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Monessen School Board seeks wireless network control

| Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, 12:21 a.m.

The Monessen School Board is expected to vote next week on a measure aimed at blocking students from accessing the district's wireless Internet network.

At an informational meeting Tuesday, the board discussed entering into an agreement with Dagostino Electronic Service of Pittsburgh to provide a wireless solution utilizing Virtual Controller technology.

“Students have the ability to access our wireless system just by downloading an app on their phone,” acting Superintendent Dr. Leanne Spazak said. “This will prevent the use of cell phones on our district wireless system.”

Spazak said the measure is a preventative step, adding and that there haven't been any problems with – or breaches of – the district system.

“The biggest thing is that we can tell by looking at the servers that there are a lot more people on the wireless,” Spazak said. “This will prevent anything from happening.”

The contract is contingent on the district obtaining approval of Priority 2 E-Rate money through the federal government. The original cost would be approximately $60,000, but the priority funds will provide an 80 percent discount and cut the cost to just over $12,000.

Spazak said it could be a while before the district learns if it will receive the money, but can lock in the reduced rate if it enters into the contract now.

“Hopefully we get the funding,” she said.

The board is also expected to vote on a service agreement with DES to maintain data infrastructure for the district. The deal would cost $7,452 for the period 2014 through 2017 and would be billed in annual payments of $2,484.

Spazak said DES installed much of the district's data infrastructure and is familiar with the system.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jsellew@tribweb.com or 724-684-2667.

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