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Technology Department
Gary Richardson Technology Coordinator

Bessemer City Schools - Technology Overview

 Technology and Curriculum Integration

Our teachers use technology in their classrooms and labs in adherence to the content standards according to the Alabama technology

course of study.

Our students use technology in researching, analyzing and interpreting data. Students within our system have access to computers

in the classroom as well as computer labs. The computers typically have monitors, keyboards, mouse, scanners, digital cameras

and a network printer.

All computers use either Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP Professional and office products. We are currently using the following

software: Accelerated Reader, STAR reading testing program, SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory), Orchard Teacher’s software,

Complete Spanish course interactive software, Alabama High School Graduation Exam software, Team Alphie (success for all

tutorial) and Athena library software. Students in all of our schools have access to interactive video conferencing for distance

learning and virtual field trips.

Teachers use various online resources that are incorporated into their lesson plans to increase student performance. Our teachers

effectively incorporate technology into the curriculum which increases students’ learning and helps to decrease performance gaps.

Student Technology Available

The Bessemer City School District provides every classroom within our system with internet ready computers. Students within our

system have access to computers in the classroom as well as computer labs. The computers typically have monitors, keyboards,

mouse, scanners, digital cameras and a network printer. All computers use either Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP Professional and

office products. We are currently using the following software: Accelerated Reader, STAR reading testing program, SRI (Scholastic

Reading Inventory), Orchard Teacher’s software, Complete Spanish course interactive software, Alabama High School Graduation

Exam software, Team Alphie (success for all tutorial) and Athena library software. Students in all of our schools have access to

interactive video conferencing for distance learning.

Infrastructure

The Bessemer City School District includes five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, a career-technical center,

an alternative school and three non-instructional facilities. Each entity has a server and workstations, labs and assigned areas. All

workstations and servers are networked/network capable with internet and resources distributed through a LAN. Each classroom

has a minimum of six CAT-6 drops, managed wireless access points and interactive video conferencing (distance learning) installed

at all school locations. Each location has a minimum of one server that provides network services, file storage, and web-based

applications.

Connectivity/Wide Area Network

The Bessemer City School District includes five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, a career-technical center,

an alternative school and three non-instructional facilities. The LAN is connected to the WAN through a CISCO 3750 router. Each

location is connected to a 45mb fiber-based WAN with the ability to upgrade to 100 Mbps in the future should it becomes

necessary.

Internet Access

Each school and non-instructional facilities in the Bessemer City School district are connected via a 45 mbs fiber-based WAN to The

Bessemer Board of Education (BOE). The internet connection is located at the BOE. Internet access is provided by the Alabama

Research and Education Network (AREN) hosted by the Alabama Supercomputer Authority. ASA currently provides a 20 Mbps

(Megabits per second) connection to out to the internet. Alabama Supercomputer Authority also provides content filtering.

Information Security

Bessemer City Schools utilizes a variety of measures to protect its network, PCs and students. Some of the measures include:

• "Deep Freeze", a PC application that freezes the computer and prevents unwanted applications from being installed with or

without the users' knowledge.

• Barracuda - E-mail anti-virus and SPAM protection at the Internet gateway. E-mail is scanned before it is delivered to the E-mail

server.

• Content Filtering - provided by the State via Alabama Supercomputer Authority (our Internet Service Provider)

• Lightspeed Total Traffic Control which includes content filtering, virus protecition and spam filtering.

 

• Microsoft Active Directory - residing on servers at the Central Office and at each school, this service provides authentication

mechanisms that allow BCS to manage access to resources throughout the district. Bessemer City School constantly researching

and implementing enhancements to our network security.