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8 MUSD schools gearing up for latest technology

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POSTED July 5, 2014 12:20 a.m.

If everything goes according to plan, eight elementary schools in Manteca Unified will be fully wired for 21st-century technology connection by September.

This is all part of the $30 million Going Digital project aimed at weaning the district from the digital divide that left many of the old school campuses unable to catch up with the latest in educational technology. This ambitious project is also geared at getting the district and the schools ready for the anticipated implementation of the new form of education called the Common Core Standards which aim is to provide a clear understanding of what students are expected to learn to get them prepared for college, career and life.

To get ready for the official launching of Going Digital, the district will be purchasing 23,000 of a 2-in-1 convertible computer device called the 3E to equip each K-12th grade students in more than two-dozen elementary and high school campuses.

The eight school sites that are on the priority list for electronic and cable wiring are French Camp Elementary, George Komure and Great Valley elementary in Weston Ranch, Golden West, Sequoia, and Shasta elementary in Manteca, Lathrop Elementary on Fifth Street in Lathrop, and Manteca Day School.

No favoritism or lottery selection was involved in giving the schools priority cable wiring. It has everything to do with government funding whose availability is time sensitive. These campuses are part of the federal government’s E-rate program which provides discounts to projects such as Going Digital. These school sites qualify to receive the funding because of the high percentage of free and reduced lunch to students, or are located in areas identified as demographically low-income. Being in the E-rate programs means the district could have up to 90 percent discounts in the purchase of network equipment as well as labor costs.

E-rate funds come from a portion of telephone bills that consumers pay every month.

Going Digital is an investment in the students and their future, according to district Information Technology Director Colby Clark in an earlier interview.

“Our students are in a different world than when we were in school. The goal is to provide the district with digital infrastructure that will support 21st-century learning. It will provide teachers and students with tools to access (the) Common Core (Standards) and other 21st-century educational programs.”

A few fast facts about Manteca Unified’s $30 million Going Digital project:

uIn June, Manteca Unified became the first school district in the United States to be using the Cisco Nexus 9000 series switches with the successful network wiring of the Manteca Community Day school.

uGoing Digital, when completed, will have installed nearly 40 miles of fiber optic cables throughout the school district. According to school district calculations, that’s enough material that can be stretched from Manteca to Pleasanton.

uWhen the $30 million project is completed, there will be more than 1,600 wireless access points throughout the school district, with every classroom on every campus having an access point.

uGoing Digital is expected to be fully completed in 2015.

For additional details about Going Digital, visit the school district’s official website at www.mantecausd.net.

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