- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The Rapides Parish School District will spend almost $1 million to upgrade its wireless system for computer-based testing that begins as early as March.

“Our district’s current wireless solution is in desperate need of attention,” Director of Technology Rebekah Beck told the school board on Tuesday. “We can no longer hold off on the revamping of our wireless infrastructure solution.”

The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/1b4BaYK ) the upgrade is to allow students across the district to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, which is state-mandated for the 2014-2015 school year.

The upgrade is to allow students across the district to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test, which is state-mandated for the 2014-2015 school year.

Eleven Rapides Parish schools will be field testing on March 24, advancing the deadline to be “PARCC-ready.”

The school board approved spending more than $900,000 to replace the district’s current wireless access points and switches; add 22 access points to allow additional classrooms to test on iPads and laptops; and add wireless to other school system buildings with Cisco Meraki Solution.

It also includes a seven-year license that provides 24/7 on-call support and maintenance.

Beck said more than $800,000 is for the access points and then comes wiring costs, which depend on the local vendor as well as the type of ceiling or other issues at the building. The wiring will account for about $25,000 of the cost, she estimated.

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Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com

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