Redone Montour school wired, wireless
Members of VARtek, an IT management company for K-12 schools, set up 975 netbooks that will be used at the newly renovated Montour High School when it opens Sept. 9. The school will offer a wireless network throughout the building and is the first school in the district to have full wireless capability.
Share with others:
When Montour High School students start classes Sept. 9 in their newly renovated building, they will have access to more than $1.8 million in new technology.
The district's technological inventory will consist of 975 netbooks, 185 desktop computers, 30 iPads, 64 interactive white boards and wireless Internet service.
A half-dozen computer experts were busy Tuesday in a room at Forest Grove Elementary in Robinson, unpacking and preparing the computers for installation in the high school.
Assistant to the superintendent Jason Burik said 39 academic classrooms would be equipped with a cart full of netbooks -- smaller versions of laptops -- for student use.
In total, the high school population of 1,050 will have about 1,300 computer devices.
"We actually have more computers than students right now," Mr. Burik said.
Tom Wilk, of the Dayton, Ohio-based technology management firm VARtek, said preparing the high school technology was one of the largest projects he'd ever coordinated.
Computers won't be the only items to transfer to other school buildings over the next several weeks.
The district is organizing a massive move that will enable students and teachers to return to their original locations.
For the past year, the high school on Clever Road in Robinson has been closed during the $47 million reconstruction and renovation project, setting off a chain of moves for students and teachers.
High school classes were moved into David E. Williams Middle School in Kennedy, displacing the seventh- and eighth-graders to Ingram Elementary in Ingram.
The Ingram pupils, in kindergarten through fourth grade, moved into Burkett Elementary in Robinson, while the fifth grade moved from the middle school into Forest Grove.
Now, everyone is set to return home.
Students were informed Monday about the first day of classes through the AlertNow automated telephone notification system.
Freshman and new student parent orientations will be at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in David E. Williams on Porters Hollow Road.
On Tuesday, cardboard boxes marked with teacher names and topped with maps, world globes, exercise equipment and other materials filled the middle school gym.
Mr. Burik said a moving company would take the items to the high school and move boxes to and from the other schools.
"You're talking thousands of boxes districtwide," Mr. Burik said.
In the middle school auditorium, sixth-graders and their parents assembled for an orientation program.
Julianna Migliozzi, 11, would have entered the middle school last year, but instead she attended classes in Forest Grove.
"I feel happy for getting into the middle school and being with the older kids," Julianna said.
Todd Price, high school principal, said moving was challenging but that teachers were excited to get into the building and set up their classrooms for the coming year. The first day for staff is Sept. 6.
"There's a lot of anticipation as we move into our new facility," Mr. Price said. "I think that's going to create a little more enthusiasm for coming back to school."
Mr. Price expected to iron out wrinkles in the operation of the refurbished school over the first semester, but he felt confident the building would be safe for students and faculty from the first day.
Paving and final inspection is the only major work to be completed at the high school, Mr. Burik said. Classrooms were ready, and some white boards were already being installed, he said.
New technology will be tied to new programs, curriculum director Christopher Stone said. In the high school, students and teachers will have access to online storage, assignments and blogs.
The high school will add college-level anatomy and physiology classes and be the first in Western Pennsylvania to offer a biomedical sciences program, Mr. Stone said.
Montour launched a redesigned website this week at www.montourschools.com. The site includes information about the high school construction and new features, such as calendars for each building.
"We're in good shape," Mr. Price said, "and we're going to be ready for the kids."
First Published August 18, 2011 5:40 am