The school district will invest nearly $200,000 in a new software system that's expected to enhance efficiency and ensure support into the future.
The purchase was discussed and rejected earlier this year because of the price tag.
When Jim Ventrello was hired as the school district's business manager, he took another look and decided the district needed the "Chevrolet," not the "Cadillac" version priced much higher.
Driving the purchase is lack of support for the school district's 35-year-old software. Delta County is the only school district in the state still using the software, which is supported solely by a man in his 80s who is about to retire.
To cushion the blow to a budget that's already tight, Ventrello recommends spreading the cost over two years. The other option is financing the purchase at 3.5% interest.
Ventrello researched grants to help with the purchase, and came up with a mineral leasing grant that requires a 50-50 match. But because of timing, that grant won't work for the software, which must be purchased by mid-January to give the school district time to migrate data to the new system by the end of the fiscal year June 30.
Ventrello still wants to pursue the grant but will request $100,000 for technology upgrades instead. With a $100,000 match, the school district will hopefully have $200,000 to update the central server at Delta-Montrose Technical College and upgrade switches and Wi-Fi hubs districtwide. To illustrate the scope of the project, Ventrello said Hotchkiss High School has 12 switches, each of which will cost $300 to $1,000 to replace. School board members agreed to submit a grant application, which was due Dec. 2.
The software by Infinite Visions will be used by both the school district and Delta-Montrose Technical College and will support human resources, warehouse, accounts receivable, state reporting and financial aid (at the technical college), as well as general accounting operations throughout the district. Ventrello said principals will be able to track their building budgets online (with passwords), rather than call the district office to request a printout. District personnel will have to enter information just once, rather than duplicate that information for personnel, payroll and benefits databases. First-year support is included in the purchase price; after that, support will run about $27,000 annually, which includes platform and technology upgrades.blog comments powered by Disqus