In May of 2015 the WCSD set out to create a committee to discuss the priorities of how the Wappingers Central School District should spend the $5,327,266.00 we have been allocated as part of the Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA). The SSBA was passed by the voters of New York State in the November of 2014 general election.
The SSBA is now part of the 2014-15 NYS Enacted Budget. (L. 2014, ch. 56, Parts B and C). The Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA) authorizes the issuance of $2 billion of general obligation bonds to finance improvements in educational technology and building infrastructure, with the end goal of improving learning opportunities for students throughout the state (The Wappingers Portion is once again $5,327,266.00).
New York State has created the Smart Schools Website which includes all of the details about the SSBA.. Included on this site is the SSBA Guidance Document which decribes the desire / need for all stakeholders to be included in the decisions our district makes in spending these funds. The SSBA Committee (SSBAC) is one of the requirements outlined in the guidance document, and is a group consisting of parents, community members, teachers, and administrators.
A presentation was made at the September 26, 2016 Wappingers Board of Education meeting outlining our third SSIP for which we will bee seeking community input and ultimately NYSED approval. The proposed scope of this plan is to purchase additional Chromebook Carts for the elementary buildings as well as additional carts for Wappingers Jr. This plan will also include the purchase of Chromebooks for our elementary teachers to use for curriculum development and planning. Lastly, the plan also requests the purchase of new radio communications systems including handheld radios for the district in order to improve communication in case of an emergency. A copy of the SSIP can be found here:
b) SSBAC Recommended Solution: Allocate $450,000 for the purchase of 1,210 Chrome devices and Carts which will improve overall access to student devices in each elementary building as well as Wappingers Junior. In addition, 220 devices will be purchased for elementary teachers so that they can develop plans and prepare lessons in line with the technology available to the students.
Improve upon the district's radio capabilities in emergency situations
a) Issue to be addressed: Radio communications between buildings across the district are vastly limited due to equipment limitations. Therefore buildings cannot communicate between one another via hand held radios (walkie talkies) in emergency situations.
b) SSBAC Recommended Solution: Allocate $200,200.00 to purchase the appropriate equipment including repeaters, licensing, and additional hand held radios to improve communication between buildings throughout the district in case of an emergency.
Components of our SSIP #1 Submittal
Interactive Whiteboards and Displays In Every Classroom:
a) Issue To Be Addressed: In May of 2015 the district conducted a classroom survey that identified 141 classrooms which still lacked interactive display technology in the front of the classroom. The SSBAC has reached consensus that we need to provide equitable access to this technology in every classroom. The district also realizes that we have a large number of classrooms where the existing technology is no longer functioning.
b) SSBAC Recommended Solution: Allocate $900,000 (Budgetary figure based on 200 classrooms X $4500 / classroom) of the SSBA funds to acquire interactive whiteboards and other display technology to ensure that all classrooms have adequate and equitable instructional technology resources in each classroom.
District Wide Intruder Cores:
a) Issue To Be Addressed: Our faculty and staff lack the ability to physically lock a classroom door from inside the classroom itself. In addition our faculty and staff lack the ability to lock any common area space such as a restroom or cafeteria door during an emergency. During an emergency situation faculty must first open their classroom door to double check that the handle is in fact locked, leaving a window of opportunity for them to be exposed to a hazardous condition.
b) SSBAC Recommended Solution: Allocate $550,000 (Budgetary figure based on 2000 doors X $275 / door) of the districts SSBA funds to install district wide intruder cores in every door that will allow any employee with an existing district key to lock any classroom or common space (ie: restrooms, or offices) from the inside of the room. This is a simple solution that can make a big difference in a situation where every second counts.
|SSBA Funding Balance|
|WCSD Initial Allocation||$5,327,266|
|SSIP #1 (As per draft on 12/15/2015)||$1,450,000|
|SSIP #2 (As per presentation from 6/20/2016)||$1,200,000|
|SSIP #3 (As per presentation from 9/26/2016)||$650,200|
|Private and Parochial Allocation (If $3.1 Million of SSBA is spent on Learning Technology). The balance below does not include this figure subtracted, it is a possible expenditure, but not an actual allocation.||$197,250|
|Private and Parochial Allocation Adjusted (Based on SSIP 1)||$63,120|
|Private and Parochial Allocation Adjusted (Based on SSIP 3)||$29,982|
|Balance of Funds||$1,933,964|
|Balance of Private and Parochial funds (If the district meets the maximum spending criteria in the instructional technology category of the SSBA). This total is subject to change based on district spending priorities in the other categories.||$104,148|