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509-J to drop Internet provider

At its regular meeting, the school board discusses Bendnet's poor service
General Editor
   Jan. 30, 2002 -- Because of problems with erratic service and reaching technical support, the 509-J School District Board voted to change Internet providers at its Monday night meeting.
   District Technology Director Kat Beebee recommended a switch from Bendnet to Oregon Trail Internet (OTI) during spring break.
   Interruptions in service have caused data to be lost and problems with implementing the high schools new Power School program, Beebee told board members. Power School is used to track student grades, compile college transcripts, and many other functions.
   "The Bendnet T-l line has been inconsistent which causes a loss of date," Beebee said.
   Since Bendnet changed ownership, she reported she has experienced trouble reaching and getting help from technical support when problems do arise.
   Beebee said she has already had to use Oregon Trail Internet for technical support for that reason, and mentioned the City of Madras was also switching providers to OTI.
   The 509-J District spends approximately $10,000 per year for Internet service, and could also save some money if it connected to OTI along with the city.
   Beebee said OTI is based out of Pendleton and has expanded to the Bend and Burns area. Board members approved her recommendation.
   In other business:
   • The new office for Jefferson County Educational Service District (ESD) will be dedicated at 8 a.m., Feb. 15, during a Chamber Coffee Cupper meeting. The public is invited for refreshments and a tour of the new facility at 295 Buff Street, across from the high school.
   • A single-wide trailer in Warm Springs owned by the district was sold to a private party for $500.
   • The board voted to accept a donation from Terry Hanlon of Miller Ford of a Star Hopper telescope valued at $600.
   • Permission was given for the Madras Kids' Wrestling group to hold a fund-raiser wrestling clinic at the high school in June.
   • Policy was changed to allow children younger than age 5 to enter school if they test as Talented And Gifted students. They must be 4 1/2 years by Sept. 1, 2002, however.