Needs Assessment

Technology committee actions and analysis of teacher surveys, evidence based research, and student test data indicate that needs exist to improve student achievement and foster the integration of 21st century skills and information technology standards.




    • As part of a 2000 remodeling and building project the district’s backbone was enhanced to include CAT 5 Enhanced wiring.  Two hubs service the networks to each classroom and office. For the 2014-2015 year we upgraded our school-wide wireless network with AeroHive access points.

      Internet services are provided by WiscNet.  We currently have 100 Mbps service, which will most likely need to be upgraded for the coming year.

      Networking & telecommunications equipment includes the following:

      • 11 HP 2910al 48 Port Switches

      • 30 Aerohive AP121 Access Points

      • 2 Dell Optiplex 390 (Domain Controller, Print Server)

      • 2 Custom Built Servers (Domain Controller, Print Server, File Server)

      • Firebox XTM520 Firewall

      • Aristotle Network Monitoring Appliance

      • LCS1000 Foodservice Server

      • Fiberoptic transceivers linking two wiring closets in the main building, and linking the main school to the charter school building.


      The current primary network reaches all office, classroom and lab areas with at least one, but usually 3 or more connections. For wireless access, these are augmented across the building by 802.11n wireless access points. All cable comprising the network is Category 5e.  The same network cabling is used for data, television and telephone connections.  Network data traffic is routed through a total of 11 Gigabit switches.  These are located in two wire rooms and joined by fiber optic cable.  The switches are currently utilized at a rate of 50 percent of capacity.  Internet access comes in through a Watchguard Firebox XTM520 firewall and a leased Cisco router via a WiscNet supplied WAN connection.

      The current network needs to expand firewall and router capacity to improve network performance, increasing student and teacher productivity and decreasing downtime as the trend continues toward cloud based applications. Our server infrastructure needs to be upgraded to handle increased file storage loads and also to host programs such as Solidworks and Papercut.  Storage capacity on the servers is inadequate to support student accounts as well as the existing and new services.  Our firewall also needs to be upgraded to handle the increased network traffic.  The current network and most certainly any expanded network needs additional maintenance and support service.  Implementation of expanded network infrastructure and services will require support staff time that is currently unavailable.

    • As we continue to move forward with 21st Century skills and the implementation of 1:1 computing for our school district, we feel our technology plan is in line with our needs and district/state goals. 
Surveys and needs assessments are implemented as needed.  Based on our needs assessment, research, and reflection as shown above, we have developed our goals and plan of action.

Birchwood School District -- Last updated on: June 8, 2015