Dublin City Schools are preparing online infrastructure for an upcoming state requirement.

Dublin City Schools are preparing online infrastructure for an upcoming state requirement.

The Dublin Board of Education last week approved a $99,500 purchase for a Sophos Unified Threat Management System that will provide the district with better network security, an improved web filter and network routing capabilities.

The new system will help the district prepare for state tests that will soon be given online, said Mike Voss, the district's chief technology officer.

"We will have to dedicate an amount of bandwidth for the test," he said. "We need network bandwidth for that."

"We're actually capturing space so our students and testing isn't interrupted," Superintendent David Axner told the ThisWeek Dublin Villager. "Everything else from email to things going on in the infrastructure, this will be a separate roadway for them."

Online state testing is coming, although next year the state is giving districts the option of doing state testing on paper. Axner isn't sure how soon online tests will be administered statewide.

"Some districts still don't have the infrastructure to do that," Axner said.

"Some are still struggling to get internet in the building," he said. "We take that for granted ... . We will be ready, but other districts will struggle to get kids on computers."

Along with preparing the district for upcoming online testing, the new system will allow students access to more things online.

The current web filter can either block all content on YouTube or none of it, Voss said.

"This can allow purely educational things through, while still blocking inappropriate things," he said.

The new system will also provide more security for student records.

"It helps out with a lot of different pieces," Voss said. "It will consolidate things and make for better ease of management."

Other matters

In other district news, Jerome High School Head Athletic Trainer Ric Fail and Bailey Elementary Teacher Mandy Reutzel were honored with the Golden Shamrock Award.

"Ric truly cares. That's the theme from student athletes," said Cathy Sankey, Jerome principal.

"He's like a coach and counselor to injured students," Sankey said.

Bailey Principal Garilee Ogden said Reutzel is a leader and cares for students.

"She develops amazing relationships with her students," she said.

The district also recognized Doug Baker, coordinator of public information, for four awards from the Ohio School Public Relations Association.

Baker snagged the Mark of Distinction Award for district articles and three Mark of Excellence awards for a special purpose publication, three-year strategic plan and print newsletter Dublin City Schools Today.

Seven retiring staff members were also recognized. Bailey teacher Jo Ann Gentile, Chapman teacher Elizabeth Myers, Jerome High School teacher Christopher Bolles, bus driver Terry Shinnick and Davis Middle School teachers Virginia Kirk, Rachel Mushrush and Robert Stoll were all recognized for their service to the district.