My Speech to the Pioneer Valley Regional School District School Committee regarding funding.


Hello, I am Jason DeFuria, a third year science teacher at Pioneer Valley Regional School and a member of its technology committee. I am here to speak with you tonight about the state of technology throughout the school.

Pioneer Valley Regional School is currently saddled with outdated hardware, software, and infrastructure, meaning the school lags behind when it comes to technology. Having up-to-date technology is essential for staying competitive with surrounding school districts and providing the best possible education to our students here at PVRS. In my opinion, it’s important we support a level of funding for 21st century learners before we earn a reputation for being behind the times and lose the school choice population that we’re known for. I believe a lack of support here causes more problems down the road. As a science teacher, I can’t help but think of the interconnections- and a lack of support now could put us on a path towards consolidation of schools to meet student needs, particularly on the front of elementary schools. This can be devastating for a community to lose its school, but without support for a budget that allows us to keep pace with area schools, it seems a consolidation may be fiscally inevitable on our current trajectory.

The modern school needs dependable access to the Internet. Over the last year, we’ve been replacing phones and outfitting the school with a WiFi network. While these are steps in the right direction, we still have dead spots as we did not have the funding to install all of the recommended WiFi access points.

While our technology infrastructure has improved over the last couple of years, we still have major concerns with the school’s outdated hardware here at PVRS. In shop, for example, John Passiglia, was able to get new software to teach his CAD classes, but the computers in his classroom were too old to operate the new program.

Also on the software front, we are using Windows XP, which reaches its end of life in May, meaning at that point we no longer receive any security updates from Microsoft. This puts school data at risk- anything we have digitally here on the school could be accessed by potential holes in the Windows XP operating system. Yet to upgrade Windows, we would need to update the hardware we are running it on. This is a significant cost- one computer infected puts the entire network at risk, meaning we would have to disable most classroom student computers in the building.

As you can see, there are interconnected issues when it comes to ensuring that students and staff have access to current technology used in education. I urge you to support the level of funding our students need to be 21st century learners.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.