Funding, Grants & Awards

Upstate NY District Invests $3.1 Million in New Technology

The Mahopac Central School District will spend $3.1 million over the next couple years to upgrade its Internet infrastructure and acquire Chromebooks for all of its 1,700 students in five schools.

The small district in Putnam County, about 50 miles north of New York City, will take advantage of the New York State Smart Schools Bond Act which voters approved two years ago, authorizing school districts throughout the state to invest $2 billion in technology.

The Mahopac district will immediately spend $200,000 to purchase 540 Chromebooks and 18 storage and charging carts. The next step will be to improve its Internet capabilities to make sure the district can accommodate so many students using technology at once.

"We do not have certain infrastructure improvements that we need if we're really going to advance technology," said District Superintendent Dennis Creedon in a report for The Examiner.

The district's high school is the last of its five campuses to receive upgrades that will boost Internet speed from 200 megabytes per second to 500.

"If our high school was to have kids using our WiFi all at once, the system would fail right now," he said.

In the coming months, teachers will receive training in how to incorporate Chromebooks and cloud-based technology into their classrooms.

"Our goal is to have totally tech-savvy educators who know how to engage young people and turn them on to learning," Creedon added.

The district will also use part of the state technology grant to install new security doors and security cameras at it schools.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.