Posted Date: 07/14/2021
BPSB Technology Review shows overall IT status is “Healthy”
July 14, 2021
The Beauregard Parish School Board received a technology review at the May board meeting from Assistant Superintendent Marlin Ramsey. The review evaluated the progress of the BPSB technology department for the 2020-2021 school year and provided a technology road map executive summary in conjunction with Server at Work focusing on improvements that can be targeted in the future.
“The report reflects updates and progress made by the BPSB Technology Department since the start of the school year as well as recapping events related to COVID-19 and hurricane shutdowns,” said Ramsey. “The report tracks over 100 items considered important to the overall technology strategy of the school system.”
The review indicated an overall district IT health of 83% and an overall IT status of “Healthy.” The summary assessed the servers, the network, the software, the website, the digital conference abilities, IT policies, spare/backups, security compliance, and overall IT strategies in its ratings.
“Technology affects every aspect of our school system,” he continued, “from student and teacher interactions on Google Classroom to inventory of school food services, from maintaining school records to purchasing necessary items to keep our schools functioning, from communicating with parents through our websites to virtual meetings for administrators, from protecting our system against cyber security threats to providing hot spots for internet connectivity for homework and virtual instruction. Our technology needs are expansive, and the demands of technology on our system are great.”
During the 2020-2021 school year, the IT department addressed educational needs related to remote and distance learning, procuring Chromebooks that brought the system to a 1:1 student-to-device ratio for the parish. Access to Internet hot spots were established across the parish so that classes could continue while schools worked out solutions to deal with hurricane damage and related issues. Chromebooks were barcoded and inventoried, and content filtering solutions were implemented for the devices.
The school system is replacing older model computers, older model switches, upgrading Internet connectivity, revamping network closets, replacing battery backups for network closets, upgrading to VoiP phone systems, upgrading software, replacing damaged camera systems, purchasing cyber insurance, and moving to web-based and Cloud storage and backup systems.
The technology review showed that the BPSB servers, software, website, and strategies were all healthy. The review showed that system’s network still needs high availability firewall, new switches to improve network quality, a secondary internet for backup, work on wireless management, battery backups for network closets, and upgrading the phone systems.
The review also provided a road map for improvements concerning desktops, cameras, and phone systems. Plans are to purchase new computers and smartboards to provide backups for teachers, addressing camera systems as needed for security, and replacing analog phone lines for more reliable service.
Technology is ever-evolving, and the technology department along with IT management team at Server at Work will continue to monitor and address the immediate technological needs of the school system while also looking to the future to keep BPSB schools and students on the cutting edge for education, he said.
“Beauregard Parish schools and our technology department are committed to modernizing IT work practices and upgrading the technology environment in our schools and related facilities to provide a stable and secure educational environment for our students and teachers,” Ramsey concluded. “This technology review and road map help us detail where we are and the progress we want to make in cybersecurity, server and network health, software upgrades, and workstation security.”