Bethel Journals History and News September 15, 2009
1992—How the Internet Came to Crescent Park School and S.A.D. 44
Superintendent David Murphy and Technology Coordinator Peter Kuzyk explain the school district’s history of introducing computer technology and the Internet to teachers and students.
“In 1992 S.A.D. 44 contacted IBM and asked if they would be interested in establishing a pilot program with a public school.
When the 1993-1994 school year opened, the entire CPS population of 289 students plus staff had moved to and taken up residence in the side parking lot at Telstar in what eventually became known as "The Village". (This happened while expansion and construction at Crescent Park was in progress.)
With IBM's assistance, we set up 24 computers in four of our portable classrooms. These were connected to the Internet via an early token ring system.
Our pilot program lasted the year and created great interest among all staff and students. We spent a great deal of time that year training all staff and the following year, when the new CPS building opened, we had 4-6 connected computers in every classroom, a computer lab, a plan for ongoing training for staff and email addresses for all of our K-5 students that were used regularly.
Ronald Jenkins was the superintendent when the new CPS opened; he supported the computer program and training fully. These efforts would also have not been possible without the efforts of Bethel Datafication Project, chaired by Dutch Dresser, which brought the availability of the Internet to the area during that time.
People from all over New England visited Crescent Park and several open houses were hosted to help demonstrate the impact that technology could have in schools. The next couple of years saw the technology spread to all of the schools throughout the district.
September 2009: Many of the original Crescent Park School IBMs are still running and continue to be used in a second computer lab that has been set up in the school. We have certainly gotten our money's worth out of those computers and they still serve an important purpose because of the outstanding software they include. That's a bit of an introduction to our beginnings with the Internet.”
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