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  • Clear goals and a realistic strategy for using telecommunications and information technology A professional development strategy to ensure that staff know how to use these new technologies An assessment of the telecommunication services, hardware, software, and other services needed An evaluation process that enables the school or library to monitor progress toward the specified goals.


  • 1. What is E-Rate? Schools and Libraries Program Universal Services Fund By Stephanie Tracy
  • 2. What does E-Rate do?
    • Provides discounts to schools and libraries in the U.S.
    • Provides affordable telecommunications and Internet access
    • Funds four service categories:
      • Telecommunications Services
      • Internet Access
      • Internal Connections Other Than Basic Maintenance
      • Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections
  • 3. Who can apply?
    • Eligible school, school districts, and libraries can apply
    • May apply individually or as part of a consortium
    • Discounts for support depend on:
      • The level of poverty
      • The urban/rural status of the population served
      • Support ranges from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services
  • 4. What are the first steps to apply?
    • Prepare a technology plan.
    • Have the plan approved by a SLD-certified technology plan approver
    • The process is shown in this flow chart. E-Rate Application Flow Chart
  • 5. District Technology Plan
    • The plan is created by the District Advisory Team along with the Director of Technology Support for a total of 15 members.
    • Member backgrounds range from Principal, Technology Instructional Specialists, and Program Directors.
  • 6. Where are we now?
    • Infrastructure
      • A gigabit fiber backbone connects all campuses.
      • We have fiber connection to Region IV for Internet connectivity.
      • We have a two T1 lines to Data Foundry in Austin for backup purposes and redundancy.
      • All campuses have wireless connectivity, paid for with district and e-rate funds.
  • 7. Where are we now?
    • IP Telephones
      • All campuses and the Administration building have Voice over IP (VoIP) telephones. The Technology Department now support over 2,200 IP Phones. This project is complete.
    • Student Computers
      • We have purchased more than 2,500 new computers since last summer with Bond funds.
  • 8. Where are we now?
    • Software
      • All employees have email on First Class.
      • Our student data system is Skywards.
      • Our financial data and payroll run on Sage
    • Videoconferencing
      • We have purchased 5 portable videoconferencing units with Bond funds and 8 unites with E-Rate funds. These are being used for instruction, staff development and remote attendance at Region IV conferences.
  • 9. Where are we going?
    • Infrastructure
      • We plan to add an additional redundant connection to Region IV.
      • Network equipment at GPHS and in the Administration Building will be upgraded this summer with bond and e-rate funds.
      • This will give GPISD new network equipment at every campus that will last for the next 3 to 5 years.
    • Software
      • We are purchasing Alio, Applicant Tracking and will implement Alio, Accounts Receivable System
  • 10. Where are we going?
    • Student Computer
      • We plan to purchase about 3,000 additional student computers over the next 2 fall semesters with Bond funds. All computers are designated for classrooms and labs—to be used as replacements for older equipment.
    • Videoconferencing
      • We have purchased a StarBak video distribution system with Bond funds. District wide implementations will take place this school year. This will provide on-demand video capability at every networked computer. It will be used for instruction, staff development, and remote conferencing.
  • 11. District Goals
    • Infrastructure for Technology
      • Objective 1.1 All administrators, teachers, and staff will have increased access to technological tools and will use a variety of these tools to address the individual needs of students.
    • Increase skills, knowledge, and abilities of GPISD employees
      • Objective 2.1 Incorporate technology as an integral part of instruction through meaningful staff development