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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • West Side prepares for the future

  • West Side School District has set a goal for progress in order to best prepare students and staff for the future of education.
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  • West Side School District has set a goal for progress in order to best prepare students and staff for the future of education. Two years ago the District had only three megabytes of broadband internet service. The district felt that was not sufficient for daily operations, not to mention the task of implementing the upcoming mandate requiring online PARCC student assessments and Common Core State Standards. Additional bandwidth was a necessity in order for the District to advance forward.  The District contacted Senator Missy Irvin.  Irvin became instrumental in laying the groundwork for the district so that it could increase its broadband capabilities.
     Currently West Side School District has 45 megabytes of broadband internet service with in-house capabilities to increase to 622 megabytes with redundancy. That fiber connection was necessary for West Side to fully implement their plan for each student to have his or her own personal technology device and to reach the districts goal of a one-to-one student-to-device ratio initiative. That was accomplished by purchasing a combination of Google Chromebooks and Nexus tablets.
    The one-to-one initiative was achieved this year, again in large part, due to Senator Irvin’s diligence during the special legislative session which allowed West Side to continue to keep their local tax revenue, also known as uniform rate of tax. The loss of the local tax revenue would have prevented West Side School District from reaching its goal of a one-to-one initiative.
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