The Turlock Unified School District’s plan to upgrade all teacher computer and network connections in an effort to bring all classrooms to a 21st century standard was approved at Tuesday’s board meeting.
“This plan will have more impacts on students in the classroom,” said Superintendent Sonny DaMarto. “Teachers will now have better tools to work with. This is the future and what education is coming to.”
The 21st Century Classroom Technology Plan will upgrade network infrastructure to teachers' computers, install interactive whiteboards and document cameras in each classroom, provide ongoing professional development for teachers, and instructional technology support staff over a three phase, three year period. The district will spend approximately $5 million on the plan.
“There is no doubt that technology is an important tool to facilitate education to our younger generation,” said TUSD Trustee Frank Lima. “We want to make sure the technology is applied appropriately to all of our school sites."
Although the technology plan has been approved by the board, some trustees expressed concerned with how district reserves should be spent.
“I’m a little apprehensive,” said Lima. “I am willing to commit to phase one of the technology plan, but we have a lot of one time needs that we have to address including modernization, capital facilities needs and maintenance work around our sites.”
The board of trustees will move forward with the project and begin to upgrade network infrastructure and provide a district-wide wireless network immediately.
“A lot has happened over the past four weeks,” said DaMarto. “With the tax initiative passing, I feel very comfortable in spending our reserves and making 21st century standard as a priority for our students.”