Livingston schools need more computers for 2014 assessments

Livingston Parish public schools are not technologically ready for the PARCC assessments that will be implemented in 2014, and funding for needed infrastructure and devices is limited, the district’s technology director said.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests will require students in the third through 12th grades — or more than 18,885 students in Livingston Parish — to take the assessments on computers, instruction supervisor Joe Murphy told the School Board during its meeting Thursday night.

“The scope of that is almost beyond imagination,” Murphy said.

The district has 4,885 computers at least partially ready to handle the testing, but 1,970 devices in school computer labs are not, technology Director Rob Logan said.

Livingston Parish schools are “far ahead of many other schools, but we’re not ready yet,” he said.

Getting ready will require investments of $1.7 million in infrastructure, $4.8 million in devices and $1 million in content, Logan said.

The district’s application for federal technology funding for 2013-14 will include a request for priority funding to increase the school system’s bandwidth capabilities, he said.

Additional funding will be needed from within the district, which has not increased its technology department budget since 2007, he said.

Other business coming before the School Board included:

EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION: The School Board unanimously declared May 6-10 as Livingston Parish Public Schools Employee Appreciation Week.

The board’s resolution “calls on all citizens to provide public recognition and appreciation for the dedication and contributions of school system employees ... and to accord them the deepest respect and admiration they so richly deserve.”

ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS: The board approved the appointments of Sammie Lacara and Shana White as assistant principals at Walker Freshman High School and Denham Springs High, respectively.

STUDENTS OF YEAR: The board recognized Emma Catherine Elsea, of Freshwater Elementary; Cameron Cade Hood, of North Corbin Junior High; and Gerald Tate Sibley, of Walker High School, as the district’s Students of the Year for their respective grade levels.