Southern Door Schools Upgrading Technology: School district puts TEACH grant to work

Southern Door School District was recently one of 127 Wisconsin school districts to receive a TEACH Information Technology Infrastructure Grant, as did 15 libraries around the state. The $28,506 in grant funds will be used to improve technology infrastructure at Southern Door. 

“The district applied for the TEACH Grant to help provide our students and staff a more consistent and robust network,” said Nate Smithson, the district’s instructional technology and library services coordinator. “Due to an aging infrastructure, inadequate proximal support and a lack of updated switches and servers, we will be replacing the inefficient technology so that our students and staff can utilize our district network in an efficient manner for our one-to-one digital-learning environment.”

Following the upgrades, students and staff can expect to see an increase in internet speeds, connectivity and reliability, Smithson said.

The school plans to update its technology systems starting this summer and complete the project by the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. The work includes updating switches and core switches, routers and patch cables.

Although the need for an expanded digital-learning environment during the pandemic wasn’t the impetus for the grant application – during his two years in his position, Smithson said the school district has applied each year – it demonstrated the importance of ensuring equitable internet access to all students. 

As technology needs increase, Smithson said the school continues to look for solutions to ensure the school has the best technological environment for its students and staff, and the TEACH Grant will help.

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