October 10, 2019
Dear Beacon City School District Community:
I want to take a moment to update you on the Smart Schools Bond Application we have been working on in the BCSD. The Smart Schools Bond Act was approved by New York voters in November 2014. The Act allowed school districts to apply to utilize funds to do the following:
1. Install high-speed broadband or wireless internet connectivity for schools and communities;
2. Acquire learning technology equipment or facilities, including but not limited to interactive whiteboards, computer servers, and desktop, laptop, and tablet computers;
3. Construct, enhance, and modernize educational facilities to accommodate prekindergarten programs and to provide instructional space to replace classroom trailers; and/or
4. Install high-tech security features in school buildings and on school campuses, including but not limited to video surveillance, emergency notification systems, and physical access controls.
The original application developed about four years ago by the BCSD was to increase our learning technology equipment in the district with a $2.1 million spending plan. Due to the very slow nature of the application process and our assessment of the more immediate needs of our students, the Board of Education and I decided to pull the application and fund the instructional technology initiatives through our own district budget. Over the past three years, we have funded the 1:1 Chromebook initiative and interactive teaching screens in all of our classrooms.
We have developed a new application for the Smart Schools Bond Act that focuses on school security. From both our district security audit we did two years ago and our own experiences, we know that we need to have a better access control system and public address systems in our buildings which this plan addresses. We also need new cameras at all of our buildings that will provide more coverage than we currently have. The current cameras and their servers are outdated and need to be replaced. The proposed cameras will not be utilizing facial recognition software.
You can also watch a 20-minute presentation and discussion of the Smart Bond proposal at our July 22, 2019 BCSD Board of Education meeting. The presentation starts right at the beginning of the meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9lnd97XXog&t=9s .
There will also be a public hearing on our application at the November 12 board meeting at 7:00. If you have any questions, please let me know.
You can view the Plan by clicking the the following link: Smart School Investment Plan