State officials Wednesday signed off on Schenectady City School District’s plan to spend about $2 million to upgrade the district’s computer network infrastructure.
Schenectady’s approval — one of dozens of districts that earned approval to move forward with projects under the state’s Smart Schools Bond Act, which supports school technology upgrades across the state — comes about two years after officials submitted its plan.
The plan is entirely focused on upgrading school connectivity by improving network infrastructure and amounts to about $2 million of the district’s over $9 million allotment under the bond program approved by voters in 2014.
The plan calls for purchasing the physical equipment necessary to strengthen and improve the underlying network infrastructure that sustain internet and computer access across the district’s school buildings.
“This refresh will provide stable ground to build upon,” according to the district’s 2019 proposal.
Interim Superintendent Aaron Bochniak said the district planned to begin the systems upgrade as soon as possible, aiming to complete the upgrade by the time students return to school for a new school year in September.
“This is desperately, desperately needed,” Bochniak said Wednesday in notifying the school board of the state approval.
Bochniak said given that students have been spending time during the COVID-19 pandemic learning remotely via computers, it is likely they will expect to continue using the technology when they do return to school buildings more regularly.
“We know when [students] come back to our building they are going to want to have that available to them,” he said.