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Schools To Get Connected

By Staff | Mar 4, 2009

Computers in Wetzel County schools next year will be connected to each other on a Wide Area Network capable of sending and receiving data at 10 billion bits per second, according to upgrade plans presented to the board of education March 2 by Robert Shaver, county technology coordinator.

With the county’s 77 percent E-rate subsidy from the federal government, the upgrade will cost $2,024 per month, up from $1,186 per month for the present T1 connections that carry data at a 1.5 million bits per second on a Local Area Network that does not connect from school to school.

The WAN will use wireless microwave technology, like most telephone transmissions, and will be hosted by a server at the county office where a single copy of software programs will be located and accessible to all schools. Microwave technology is presently used successfully in the Brooke County School System.

In addition to savings in software costs, Shaver said the WAN is compatible with hardware currently located in the schools.

Shaver also noted that the WAN will not rely on individual Internet connections, which are often slowed by high traffic volume and cause systems to “hang”.

Among the many uses schools have for software applications are the online administration of writing assessment of the WesTest and E-pop online classes that originate from distant locations.

StatusWave of Wheeling will administer the WAN and is required to have any breakdowns back running within four hours.

To compensate for bad weather school cancellations this year, the board redesignated the following to instructional days: April 16, April 17, June 4, June 5, and June 8.

The board okayed new employment and changes in staffing, including approval of Shawna L. Heil and Cathrina J. Spencer as countywide substitute teachers and contracted services of Stacy E. Barcus as mentor teacher (Spanish) at Magnolia High School.

In addition, contracted services were approved for Ronald A. Dennis as After School Program Tutor at Long Drain School, as well as for the following staff at the same school: Olivia L. Gump, Marla J. LaRue, Karen Longwell, David L. Pethtel, Beth A. Sigley, Dawn L. West, and Sharon E. Snider. Contracted services for West also were approved as Intervention Coordinator.

The tutor positions are funded through Title I, as were similar positions approved Feb. 16 for Short Line School.

Meredith L. Tusic was employed as assistant girls’ track coach at Magnolia High School for the 2008-09 WVSSAC season.

The board also added Bart Cannizzaro, Clare Cannizzaro, Tim Goddard, and Brenda Kimble to the list of approved chaperones and volunteers at MHS for the 2008-09 school year.

An out-of-state trip request from Gregory W. Richmond was approved to attend the national convention of the Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

The meeting is scheduled for May 31-April 4 in Tampa and will be paid from Richmond’s personal funds and the New Martinsville School Staff Development Fund.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board has been set for 7 p.m. March 16 at the county office, with approval of levy rates on the agenda.