New York’s Smart Schools Bond Act was approved by voters in November 2014. The $2 billion bond act is intended to provide school districts with funding for new educational technology and infrastructure improvements to enhance learning opportunities for all students across the state.
According to the New York Smart Schools Commission Report, released in October 2014, the bond act’s primary focus is to meet the demand for expanded online learning and help even the technological playing field by leveraging technology resources for 21st-century students and teachers.
Like its name implies, the Smart Schools Bond Act requires schools to make strategic decisions regarding upgrades. To be eligible for funding, each school district is required to:
- Draft a Smart Schools Improvement Plan linked to a long-range educational technology plan;
- Involve the community in its planning; and
- Have the Smart Schools plan approved by the New York State Education Department as part of a detailed review process.
School districts can also choose to use Smart Schools funding to install high-tech security upgrades, to expand pre-kindergarten programs by building additional classroom space or to replace temporary classrooms with permanent instructional space.
Gloversville Enlarged School District has been allocated up to $3,325,186 in funding as part of the Smart Schools Bond Act.
Here are the five areas the GESD is focusing on with its Smart Schools funding and the status of the item (as of May 2019):
- Security Cameras – Upgrade Analog to Digital, Additional Coverage, Upgrade DVRs ~ $500,000.
- Exterior Door Access – Upgrade System, Emergency Access – Capital Project
- Interior Door Access – Quick Lock – Capital Project
- Communications and Security, Emergency Notification – Upgrade Phone systems ~$350,000.
- Visitor Credentials – Completed
- Fire Panels – Completed
- Location of Entry Doors and Sign-in – Completed
High speed Internet and Wireless
- Network Analysis (SMP) – Completed
- Current Data Network – Recently upgraded to 10 gigabit. Completed.
- Wireless System – Resolve Issues – In progress w/ Feb 1st Completion – Completed.
- Server Analysis & End-User Analysis (SMP) – Complete
- Server – Up-time, Backup, Disaster Recovery – Complete
- Power Failover – Upgrade and Add Additional UPSs (Battery Backup) – In Progress
- Filtering Upgrade – Complete
- Email Archiving – Complete
- Printers – Change to Copy devices with user tracking – Complete
- Devices – Staff & Students: I-pads, Chromebooks, Laptops, Desktops – In progress
- Instructional Technology – Projectors/ HD screens -Completed
- Digital Classroom – Google Learning Management System, 24/7 Access, Video, Assessment – In Progress
- Professional Development – Grant Completed
- Received three year grant $49K/year. – In Progress.
The first phase of our Investment plan will cover two areas:
- Classroom Learning Technology ( equipment only)
- will be upgrading back office hardware to support classroom teaching and learning. We will be upgrading servers, controllers and switches to maintain operations and redundancy.
- High-Tech Security Features
- we will be installing an upgraded Voice Over IP (VOIP) device in each classroom and office to improve student and teacher safety by providing a new VOIP device in every classroom and integrating the devices with our emergency communication systems.
- we will be replacing and adding to the current analog/digital security camera system with a fully digital camera monitoring system district-wide.
Security Cameras — $500,000
Communications/Phones — $350,000
Total Spending — $850,000