Avoyelles School Board purchases additional internet switches

Improved security and improved access to the internet are two advantages to the Avoyelles School Board’s decision to purchase 14 internet switches for the district’s 10 schools.

Technology Coordinator Becky Spencer told the board at its July 2 meeting that the schools’ computer servers are being stretched thin, with access being spotty at times.

When the district began its move to upgrade security at schools with cameras a few years ago, there were no problems.

The cameras are powered through the internet system.

Since then, more cameras and other internet-based services, such as voice-over-phone, have been added. All of those services are powered through the internet switches.

When there is a high demand for that power, the school’s switch has to decide which request is met and which one is denied, Spencer said.

To avoid that, and to allow the schools to be able to use all of the equipment they have purchased, Spencer said the schools would need 14 additional switches -- one each in the six elementary schools and two more in each of the four high schools -- at a cost of $35,000.

This would allow each school to have one or two switches dedicated solely to the security cameras. The board approved the purchase, with the money to be temporarily taken from the board’s Reserve Fund.

The money will be returned to the Reserve Fund after staff members consider other appropriate sources for the equipment.

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