District saves money on tech upgrades

Camas schools work to provide greater access

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By ordering computers earlier in the year, using open-source software and purchasing larger servers, the Camas School District saved approximately $230,000 in technology costs.

“Thinking outside the box this year has saved hundreds of thousands and has increased our student-to-computer ratios district wide, allowing students more access to technology at school and from home,” said Sherman Davis, server administrator for the district.

Davis gave a technology update at a recent School Board meeting.

In addition to the savings, some of the highlights from the report included:

• Using “open source” software to run the district website, which saves licensing fees and allows parents more access.

• Installing a district-wide wireless system which allows connectivity from any classroom. This allows students and teachers to bring their own devices for one-on-one computing. It is being tested at Camas High School and will soon go district-wide.

• Students are able to access their files from home and are able to use the devices they currently own so that brand specific purchases are not required.

“By being platform independent, we position ourselves to give students and staff access to files from all devices as well as any new devices in the near future,” Davis said. “Technology changes every day, and all that we can be sure of is that something new is always around the corner.”

School Board member Doug Quinn said it sounded like the technology department had made good progress in the past year.

“I’m impressed and quite thankful,” he said. “It reflects amazingly well on you.”

Board chairwoman Connie Hennessey agreed.

“I’m impressed with how many things you’ve done which impact the students,” she said.