Inside Education: Technology and facilities infrastructure

Technology is at the intersection of all departments in the Ridgefield Public Schools. It involves the infrastructure of the district’s buildings (e.g., phones, Internet, facilities operations, and security), software (e.g., educational instruction), professional technical services (e.g., lunch payment system), and physical equipment (e.g., computers). This column will focus on the interplay of technology and facilities operations.

We are committed to making sure our facilities are maintained in a way that supports normal school operations without fear of system failure causing school disruption or closure. Increasingly, the core infrastructure of the district (e.g., mechanicals, heating and cooling systems, security systems, instructional systems) is supported by network infrastructure.

In Ridgefield, we are transitioning many of our aging operational technical systems to cloud-based solutions to ensure the continuity of safety and school operations. The recommended upgrades are the results of a comprehensive assessment of technology and facilities components, the inter-operability of those systems, and the infrastructure needed to support those systems. Within our facilities, we are specifically moving from proprietary software-based systems to more robust and user-friendly Web-based platforms. The necessary upgrades require investments in both the core infrastructure and the network infrastructure that supports the Web-based solutions. However, savings are realized through system efficiencies and reduction in purchase of proprietary systems.

Modernizing the district operations systems improves service to families; supports innovative teaching and learning; maintains or improves the quality of our systems; and leads to increased efficiencies, simpler and improved administration and management, and lower overall costs.

This column was submitted to The Press by the nine members of the Ridgefield Board of Education.