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Wireless access, building safety measures among BVSD summer projects

May 21. 2013 3:48PM
With the last day of school quickly approaching on Thursday this week, we are gearing up for all the summer projects. Many of the projects are fairly routine – a roof here and there, carpet replacements and playground upgrades. However, this year there are two significant areas that I want to mention.

The first major project comes out of the Instructional Technology Planning Committee’s work this year. The district has limited wireless access in its buildings and what currently exists is slow and far from comprehensive. The committee recommended that one of the first steps in getting the district prepared for more wireless devices in the future would be to install a wireless backbone that could accommodate the thousands of devices that are anticipated. This is no small task! As part of the wireless networks in all six school buildings, we will be replacing a large number of network switches, routers and other equipment to increase the capacity/speed of the network. The investment in this foundational piece of the technology plan is nearly $800,000. Yes, you read that right. Brandon Valley will have a state-of-the-art wireless network when the project is complete. With the speed at which technology changes it simply does not pay to put in older/cheaper solutions and face the speed and compatibility issues that will evolve as the district continues to grow.

The second set of projects has to do with increasing school security by adding secure entrances at our elementary schools, installing more video surveillance and other less obvious measures. We are starting with the secure entrances at the elementary schools and will follow up in the near future with secure entrances at the middle school and high school. Adding secure entrances is very straight forward at the elementary schools while it entails major construction and changes to accomplish at the other levels. When it comes to security our local police tell us that we need to do what we can to slow people down to give them time to respond. The security steps being taken are designed to do just that. I will not share all the details of the steps being taken behind the scenes because not knowing those measures is in itself a slowing tactic as a perpetrator encounters unanticipated situations.

While we know that it is impossible to be 100 percent safe in a free society, we also know that there are steps we can initiate that will improve security. We want our community to know that we take student safety seriously and are making substantial investments this summer to enhance school security.

I wish everyone a great summer and congratulate our 2013 graduates. Let summer begin!

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