in all LAN’s will be replaced. Year 2 (2007-2008) Goal: Cisco call manager and voice mail will be implemented and tested to replace the legacy Avaya voice PBX and remote switches. Year 3 (2008-2009) Goal: Avaya voice equipment will be removed and final cutover will be done. All are pending annual capital reserve budget approval. Capital reserve budget will provide funding and E-Rate funding will also be used for approximately half of the District schools/locations.
Additional resources supporting the district’s technology infrastructure include:
- The District computer workstation/desktop environment is consistent. A single hardware vendor and a single Operating System (OS) platform are implemented. This allows for better computer performance and allows for greater Return on Investment (ROI). All desktop/workstation computers are networked and provide access to approved networked software applications. All desktop/workstation computers are purchased with a full 3-year warranty. This contributes to better computer performance, ability to support modern curriculum software applications, smaller spare part inventories, quicker resolution to helpdesk tickets, etc.
- A well-trained helpdesk staff supports the District. Remote helpdesk staff resolves approximately 50% of all network, computer, or software problems reported to the helpdesk. Less than 50% of all tickets require an on-site technician visit. Due to well-maintained hardware/software, consistent networking and computer workstation equipment, and the use of remote control software, the District technology department can identify and resolve user reported issues in an efficient manner. This translates into a network and educational software tools that perform at high levels.
- The District makes use of a student information management system that is based on modern database technology and is Web accessed. This single real-time database allows for accurate reporting and better interface solutions with assessment and achievement systems or other third party applications used to support student learning.
To provide students access to technology the district provides:
- Desktop Computers: D50 currently has a ratio of 2.7 students per computer. A large computer desktop upgrade is planned on a three- to four-year basis. On this interval period, the goal is to upgrade/replace approximately 40 to 50% of the District’s computer inventory through available capital reserve funds. These computers are used in the following priority levels: A) Upgrade/replace the Secondary level computer labs and libraries. B) Upgrade/replace select Elementary computer labs or library computers and upgrade/replace select classroom and administration computers district-wide. Computers replaced that still meet the District’s minimum required CPU speed are then rolled into other areas or schools with the lowest CPU speed computers being removed from networked functions. Often, many computers replaced at the secondary level are rolled to the elementary level to replace the most antiquated units. In this way, the minimum or lowest CPU speed is kept as high as possible in order to be in a position to support modern software applications and products. With each roll out or replacement cycle there are approximately 5 – 8% additional computers added to the overall district computer inventory. The most recent three-year desktop upgrade was implemented pre and during school year 2004-2005. This was completed through a three-year HP/Compaq lease funded by the District’s capital reserve. The next expected lease cycle and computer desktop rollout is expected to begin in fall 2006 or fall 2007.
- The Sagebrush InfoCentre district-wide library system. The purchase was made in May 2005 and completed during summer of 2005. The high schools maintain the annual budget for subscriptions to several library software products such as EBSCO and World Book online. Technology Services supports the District network and the Internet access for these systems. These costs are built into the annual Technology Services general fund budget.
Additional resources supporting the development of information technology literacy in students include:
- The District makes use of Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology. Wireless labs have been implemented. Entire buildings have Wireless LAN connectivity in addition to the traditional wired network. All secondary buildings have full Wireless LAN support as well as several elementary buildings. This District has implemented a secured and centrally managed wireless environment.
- WorldBook Online for all libraries
- Library databases: EBSCO, Opposing Viewpoints, SIRS and others available through high schools and accessible on/off-site
- Automated Library Catalogs and inter-library loans through the state library connection via Clic
To provide parents information on their child’s attendance the district provides:
Parlant Auto Attendance calling and reverse calls to communicate to parents: Daily attendance calls are made for all high school students. The Parlant system is interfaced nightly with the student information system. Schools use the Parlant system to make phone calls to parents for important school messages and events. Currently approximately 900 attendance calls are made nightly.
D50 library resources include:
- District purchase of WorldBook Online for all libraries
- Library databases: EBSCO, Opposing Viewpoints, SIRS, etc. available through high schools; all are accessible off-site
- Automated catalog systems available online in all libraries (SY05-06)
- Inter-library loan and state library connection via CLiC (state courier service)
- DIRC – provide professional resources, curriculum-based materials, media, hardware
- Schools have audits available and collections change based on audit and curriculum adoptions
- Print materials, AV, facilities and access for individuals and classes, staffing and support
- Check in/out
- Maintenance & supervision
- Acquisition, updating, planning
The District’s network components are consistent with a single vendor and platform. All core and edge site routing equipment is maintained with annual support/maintenance agreements with the vendor. Spare routers are available and installed when a site router experiences a failure so that minimal down time is experienced. The District maintains a single Network Operating System through all sites. The NOS, as well as the servers that support it, are maintained with all necessary service packs and security updates on a regular basis. On an annual basis, a portion of the budget is dedicated to regular upgrade and replacement of servers. This contributes to consistent and uninterrupted network services including e-mail, network authentication, print services, data storage services, security, access to all expected curriculum applications, access to the student system and assessment systems, Internet access, etc.