Mr. Brian RussDirector of Instructional Technology/Chief Information Officer
It has been a very exciting and productive summer in the Technology Services Department. We have recently completed a District-wide network modernization project which has allowed us to considerably increase the speed, productivity and manageability of the network. We were also able to upgrade Lotus Notes, our electronic mail system, as well as Powerschool, our student management system which maintains grades, attendance and historical data on each student within the District. In conjunction with Erie 1 BOCES, all security systems have been upgraded including the content filter, anti -virus system and firewall security. This upgrade helps to ensure that our students and staff members are safe when accessing the Internet.
We also completed several hardware upgrades throughout the District, including those in the BOOST Lab at Parkdale Elementary, the library lab at Middle School and the math and science labs at the High School. We were also able to replace the computers in the High School art lab and upgrade the software, thanks to a very generous grant from the East Aurora Education Foundation. We are continuing to install projectors and interactive white boards in all three schools and look forward to expanding the wireless network to broaden our students learning experiences.
I'm also very excited to announce that we will open the Power School Parent Portal for parents of students in grades 7-12, in the fall of 2010. The Parent Portal is a web based tool that allows parents to monitor their child's progress throughout each quarter of the school year. The Parent Portal is contained within the parent section of the EA|Portal on the District web site at https://www.eastauroraschools.org/, and provides pertinent information regarding grades, attendance, school announcements and activities.
Recently, a group of parents and teachers completed a test of the Parent Portal, and their feedback was very positive and constructive. We believe the Parent Portal will help to strengthen the lines of communication between parents, their children and the school district. It is through this type of open communication and collaboration that we can truly impact student progress and learning outcomes. We are excited about this new opportunity and will be sending detailed instructions during the first quarter of the school year explaining how to access and utilize the system.
As I mentioned earlier, we have made good progress this summer which wouldn't have been possible without the support of Mr. Bodziak and the Board of Education. They have taken a great interest in technology and what it can do to help our students achieve and become prepared for life after graduation. I would also like to thank the East Aurora Education Foundation and the East Aurora PTO for their support this year. Both organizations have provided invaluable assistance that has benefited our students, K-12. Their hard work and generosity is a testament to their commitment to the children of our community.