PORTAGE | Portage Township Schools moved forward Monday night with technology projects, approving two and moving forward with a third.
The School Board approved a contract with Gibson 2 Systems of Utah to replace the district's aging telephone system with a voice over Internet system. New equipment will be placed in all schools and auxiliary buildings.
The cost of the project will be $12,426 per month, which, said Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia, was the best and lowest of bids received. In addition, Frataccia said the district will use the eRate project to help lower the costs even further.
The board also approved a contract with Comcast to provide its wide area network system. The cost to provide the service to all schools is $11,700 per month. However, said Frataccia, utilizing eRate will bring the actual cost to $3,276 per month.
The board also heard a report that online registration is moving forward and should be ready for use this summer, if the board approves a vendor at its March meeting.
Assistant Superintendent Tom Taylor said a committee has been working on the project for about a month and will recommend the board approve a contract with Registration Gateway to provide the software, implementation and support for the project.
If approved next month, the system would be up and running in 120 days. Taylor said the program addresses all but two issues: proof of residency and payment. Those issues are being reviewed further to determine how the district will approach each, said Taylor.
In other business, the board also approved labor agreements with transportation, food service and custodial employees. They will be receiving the same pay raises given to other employees groups equaling a 1 percent base pay increase and a 1 percent one-time stipend.
Those three groups have already ratified the contracts.
The district has yet to come to an agreement with support staff personnel.