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UASD presents comprehensive plan; selects IT Director

Upper Adams School District (UASD) school board approved moving forward with Questeq for district Information Technology (IT) management needs Tuesday.

A Director of IT Services is essential to assist with duties the other administrators do not have time for, including recruiting IT specialists, Superintendent Wesley Doll said.

Services provided also include product management, infrastructure support, network administration, cybersecurity, instructor support, and crisis response.

The board was faced with two impressive IT vendor presentations, as both Questeq and Global Data Consultant (GDC) presented overviews of their services to the school board.

Board President Tom Wilson pointed out Questeq’s experience working with education facilities was crucial.

Questeq’s focus is primarily on education and Pennsylvania education at that, while GDC tends to cover broader areas including healthcare facilities, Wilson said.

“Someone who’s good at aerospace may not be the guy I want to buy a car from,” Wilson said

When the worst happens, such as a malware or a hack, you want someone experienced available right away, school board member Ron Ebbert said.

The Questeq presentation clearly laid out the services the company would be able to provide the district, according to Wilson.

Hiring and retaining IT personnel has been a challenge in the past for the district, due to higher pay elsewhere, Wilson said.

Technology is essential district wide as tools for learning and for teachers to deliver content.

“This is a 21st century school district and if you don’t have IT, you don’t have a school anymore,” Wilson said.

In other business, striving to provide ongoing care for students, administrative officials presented overviews of the UASD district comprehensive plan.

An ongoing process, the UASD Comprehensive Plan “Does not sit on a self” but continues to grow and adapt throughout the years to meet the goals of the district,” Doll said.

The comprehensive plan lays out a road map of how the district will continually improve and support the mission statement of challenging, inspiring and empowering students, according to Joseph Albin, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.

Each goal has components and additional targets to be reached by June 2025.

The first goal of the comprehensive plan is to target and identify students at risk whether behaviorally emotionally or academically.

Another goal is based on increasing two-way communication with district families as well as business and monitoring practices both effective and ineffective, developing relations through these communications.

A third goal is focusing on school climate, a broad term focusing on the overall feel of an education environment specifically in regard to safety and discipline.

Other aspects of the comprehensive plan detail continuous technology integration and ensuring special education students the same engaging atmosphere and support as general students.

The final portion of the comprehensive plan is collaboration and transparency to keep the plan available to the entire district.

“It clearly shows a lot of work has been put into this,” Wilson revered.

For the first year, the comprehensive plan will now be available on the school district website.

The school board will next meet February 15 at 7 p.m.

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A.L. Grabenstein, reporter, is a graduate of Philadelphia's La Salle University with a B.A in Communication and has been a journalist since 2016. She has reported for the Gettysburg Times and the Times Herald in Norristown, PA. Grabenstein moved to Gettysburg from Montgomery County in 2019. She was born in San Antonio, TX., and previously lived in Virginia, and North Carolina. Grabenstein is actively involved in the borough of Gettysburg and loves giving voices to the local community.

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