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Dec 5, 2017 12:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays, East Hampton Schools To Receive Tech Upgrades

Rich Pandolfo, the network and system administrator for Hampton Bays, stands next to the main control panel. VALERIE GORDON
Dec 5, 2017 2:38 PM

Both the Hampton Bays and East Hampton school districts soon will undergo a series of state-funded technology upgrades to improve productivity in the classroom.

As part of the Smart Schools Bond Act—which made available $2 billion in state funding to finance technology upgrades in districts across New York—Hampton Bays is set to receive $99,637, while East Hampton is slated to collect $32,147, according to district officials.

The upgrades will help improve communication and efficiency throughout the three schools in Hampton Bays, according to Superintendent Lars Clemensen.

Rich Pandolfo, the network and system administrator for Hampton Bays, said on Monday that his district plans to use 30 percent of its funds, for which it applied in September 2016, to improve what he called the “backbone” of the district. Those plans include installing an additional 100 wireless access points, improving cabling, adding 39 switches, and upgrading the district’s central server room.

He added that the systems have not been updated since 2008, and that they reached the end of their typical lifespan more than four year ago.

The more notable change, however, will be the new “one-to-one device initiative” that Hampton Bays will be rolling out in February, Mr. Clemensen said. The district’s remaining Smart Schools fund, or roughly $70,000, will be combined with an additional $200,000 offered through the Federal Communication Commission’s Universal Service Fund to purchase new Chromebooks for each of the district’s approximately 1,500 students in grades five through 12. The new Chromebooks, which will run roughly $180 each, will replace traditional notebooks and textbooks.

“The world is moving toward the type of devices we spend all day on—computers,” Mr. Clemensen said. “When your materials are with you all the time, learning is more efficient.”

Similarly, East Hampton will invest its allotted $32,147 in state funds to improve the district’s technology infrastructure, Superintendent Richard Burns said on Monday. He added that all remaining funds will be used to provide Chromebooks to the district’s students.

Mr. Burns noted that the district has not yet learned if it will receive the federal funding to purchase additional computers for students.

“The amount of information that is at students’ fingertips is just unbelievable,” Mr. Burns said. “It’s an integral part of instruction.”

Charles Westergard, the East Hampton district’s manager of information systems, could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Congratulations to Rich and his staff for securing the funds. I remember the first computer /math lab in Room 5 with Gladys,, my writing lab in the Art Room where word processing was taught to all 8th graders as part of the English curriculum, two dedicated computer rooms with Pat McGovern, and finally the first Adult Ed computer classes, I hired you to teach with your wife. You've brought the district to a totally new level along with the Administrative team. Go Baymen.
By ILOONI (11), CUTCHOGUE on Dec 5, 17 6:39 PM