Head's Corner

School Technology To Be Much Different in ’08-‘09

Plans for TIS technology changes reached satisfying closure - for this school year - with a decision last week to purchase new Apple Computers for all classrooms. The decision to switch to Apple, a major change with long-term effects, was made after discussion and input from a variety of sources.
The decision was the culmination of an active year for the Technology Committee that resulted in a number of school “firsts:”

  • Earlier in the year, 10 PCs were purchased of which 5 were designated for the Library–Media Center;

  • the school’s first Technology Survey provided solid data about technology needs;

  • school databases were researched and the first School-Purpose-Design database was selected for teacher, Admissions Office, Development Office, Marketing, and Administrative use;

  • school telephones and switchboard were updated to provide intra-school telephone service to all buildings.

During the late winter, an investigation was launched to determine the relative merits of the PC and Apple platforms in the TIS classrooms. Last Wednesday, as part of the investigation, three Apple representatives provided a demonstration for teachers, staff, and Tech Committee members. Teachers loved the iMacs.

Apple Computers turn out to be the best choice for TIS. They are user (child) friendly. The company has an entire division dedicated to developing technology for schools. Teacher training is part of the purchase. Computers will arrive loaded with software, and $4,500 worth of Apple Service (which we're getting for free) is part of the deal.

A $9,681 discount made Apple highly competitive. Affordable financing makes it possible for TIS to place the maximum number of computers in the classrooms by August 2008 by deferring partial payments to the ’09-’10 and ’10-’11 budgets. Finally, the new computers are compatible with TIS’ server, new database, Windows, and Outlook.

The Apple Equity option enables a school that owns its own equipment to trade in that equipment for credit toward new systems or for cash. Apple's Trade-In Program provides for responsible equipment disposal. Many schools have used this program to recover past years' budget dollars to pay for a portion of their next systems deployment.

One or more iMac computers will be set up in every classroom before the August arrival of teachers. A half-day Teacher Training Session will be scheduled during Pre-Service Training so teachers will be iMac users immediately before the start of the school year.

Tech Committee Co-Chairs Scott Urbatsch and Jim Abeles deserve special thanks for leadership. Hugh Mackworth and Rob Timmons provided vision and financial advice. “Thank you” to the others on the Technology Committee who got the projects rolling early in the school year. And, “Thank you” to everyone who contributed so generously to the 2007 Auction Special Appeal that provided funds for school technology and library-media center.

Limited Space Begs Caution

During Friday’s Talent Show, the fender of a teacher’s car, facing downhill on the south side of Sherman Street, was pushed against the wheel. Presumably the offending vehicle was backing out of a parking spot on the north side of the street. No note was left, and, I imagine, the driver of a large vehicle may not have realized s/he had made contact with another car. Please be extra careful on Sherman Street - if you drive a large vehicle, please park on Water Ave instead of Sherman Street.

Summer Projects Start Next Week

TIS Facilities Manager Frank Bojanowski has scheduled 22 projects over the summer and the list is still growing. The bigger projects are:

  • Classrooms with real walls on the top floor of the Main Building

  • Improved security throughout the campus

  • Relocate Main Building entrance, offices, and Reception Desk to the ground floor

  • A new Portico to the Main Building student secure area

  • New floor coverings in Modular 2

  • New floor in the gym

  • Window shades on Stearns Hall east windows

  • Increased English instructional space on the Mezzanine

  • A new, large home for the library on the Mezzanine

  • Classrooms, playground, and security at the new building, 2717 SW Corbett St.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Phil Sylla
Head of School

503-226-2496 x109