It is required by the NC Department of Public Instruction to have a technology plan in place that demonstrates the planning and monitors the effectiveness of how technologies are used in our school system. In addition, it is required by E-rate to have a technology plan in place if the district applies for priority 2 funding.
The E-rate – or, more precisely, the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism – provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Three service categories are funded: Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, and Internal Connections. Discounts range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services, depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.
The E-rate supports connectivity – the conduit or pipeline for communications using telecommunications services and/or the Internet. The school or library is responsible for providing additional resources such as the end-user equipment (computers, telephones, and the like), software, professional development, and the other elements that are necessary to realize the objectives of that connectivity.
the E-rate is one of four support mechanisms funded through a Universal Service fee charged to companies that provide interstate and/or international telecommunications services. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers the Universal Service Fund at the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) administers the E-rate.
E-rate requires that we have a cyber-safety plan and filtering in place to apply for internet connectivity services. It is required by WCPS that all staff and students receive cyber-safety training on appropriate online behavior, including interactiong with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, cyberbullying awareness and response.