APS to partner with districts on technology

ALPENA – Alpena Public Schools Board of Education approved ratification of a technology services contract with Alcona, Hillman and the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District. This contract establishes a relationship between partner districts and APS, defining the technology services administered with each school and developing a compensation plan.

“The opportunity for consolidation came about quickly,” Superintendent Brent Holcomb said. “We can provide a service that I see as a win-win-win for all the entities. We will offset some of our expenses at the same time.”

Holcomb said sharing technology personnel will cost around $82,000, with around a $142,000 bill back, leaving around $60,000 to offset the cost of the personnel needed to perform the contracted services.

“What we’re really selling is our expertise,” Holcomb said. “The upload initially is a heavy load for us, but down the road it will pay off.”

APS is mainly contracting out the use of its personnel for installation of hardware and software at the other entities. Software and hardware purchases are not billed to APS, but are costs to the schools making the purchase. Along with available personnel, the technology contract includes remote access to the contracted schools which cuts back on mileage and hours spent by the staff.

“We’re selling them some capacity,” Holcomb said. “I think it was one of those mutual opportunities where we all saw some benefit. Our hope is that we can deliver a good product and they’ll see the benefit of the investment on their side and we’re able to maximize our capacity for technology.”

The services are allocated by days per week and are a matter of each district’s support needs. In some districts there will be technology staff members there every day, and in others they will be there only a few days a week.

In response to the contract ratification, APS hired Michael Suitor and Gregory Neumann as technology support workers to assist with the growing needs of the technology department.

In other business:

new hires Patricia Peiffer, Joseph Bastow, Ron Cadarette and Craig Thompson were announced to staff;

Norma Grochowski, Patrick Pokorski and Raymond Worth were hired as new transportation relief bus drivers;

the board accepted the low bid for bus fuel from Blarney Castle Oil Company;

the monitoring process for APS is in effect in which reports must be made to the Michigan Department of Education every month to ensure the deficit elimination plan is in effect and working;

the option with Meijer, Inc . to purchase property from APS has been extended through Dec. 31;

the finance committee accepted a bid from Contract Paper Group for paper purchase at $2.353 per ream, totaling $19,765.20 for 8,400 reams of paper;

a resolution for borrowing with local Chemical Bank for note bonding of 0.89 percent on a $5 million note, which is slightly higher than last year, for cash flow purposes was approved;

the first day of school for students is Sept. 3;

the next regular board meeting will be held on Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Gerry Ludwig Board Room.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.