Internet Outages Frustrate Staff at Lincoln-Sudbury
Superintendent/Principal Scott Carpenter reports that the frequent outages are interrupting summer work and delaying responses to parents who email the school.
Staff members who work all 12 months of the year are being inconvenienced by frequent Internet outages, according to Superintendent/Principal Scott Carpenter, who updated the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Committee on the issue at its Tuesday night meeting at the high school.
"It's been failing us since we were closing down the school year," Carpenter said, blaming a firewall that is nearly eight years old and will soon fall into the category of an "orphaned" product, meaning that it has become so old that its manufacturer will no longer provide support or service for it.
"It means every time it goes down, someone has to go and flip, flip, flip to get it back up and running," Carpenter said, complaining that the frequent interruptions are inconvenient for staff who need to work online and for parents who need to be able to email the school with questions.
"Right now there's a lot of summer work that's being tempered and delayed by this," Board Chair Nancy Marshall said. "Maybe it's just tired. It sounds funny to say, but things do get tired and wear out after seven years."
Carpenter said he had hoped the equipment would last for another half year until a new generation of the product is released, but now thinks it won't be possible to wait that long.
"This is akin to the iPhone; we may need to get the 4 and not the 4S," Carpenter said as an example. He estimated the cost of replacing the equipment at about $20,000.
Tuesday night's Committee meeting represented the first meeting for the new Director of Finance and Operations Michael Connelly, who began the position on July 1. He comes to Sudbury from Wakefield, where he spent four years as a business administrator.
Connelly gave the School Committee updated Cherry Sheets from the state, which he said were pretty close to what was expected. Cherry Sheets are the official notification from the Commissioner of Revenue regarding how much the state plans to contribute to the funding of public education in each city or town. The Cherry Sheets are released once the state budget is enacted by the Legislature and approved by Gov. Deval Patrick, which occurred this year on July 8.