To the public, the face of the school district is likely the local school your kids go to now–or once attended–or maybe the local school you attended growing up. You remember your teachers, or your children’s teachers: the good ones you liked and maybe even some of the ones you didn’t like so much. Most people’s view of the district is generally pretty localized, and compartmentalized by our own limited local school experience.
The public doesn’t hear much about the district’s Information Services staff. These are the computer guys that work in the bowels of the Borough building in Soldotna or travel from school to school supporting technology in the field. The Information Services view of the district may be different than yours. They see a much bigger picture, because, well, they have to keep that big picture up and running. The district is big business, and it takes Information Technology professionals on top of their game to keep the peninsula’s largest employer running smoothly, with 8,000 PCs, 800 networked printers, hundreds of Interactive white boards, 690 wireless access points, and 900 security cameras, and so forth. The list of things to maintain and support goes on and on … and seems to gets bigger every year as technology evolves. Add all those schools together and the district is much bigger than many people realize.
Information Services lives in an evolving environment, adapting to the ever-changing needs of our students and staff. For example, last summer saw a major software upgrade to 30 point-of-sale computers used in our school cafeteria lunch lines. Those final 30 completed a multi-year move to Microsoft Windows 7 on all district computers. Since the beginning of school in August 2014, there have been some substantial bandwidth upgrades at Nanwalek, Port Graham, Hope, Seldovia, Tyonek, and Marathon school, improving network performance at those sites. Add to that 96 Terabytes of disk storage for servers and databases being installed now. Just a few activities, on a wide variety of fronts, in the Information Services department at KPBSD, where something big is always happening.
Story contributed by Jim White, director of information services