The Grants/Cibola County Schools Technology department is dedicated to maintaining the hardware and services that support student learning, teachers, and staff.
Over the past 4 years the department has completed several projects to increase the technological learning capabilities of the district. Projects which include; optimizing network hardware to meet bandwidth requirements. This optimization resulted in replacing all of the routing, switching, battery backup, and wireless access equipment in the district. All new equipment is now monitored 24/7 to help prevent network outages during critical learning periods. While replacing this equipment the department implemented a recycling procedure to dispose of retired electronics in a more environmentally friendly manner.
To better support PARCC testing and other computer based testing initiatives the Technology department used Tech Bond monies to purchase new desktops and laptops for computer labs across the district. During this upgrade over one thousand aging Windows XP computers were replaced with modern workstations. In order to quickly deploy these new workstations a new network imaging system was setup. In order to handle the complex software configuration requirements of the multiple computer based testing platforms the district leverages powerful remote management tools to streamline and automate software installations and configurations.
In order to save on energy costs and to have the flexibility to meet the fast changing demands of Education several upgrades have been made to the district’s datacenter. Aging hardware has been replaced with modern server’s hosting hypervisors for the district’s new virtual server platforms. Enterprise level network storage is now available to all staff in the district to help in their everyday workflows. A dedicated data backup system with off site data vault is now part of a growing disaster recovery plan to protect critical data. All systems are now protected using one of the leaders in anti virus systems, which includes protection against modern ransom ware viruses.
The main backbone connections of the district have vastly upgraded. In the city of Grants all schools are now connected via fiber optic to the district’s datacenter. All other remaining schools still using microwave links have had their connections upgraded to provide dedicated bandwidth to each school. The main internet pipe into the school has been upgraded, from 2 DS3 circuits providing 45Mbps each, to a dedicated 300Mbps fiber optic circuit. Planning is currently in place to bring fiber optic connections to all school sites and increase the internet pipe to 1Gbps.
Most recently the Technology department has initiated the registration of a new internet domain (gccs.k12.nm.us) to better help identify its staff and online resources on a professional level. While transferring to this new domain the district also enrolled in the G Suite for Education. Using G Suite the department is now able to offer the modern cloud based productivity applications included with G Suite to teachers and staff at the district.