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Demopolis BOE approves new computer system

DEMOPOLIS-The Demopolis City Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a new $66, 954.15 server system that will help with slow computers and provide more security to the overall networks. The Technology Coordinator for the Demopolis City Schools Sherry Feller sent a letter to all the board members before the meeting to give them some background on the new system before they voted.

“This new system is called a turn-key Citrix terminal server solution,” Feller said.

She said a Request for Proposal for the equipment, installation, testing, and support of the turn-key Citrix terminal server solution was mailed to five vendors on March 19. She also said this system promises a reduction in maintenance cost, a reduction in hardware cost, more control over programs used for instruction and business, and less down time for trouble.

“The Citrix solution quoted in the letter will provide for 65 concurrent users to be connected to the STI and Microsoft Office 2003 Professional applications,” Feller said.

She said now that the board has approved the $66,954.15 system, she wants to start applying for grants and other means in order to buy the rest of the Citrix system in the future. She also said the faculty at Demopolis High School and 30 users at Westside will be the first to get the new system.

“Everyone is currently on a network right now, but with this new system everyone will log on to the Internet to do their business,” Feller said.

She said the Citrix system is made up of three HP ProLiant DL 140 Servers, two of which work together to perform the applications and the other one stores the data. She also said the two servers are a special group because one is active, while the other is a mirror image of the active one just in case of something happening to the main server.

“We hope to have all the hardware installed and ready to go by the start of August,” Feller said.

She said the main program they plan to install on the server for the DHS teachers is called STI Classroom. She also said the program will allow the teachers to do their grades and attendance on the Internet.

“Training for the new system will be on the second day of school and all the teacher will be trained,” Feller said.

She said the teachers would have to enter an identification number and user password in order to get into the programs. She also said she will recommend that all the teachers keep a hard copy for this first year just incase.

“The funding for this project consists of money from E-Rate, QZAB, and the General Fund,” Feller said.

DHS Principal Ronald Roberts said he felt like this new system will help decrease the frustration that his students feel towards the older computers at the high school because they’re use to their faster more modern computers at home. He also said besides easing the frustration of the students, this move would save the school money over the long run.

“The school will only spend one-fourth of the money it use to spend on replacing computers with this new system,” Roberts said.

He said this system will the school to use the older computers because thanks to the server the computers will be a lot faster. He also said the school system could buy some terminal boxes and hookup some monitors to them and they act as computers.