Riverside Board approves technology upgrades

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Riverside School Board met in the library of Riverside East Elementary where they approved several technology upgrades for the district.

Riverside superintendent, Tommy Knight, told the board with the increased use of the district's wireless internet, more online courses and overall an increased need for a bigger network that some upgrades needed to be made. The first item was moving to a metrolink provided by Ritter. This would increase the internet speed for each school in the district and would be based at the high school. Knight asked the board to approve the upgrade contingent upon approval from the federal erate grant, which would pay all but 20 percent of the monthly internet fee. The board did so unanimously.

The board also approved the purchase of a new agrigator, new network switches from Blue Ski, and new servers from Millennium. Most of the cost for the new technology equipment will be paid for out of NSLA funds and would allow the Riverside district to keep up with technology changes for years to come. Some of the current equipment will be reused in various school buildings and as backups.

The Riverside School Board also unanimously approved the district's faculty recommendation to take spring break off as well as Memorial Day and add on a week to the end of the school year to make up snow days. School will now get out June 6 and will be in session on Good Friday.

In other business Knight recognized students who competed and placed in a competition held recently at Arkansas Northeastern College. The Board unanimously approved the rehire of certified personnel, and accepted the resignation of Angela Criss. Knight told the board that the district's principals and some staff have worked on an E-School grant that if approved would give the district $8,000 a year for two years to increase its digital/online learning offerings. He said as of next school year with the new class of ninth graders all high school students will have to take at least one course online. Knight said that the district already offers about 70 various courses online but the grant would allow the district to offer hundreds of options.

The Riverside East Elementary shop was damaged during the ice storm the first week in March. The weight of the ice caused the roof of the shop to cave in bending some of the support beams. Because the shop is attached to two classrooms and the East Elementary Gym the whole building has been closed until repairs can be made. Both Knight and East Elementary principal, Brandi Wallace, assured that the gymnasium and two classrooms where not affected by the damage but as a safety precaution.

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