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Westview approves tech purchases


The Westview School Board acted on three technology-based recommendations at their Thursday evening meeting.

The first recommendation was approval on a requoted wireless switch upgrade project. Previous quotes had a wrong item description and were requoted. The project is for 14 Level III power switches, as well as reconfiguring existing switches. The switches are part of the district’s technology infrastructure. The low quote approved was from ENS at a cost of $120,454.24.

The board also approved the low quote for the elementary schools’ wireless project. The project will give all four elementaries wireless capabilities throughout their buildings. The board was told that the system would handle 30 laptops in a classroom at a time, effectively making a regular classroom a computer lab with the laptops. The board was assured that the system will have capacity for future use. Ciber was the vendor with the low quote of $46,066.

Finally, the board approved a recommendation for 166 laptops for teachers. Next IT has the low quote of $140,034.28 for the laptops, cases, docking stations and three-year warranty. The board was told that they expect to get six to seven years of use from the laptops.

Along with the technology work approved, the board was updated on the district’s capital projects. So far, the district has spent around $757,000 in capital projects for the year, about the same as the past three years, the board was told. This included the unexpected replacement of five boilers in buildings around the corporation.

The board was updated on issues surrounding the botched ISTEP online testing. The district expected to have all testing done by Friday after the state system experience problems that saw students being kicked off the system while taking tests as well as failure of the system to recognize special accommodations for some students. The board was told that the validity of the test, due to the problems, is being investigated as many of the district’s standards and ratings are tied to the ISTEP.

The district reported that only four 3rd grade students who did not qualify for exemptions did not pass the IREAD test. Those students are receiving remediation to be retested in the summer. The board was told that the future of the IREAD test, which 3rd graders must pass if they are to advance to 4th grade, is in question with changes in the state department of education.

The purchase of property adjacent to Topeka Elementary is progressing, the district reported. The lot north of the school will be cleared and used for additional parking at the school.

The board approved the recommended textbook rental fees for 2013-2014, which saw no increase in fees.