Grant to pay for Fort Frye IT upgrade

LOWELL — Fort Frye Local School’s four buildings will soon get IT upgrades at a bargain basement cost thanks to a federal grant.

District Information Technology director Ryan Henry told the board of education at its monthly meeting Thursday night that the $115,000-plus project, which will upgrade internet infrastructure and wireless systems at Fort Frye High and Middle School and Beverly-Center, Lowell and Salem-Liberty elementaries, will cost the district only $25,000 after being partly offset by a $92,000 federal grant.

“This week, I’ve gotten three deliveries at the high school,” he said. “I will do the installation on the wireless, but we pay a Marietta company, Concentric Technologies, to install the switches.”

He noted that he’s being assisted by three student interns in the work.

Henry also told the board that thanks to a federal grant system for rural schools, the district is being reimbursed for 80 percent of its internet service costs.

Superintendent Stephanie Starcher told the board that the project to develop a system of recognition for long-time employees is still in the works. She said 5, 10, and 15-year awards are being considered, along with use of an online vendor that specializes in gifts to mark such employee milestones.

“I think you’d be pleasantly surprised at the number who will qualify for that,” board member Lloyd Booth said. “There are people who have been with us an astronomical number of years.”

In other business the board:

Approved more than 40 policy updates in line with state directives, including new policies to govern school-based crowd funding procedures and revenue.

Approved several donations, an out-of-state FFA trip and rewards for FFA students who ran successful fundraisers.

Approved staff supplemental contracts, resignations, transfers and other changes.

The board’s next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at Salem-Liberty Elementary School.