Proposed SMART School Investment Plan (SSIP)

The estimated number of students and staff that will benefit from this SMART Schools Investment Plan based on cumulative projects submitted to date: 1098 students and 256 staff members

History of the Smart Schools Investment Plan

  • Passed as part of New York State’s 2014-15 Budget
  • Approved by voters in a statewide referendum on November 4, 2014
  • Details on the process to access the money were released by NYS Education Department in Spring 2015
  • The Stillwater Central School District received an allocation of the $2 billion Smart Schools funds that were proportionate to our district’s share of total formula based school aid in the 2013-14 school year
  • The Stillwater Central School District’s total allocation is $856,046
  • Allocation can be spent across multiple years

Budget sub ​allocations by category submitted with this plan are as follows:

  • School connectivity: $61,239
  • Classroom technology: $550,000
  • High-tech security features: $51,510
  • Connectivity Projects for communities: $0
  • Pre-kindergarten classrooms: $0
  • Replace transportable classrooms: $0
    Totals: $662,749

Timeline​:

  • The District developed and the school board approved a preliminary SMART Schools Investment Plan on Oct. 18, 2016
  • The preliminary SMART Schools Plan (SSIP) will be posted on the district website for at least 30 day beginning Oct. 19, 2016. Any written comments on the plan should be sent to:
    District Office
    Stillwater Central Schools
    1068 Hudson Avenue
    Stillwater, NY 12170
  • The School Board will conduct a public hearing that will enable stakeholders to respond to the preliminary plan at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2016
  • The district will prepare a final plan for School Board approval
  • The final proposed plan will be submitted to NYSED and will be posted on the district’s website
  • The district will then purchase the items that are approved and submit receipts to the state for reimbursement.
  • Additional expenditures will be made as necessitated by stakeholders up to the allocated amount.

School Connectivity

Describe how you intend to use Smart Schools Bond Act funds for high speed broadband and/or wireless connectivity projects in school buildings.

Stillwater Central School District has upgraded our internet connection to 150 Mbps in September 2016. We also purchased a New Wireless LAN controller and 100 access points, and are in the process of upgrading/replacing the current outdated district wireless network. This will reflect a 42% increase in wifi coverage, effectively providing ubiquitous district wide wireless coverage. Our district currently has 1100 mobile devices on the network, and is expected to grow by 200 in the next two years. The new wireless network is designed to handle the current and future number of wireless devices without issue.

Describe the linkage between the district’s District Instructional Technology Plan and the proposed projects.

As a district, we plan to continue moving forward with the Google platform, building on previous training so that staff and students will have an increased depth and breadth on the variety of tools available to them. The technology focus this year and next will be to:

1. Investigate and determine the future technology that will replace aging classroom Smart Boards (all 6 yrs or older).
2. Update 300 iPads in the Middle School (all over 5 yrs old)
3. Focus Training on utilizing Google Drive for data storage, promoting remote access to files and managing/organizing shared files throughout the district.

Describe how you have quantified this demand and how you plan to meet this demand.

During the 2016-17 school year the district purchased new a new Ruckus wireless lan controller and 100 new Ruckus wireless access points. We are in now in the process of installing this equipment. The new wireless infrastructure will give us district-wide wireless access from mobile devices and greatly increase our capacity to handle over 1500 wireless devices. We currently have @ 1100 wireless devices on the school network.

Please provide a breakdown of the School Connectivity purchases.

Wireless access points: $56,539
Internet Bandwidth Increase: $4700
Totals: $61,239

Classroom Technology

​Please provide a cost breakdown of proposed Classroom technology purchases.

Item: 70” Interactive Touch Display with Software
Quantity: 100
Cost per item: $4000
Cost: $400,000

Item: iPads
Quantity: 300
Cost per item: $500
Cost: $150,000

Total: $550,000

Expected Purchases

​Describe the devices you intend to purchase and their compatibility with existing or planned platforms or systems.

The district needs to begin looking at the potential future alternatives to replace aging and obsolete classroom Smartboards. We are investigating touch interactive displays, interactive digital projectors (standard and wide throw projection). Current pricing looks to be $4000 to replace 1 smartboard.

The district also needs to replace and update 300 Middle school iPads,
all over 5 years or more. Our existing electrical and HVAC infrastructure will not require updating to make these purchases. We plan on using our WSWHE BOCES Co-op for installation of replacement for Smartboards.

