PCS systems get “up and running”

The Pelham City Schools technology systems are being upgraded and prepared for the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, Technology Coordinator Derrick Waddell confirmed. (Contributed)

The Pelham City Schools technology systems are being upgraded and prepared for the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, Technology Coordinator Derrick Waddell confirmed. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—While students are enjoying summer vacation, administrators at the Pelham City School System are busy getting ready for the school year.

“The initial job is getting things up and running so students and teachers are ready to go,” Pelham City Schools Technology Coordinator Derrick Waddell said. “One of the first things we’re doing is upgrading the network.”

Waddell has been hard at work overseeing network upgrades and ensuring that each school has a working phone system, email and websites.

“Before, we were part of the Shelby County Schools network,” Waddell said. “As part of breaking off from them, we can no longer be part of their networks.”

Preparing the Pelham City School System for the July 1 separation from Shelby County Schools and the Aug. 7 first day has been a “challenge,” and Waddell said parents and students should be aware that it will “be difficult to communicate with the schools” for the coming weeks as new systems are set up.

The first change parents and students can expect to see are new phone numbers, email addresses and websites for the Pelham City Schools, Waddell said.

Once the school year starts, all Pelham City Schools faculty and staff will be connected through Google Apps for Education, a tool that will facilitate communication between faculty within and across schools, even when they are in different locations. Waddell explained that faculty will be able to access their Google Apps for Education accounts “any time, anywhere with an internet connection on your device.”

“It’s a collaborative tool,” Waddell said. “We can work together simultaneously even if we’re not together.”

Waddell has also been working closely with Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield and the Board of Education to layout long-term technology plans and goals for the Pelham City School System.

“Part of our vision is to make sure we give the kids and the teachers what they need to learn,” Waddell said. “I can promise you we will do everything we can do to make sure students and teachers get the best technology available to them to learn and teach.”