What started out as a tech initiative three years ago has now been rolled out to the high school, to both intermediate schools and to all six elementary schools.
Spearheading the effort were Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan, Chief Technology Officer Brian Auker, Board of Ed member Mitchell Slater and, as of this past December, Assistant Superintendent Paul Pineiro. Also key was the volunteer Ad-Hoc Technology Committee, of which Slater is the chairperson and Ginny Leiz, Rosanee Kurstedt and Richard Mattessich are members.
So what does the 21 century look like in Westfield? It all starts with hardware, so let’s start there, with 360 new iPads -- 30 per mobile cart -- spread across the district; 156 new ultrabooks (slimmed-down laptops), also on carts, for grades 9-12; 37 new desktops for the high school library; 30 new desktops for each of the new Roosevelt and Edison Tech Labs and, for grades one through three, 395 multi-seat computers.
Tying it all together is a faster internet connection (50 to 100MB/s), and a completely new wireless network, based on the college-campus model (also known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD) whereby – security permitting -- anyone can access the net from anywhere in the district with any device. First-grade connectivity issues? So over.