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June 2009 special meeting minutes

Ray Local School Council special meeting minutes
June 2, 2009
Staff Lounge

Present: Bernadette Butler, Heather Edelman, Ray Lodato, Sean Murphy, David Myles, Willie Walter (arrived 6:55) , Jennifer Washington. Absent: Blake Davis, Christine Lancaster, Ken Schug, Angela Williams-Walker.

Also in attendance: Vice-Principal Barbara Onofrio; Shaz Razul from CUIP; Belvi Foster from ITS/CPS; Miriam Wagner, Kent ? and Alexandre Merigay from Sun Microsystems.

R. Lodato called the meeting to order at 6:43 p.m.

S. Murphy (second: B. Butler) moved to amend the agenda to allow W. Walter to attend the meeting by phone.

Proposal to adopt SunRay thin-client solution for computers
S. Murphy described the options available for updating computers at Ray: purchasing or leasing desktop computers, or purchasing or leasing the SunRay thin-client set-up. Purchasing desktops would save the school about $25 per computer over leasing them from CPS. The school could replace computers every five years. Purchasing SunRay would be $15,000 less expensive than leasing it over a 10-year period.

With the SunRay model, teachers would continue to see the same information on the screen. Teachers and students would have their own log-in, and they could continue to save work to Ray’s server, or they could save work to FirstClass. B. Butler said teachers had trainings on FirstClass but some had struggled to be able to use the system. B. Foster said ITS could offer more trainings.

If Ray chose SunRay, the next step would be to perform a site survey. Work would be done over the summer in order to have the system in place by the start of school. Implementing the system at Ray would require a project manager. Which ports are active in each room? Additional ports might cost more money. Most classrooms have four ports. CPS may pay to fix inoperable ports. If Ray starts with 100 SunRays, they could be installed first in the computer lab and then into operable ports around the school.

S. Murphy reviewed teacher surveys conducted to gauge support for SunRay. About 12 were returned. Some favored SunRay. Some said they would follow CUIP’s recommendation. Some asked questions about SunRay’s compatibility with Flash, streamlining video and USB devices. Kent explained that currently video and audio get out of synch. A software upgrade will be available in September.

S. Murphy discussed the conference call with a school in Cincinnati that uses SunRay. The school has a couple hundred SunRay devices now and is adding a couple hundred more. The school reported much less hardware support needed. One SunRay box burned out, so they plugged in a new one and Sun replaced the box for free.

S. Murphy discussed support costs. The school would only be charged for hours used. CUIP would be the first line of defense. B. Foster said ITS was excited about the opportunity to work with Sun and Ray School on this pioneering project. A. Merigay said Ray School would get a lot of positive attention from Sun.

(Sun representatives departed at 8:03 p.m.)

S. Razul said there were many little risks but no deal-breakers. He said leasing desktops would not be a financially sound decision.

B. Butler explained that hiring a full-time technology teacher and purchasing SunRay would leave very little discretionary money in the budget next year. She expressed concern about sustaining the technology teacher position. J. Washington said technology would need to be supported through fundraising in the future.

D. Myles (Second: S. Murphy) made a motion to purchase SunRay. The LSC voted 5 in favor, 1 opposed, 1 abstaining.

B. Onofrio suggested raising money before deciding to purchase SunRay. H. Edelman asked about leasing SunRay with the possibility of purchasing it at the end of the year.

S. Murphy (second: D. Myles) moved to vacate the last vote.

S. Murphy (second: D. Myles) made a motion to approve the SunRay lease with the stipulation that he would identify the cost of purchasing SunRay at the end of each of the next five years. The motion was approved 7-0.

J. Washington (second: D. Myles) made a motion to move $18,084 from the miscellaneous line into technology for the purpose of paying for the SunRay lease. The motion passed 7-0.

D. Myles (second: J. Washington) made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:02 p.m.

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