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Minutes of the March 20, 1996, meeting of the Schools and Libraries Advisory Board

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Members Present: Joanne Steneck, Barry McCrum, James McCarthy,
Raymond Poulin, Gary Nichols, Stephen Gilbert, Phil Lindley, Bill Black, Reggie Palmer

1. Minutes of 3/6/96 meeting accepted with one minor change. In number two, paragraph 2, second sentence, add "and libraries"; to read "... half the eligible schools and libraries ..."

2. Maine Internet Education Consortium

Ms. Gulliver and Mr. Shahata explained the proposed training RFP. Year one funding would provide only basic training. This includes basic competency: turning system on, using E-mail and basic search functions and so-called advanced competency: internet, connect and search, locating web sites and how to begin to locate information.

MIEC proposes that two people be trained from each "building" but districts would have flexibility; i.e., one larger building sending three people and a smaller building sending only 1, etc. Same principle to apply to libraries.

As proposed, funding will be adequate for four consultant teams of three people. Training to be three days with a 4 to 1 ratio. Ratios may be altered depending on what type of training and grouping. A major component of the training is "train the trainer." At least one day of the three-day training will be for training attendees to train others.

The timing of training was discussed and the possibility of the training taking longer than 12 months was briefly discussed.

Mr. Black questioned whether trainers would be employed by MIEC or under contract. Answer: Contract. But, all supplies, etc., will carry the Consortium/Foundation name, i.e. logo, etc.

The RFP was discussed by Mr. Shahata in general terms; he felt the specifics of the RFP should remain confidential so as not to give any potential bidder an unfair advantage in advance of the RFP's general release.

Proposals will be received during the month of April. May will be devoted to reviewing applications with the contract(s) awarded by the beginning of June.

Mr. Shahata asked if the Board wanted any say in approving contract(s). It was agreed that the following persons will review the proposals: one member of the Board (Bill Black nominated), a member of Internet Consortium with no conflict, a representative of the private sector (i.e, businessperson), a representative of DOE, a representative of libraries, and a representative of the Maine Science and Technology Foundation.

A question was raised about any out-of-state bidders. Mr. Shahata suggested giving preference to people in the State of Maine, but if an out-of-state proposal should overshadow any other, it should be considered. A scoring system was mentioned for grading RFP applications.

MEIC will prepare a one-page synopsis of the proposed training.

3. Implementation Plan

Process to begin with mailing from NYNEX, probably with a cover letter from the Board, to eligible libraries and schools. Mailing to be done as soon as possible. A fax number will be provided (State Library and DOE). All applications will then be forwarded to NYNEX.

Materials to be in mailing discussed; letter, request form and information infrastructure drafts and alternative equivalent value service information was passed out.

The Board agreed to further discuss contents of package later; also to draft a letter re: first come/first served process and instructions regarding filling out forms.

NYNEX discussed physical plant. More than 3/4 is hoped to be in place by the end of this year; finished state-wide by first week of April, 1997

NYNEX proposed that the backbone tier services: Internet Access, Regional Network routers, Network Services and Help Desk (technical support services) be supplied by University of Maine.

Representatives of EnvisionNet, telephone technical support firm, raised questions about the process by which the University of Maine was chosen to provide the services.

Mr. McCarthy explained the process was not a formal one. The University was chosen for its efficiency, experience, non-profit status and experience working with schools.

Mr. McCarthy stated NYNEX will outline criteria looked at and will bring information regarding this process to the next meeting. EnvisionNet will further describe its proposal to provide these services in a letter to NYNEX and send copy to Board.

5. Qualifications for computers put off until next meeting. It was suggested that facilities that already have computers only receive monies for upgrades.

6. Alternative Schools

It was agreed that since Alternative Schools are "programs" of affiliated schools they will not qualify as separate schools eligible for the program. It was agreed that the issue of eligibility of the thirteen kindergarten-only State-approved schools be brought to the Commission.

7. Other

A list of all eligible schools and libraries will be passed out at next meeting.

Bridgton Academy, a prep school, but not State approved, does not meet the definition of school.

Outstanding issues regarding the eligibility of some libraries, (e.g., hospital libraries, school and college libraries not otherwise meeting definition of eligible school, etc.) will be discussed at next meeting.

The next meeting will be held at the Maine State Library on March 27th at 1:00 P.M.

Meeting adjourned at 4:20 P.M.