How will the district place a priority on addressing the needs of students who struggle to succeed in a rigorous curriculum?

Currently the district has a one person one mobile device program in place grades 2-8, and an excess of 400 Chromebooks available for use in all HS classrooms on demand. iPads and Chromebooks are very capable learning tools in the classroom and they also adapt to work with those who are physically impaired. Their interfaces can be customized to be used by the blind, or other visual impairments, they have voice over, screen magnification, built in microphones and text readers. They can convert text to speech, and speech to text and they both allow the student to access hundreds of applications specific to their developmental, physical and academic needs.

These devices are widely used for their productivity in schools, diagnostic testing and state testing, and integrate extremely well with the district Google Apps for Education platform and all of its associated tools for productivity, storage, collaboration and creation. Because they are mobile devices, they travel with the student and provide instant access to network digital resources. They far exceed the capability of a normal desktop for accessing and manipulating digital resources. The “pilot”of several future types of technology for teacher use in the classroom will prepare us for that “next level” of interaction in the classroom that will be necessary.

How will the proposed technology purchases enhance ongoing communication with parents, and other stakeholders and help the district facilitate technology-based regional partnership including distance learning and other efforts?

Stillwater School District is dedicated to creating a collaborative digital network for students, staff , parents and community members. With our recent migration to Google Apps for Education we have greatly enhanced our daily communications to all through Teacher websites, student and parent portal, and through the tremendous increase of digital Google classrooms.

Our goal is to provide students, staff, parents and community the very best digital tools needed for communication, learning, and understanding. The purchase of these technologies will prepare us for the soon coming day when devices go home with all students on a daily basis. All students have a district provided email, and students are able to communicate with the outside world. Teachers frequently share to these devices, “live” and/or pre-recorded content meant to be viewed as many times as needed to gain understanding. Sometimes the content is “live” and sometimes “pre-recorded”. With the “off line capability that content can even be viewed without a live internet connection.

Please provide a summary of professional development offered to teachers and staff, for the time period covered by this plan, to support technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Stillwater provides multiple technology trainings throughout the year to staff. These trainings come through many forms: Superintendent’s conference days, Wednesday afternoon technology PD trainings, onsite model schools software integration specialists, or our Grovo independent technology learning portal. In addition we also offer off site learning opportunities through certified Apple and Google trainers. The Stillwater K-12 technology integration team has partnerships with several local school districts which meet four or more times per year to discuss the next steps in professional development to best integrate technology in the classrooms. Our staff is surveyed multiple times throughout the year to evaluate the skills learned and to determine who still needs help in acquiring these digital skills. Skills include: sharing documents for live collaboration, electronically distributing and collecting assignments, converting paper worksheets to digital worksheets and editing.

Through regular professional development, we have seen digital file creation increase from 40K documents to over 160K documents in the past six months and average weekly users increased from under 100 staff and students to now averaging 800 weekly active users.

High Tech Security Features

Describe how you intend to use Smart Schools Bond Act funds to install high tech security features in school buildings and on school campuses.

The district currently has a mixture of analog surveillance cameras (system is over 14 yrs old) and digital surveillance cameras (system is 6 years old). The current digital video recorder has reached maximum capacity for storage. The current system is designed only to handle only proprietary digital cameras. The district has found that being tied to one proprietary camera leaves us vulnerable to cost savings and competitive capability. We are looking to purchase a new digital camera storage platform, which will run parallel to our current digital camera system.

We will begin using federal funds to replace digital cameras on a yearly basis until we have completely migrated to the new system. The district has also determined that it is necessary to install a campus-wide strobe system to alert the community, staff and students when a campus emergency is taking place.

Please detail the type, quantity, per unit cost and total cost of the eligible items under each sub-category. This is especially important for any expenditures listed under the “Other” category. All expenditures must be capital-bond eligible to be reimbursed through the SSBA.

Item:  DVR digital camera storage system
Quantity: 1
Cost per item: $23,787
Cost: $23,787

Item: Strobe light community alert system
Quantity: 1
Cost per item: $27,723
Cost: $27,723

Total cost: $51,510

Persons to contact regarding this plan and submission​:

a. Patricia Morris, Superintendent, Stillwater Central School District (518) 373-6100, ext. 30022
b. Christopher Lynch, IT Director, Stillwater Central School District (518) 373-6100, ext. 30205