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Burbank Unified hires technology consultant

Board supports outside help to improve computer network

November 29, 2013|By Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

The Burbank Unified School District plans to hire a consultant who will work to further implement its technological infrastructure.

Jon Largent of ICS Service Co. will be paid $100,000 in Measure S bond funds through November 2014 to help Burbank Unified employees with the district’s cabling and technology-related equipment as they build a stronger computer network, the school board decided last week.

Charles Poovakan, director of information technology and educational support for the district, said that the role Largent will step into is “a void we need to fill” as the district paves the way for a better network.

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When probed by school board members about why a consultant is needed rather than a Burbank Unified employee, Poovakan said that Largent’s expertise offers a combined knowledge of school facilities and technology.

School board member Larry Applebaum said earlier this month he supported the district being open to recognize that Largent’s work “is beyond the scope of what staff could deal with,” he said.

Largent will visit various school sites to determine which equipment the district will need as it broadens its computer-network capacity.

In September, the school board approved allocating more than $572,000 to construct a new data center that will serve as the main hub for the district’s technological operations.

After voters approved the $110 million Measure S bond last March, school officials estimated they would allocate $10 million to buy computers and create a technological infrastructure over the next few years.

They also expect to provide all schools with high-speed Internet connectivity by 2017.

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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