Today we issue over 2,300 laptop units to our students, faculty and administrators at the beginning of each school year. Laptops are issued with a base image of software allowing all students to use a common productivity platform. Some of the titles on the laptop include: Microsoft Office; Adobe Creative Suite; Apple's iLife and iWork Suites. Depending on the classes a student is taking, we make additional software titles available through our "Self Service" resource, allowing students to install necessary software and/or updates at anytime, from anywhere.
Throughout the school year, if students and faculty have questions, our Technology Specialists are available to assist with their hardware and software issues. Our Technology Specialists are Apple Certified Technicians, handling all warranty and non-warranty issues on premise and helping to reduce our support costs while increasing turnaround times. Having a working machine is a requirement at Pascack Valley Regional, and to assure we meet these requirements, we have loaners available when necessary.
At the end of each school year, all laptops are collected by our Instructional Technology Staff. During the summer months, our staff repairs and re-images all laptops for the upcoming school year. Graduated senior laptops are re-commissioned for our incoming freshmen, and all other students are re-issued their same machine when possible. Between issued and loaner units, our staff and summer help inventories and processes over 2,400 units in about 6 weeks. Students have several requirements to complete over each summer prior to picking-up their laptop. We make every effort to have units available during the last week(s) of August, giving everyone a jump start for the new school year!
Network Availability and Security is of paramount concern to the district. To assure availability, we have built our infrastructure with redundancies eliminating as many single points of failure as possible. To maximize our district investments, we make every effort to dual-purpose redundant hardware, having hardware handle load balancing functions when not needed as primary equipment. Regarding security, we have a multi-layer approach to protect our students and faculty to the best of our ability. We provide content filtering services to all devices, both on and off campus. We provide malware, anti-virus, and anti-spam protection at both the network and device levels.
To provide students as blended of an experience as possible, the district provides locally installed software, private cloud based services, as well as public cloud based services. Together with the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, the effectiveness of the resources used by our district community are continuously monitored and reviewed. As deemed necessary and appropriate, we make changes to provided resources to assure we are best achieving our curricular requirements and our district mission.
Finally, our Technology Steering Committee meets several times throughout the year to discuss the progress the district is making toward the Technology Plan and the future of technology in the district. Future discussions can take the shape of moving toward current Technology Plan goals, or forming new goals for the future plan. To help through this process, our Steering Committee is comprised of students, parents, faculty and administration from both high schools, as well as Board Members and District Administrators. Having input from all stakeholders is a key to the long success we have achieved with our 1:1 Laptop eLearning Initiative.