Internet issues top Dallas County School Board meeting

Published 6:33 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

The Dallas County school board held its regular session on Monday night at J.E Terry Elementary School.

Email newsletter signup

The school board focused on job descriptions and the continued problems with the internet at Keith High School.

The board heard from each member of the executive staff during the Superintendent’s report.

One of the report’s main focuses was the internet problems that continued to plague Keith. The problems came after the January 12 tornado that took a direct hit in Dallas County. The subject was discussed at the January Board Meeting.

Board Member Melvin Flanagan-Brown asked for an update on the internet problem since the school is about to enter into a period of critical tests.

Dallas County School District Technology Coordinator Rick Cortright has been working on the problem for a month.

Before any outside help comes, Cortright said they have to eliminate all possible problems that could be fixed within the district.

“When the tornado hit, we had to replace some equipment,” Cortright said. “The problem with electrical storms is, sometimes you have an automatic off where you have it’s blown and won’t power on. What you have in this scenario is we had a slow degradation of various access points and switches. We have replaced access points. We are able to monitor and see them produce fault errors that we can try and go eliminate that particular access point. Today we replaced the main switch and we moved main apps to that switch to segregate it to make sure that the AP running on that switch are completing the integrity checks that they need to have to pass traffic.”

Cortright continued by saying that during this testing season, his staff will continue to make sure that all the students are able to get through their tests as smoothly as possible.

“We’ve tested in this district going back nearly a decade,” Cortright said. “You can run into issues with everyone in the state testing at the same time. There have been issues over the years where Keith’s servers have gone down at the actual ACT building. You can’t predict everything but when I hear it in a board meeting I think that they want to make sure and get some assurances that we know what’s going on, that we are working on fixing the issue, and that we are going to take care of our schools.”   

Later on, in the meeting, the board was presented with a second reading of policies as they related to Narcans, Anaphlaxis, and other Policies and Procedures for other Health Services. The Board approved the second reading of the policies as they were presented.

Item six on the agenda was a discussion on different job descriptions and salaries within the district. There was a long discussion between the board and Sampson over the qualification of the Transportation Supervisor. Sampson recommended that the Supervisor have a Bachelor’s degree. Board member William Minor along with others said that a high school diploma was all that should be required and that item ended up being tabled by the board. An LSA Centralized Bookkeeper was also discussed. The board approved the salary in the January 26 meeting and was brought additional information on that position. According to Sampson, a person had been hired for that position and already had started working. There was confusion on this item and at the end of the discussion this item was also tabled.

Items C, D, and E were approved by the board. The board then went into an executive session before closing out the session. The next board meeting will be at Southside Primary  on March 30.