By: Staff Writer Zen Thumparkkul
As the result of a joint effort made by Mission Possible Parent & Faculty Association (MPPFA) and School Site Council, MSJ’s library now has newly-installed iMacs available for student use.
At the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, MPPFA made the decision to purchase new desktops for the library after receiving the results of a student survey and a funding request initiated by teacher librarian, Maile Ferreira. Technology Committee Lead Chung Wu was the main MPPFA representative in charge of the project. According to Wu, the results of the survey stated that one of the two key improvements students and parents suggested was replacing the library computers, which by then were nine years old. There were complaints stating that the processing speed of the old iMacs was extremely slow, most likely due to their low memory capacity.
By late September, all of the committees in MPPFA passed the decision to fund new computers, and by early January, the Finance Committee of MPPFA allocated all the funds required for this project. The entire project totaled $55,489, with MPPFA contributing $25,000 and School Site Council approving the allocation of $3,600 from Local Control and Accountability Plan funds. The remainder was covered by discretionary funds. The purchase request was then sent to the district for approval, and towards the end of February, the order was made to Apple through the district. The computers arrived within two weeks, and were all installed in the library by March 8.
The Technology Committee of MPPFA worked on selecting the model of the new desktop computers, along with the applications and hardware that accompany them. The committee settled with 21.5-inch iMacs that each arrived with an Apple keyboard and wired mouse. The new iMacs were installed with Intel Core i5 and OS X El Capitan. Their processing speed is 2.8 GHz, and their memory capacity is sixteen GB — a huge upgrade from the previous iMac’s capacity of 1 GB. Each desktop also contains Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and Pages, Apple’s equivalent of Microsoft Word.
According to Ferreira, students are now able to accomplish their tasks without technical delays. The new and improved speed of the computers has also helped presentations in the library run more smoothly, keeping students concentrated on the topic discussed.
Ferreira said, “We would like to thank MPPFA for their generosity and constant attention to the needs of our students. These computers are used from seven-thirty in the morning to four in the afternoon every day by hundreds of our students. I wish you could have all seen the faces and reactions of the students when they saw the new computers!”
Photos by Staff Writer Zen Thumparkkul