CCUSD Board votes to upgrade Wi-Fi

CCUSD Superintendent Debbi Burdick, Leo Morris and BMES Principal Matt Owsley
CCUSD Superintendent Debbi Burdick, Mike Marcinko and BMES Principal Matt Owsley

The Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) Governing Board gave the go ahead to upgrade Wi-Fi and the computer network internal infrastructure at their March 12 meeting. Dr. Kent Frison, Associate Superintendent for Operations and Finance, told the board the new system would put an access point in each classroom. The current system averages about one per every three classrooms. Board President Cynthia Weiss likened it to three classrooms all sharing a single doorway. Some of the older access points will be upgraded as well.

CCUSD Superintendent Debbi Burdick, Rina Yurcak and BMES Principal Matt Owsley

Frison said in 2015 there were approximately 2900 units connecting with the school’s Wi-Fi system, now the number is 4400. He projected another 2000 devices would be utilizing the system within the next two years. In addition, network switches would need to be replaced and additional cabling would be required as well to handle the capacity and speed needed. The next step would be to increase the band width at all schools and facilities across the district.

Board Member Mark Warren questioned if more should be done now, to avoid ‘kicking the can down the road?’ Would it be better to do more now, so more would not need to be done two to three years down the road? After the board was assured that this would satisfy the district’s needs for five to eight years, they voted unanimously to move forward with $430,024 project.

Update: In a later meeting with Superintendent Debbi Burdick, she said E-rate funds would be sought for the upgrade project. E-rate is a common nickname of the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund. According to Wikipedia, ‘The program provides discounts to assist schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access.’

The Universal Service Fee you see on your phone bill is what funds the program. According to the Superintendent, the district has never been denied when funds have been requested and it’s estimated that about 40 percent of the upgrade will come from the fund.

Black Mountain Excellence Awards

Black Mountain Elementary School (BMES) Excellence Award winners were announced at the March 12 Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) Governing Board meeting. Presenting the awards were CCUSD Superintendent Debbi Burdick and BMES Principal Matt Owsley. The Excellence Award for teachers was presented to Rina Yurcak, Spanish teacher, for parents or PTO Board Member, Mike Marcinko, who fits in both categories won the award, and the student award went to Leo Morris.