Since the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year, there have been substantial changes to MGCI’s infrastructure. In September, each department is allocated a certain amount of money to spend on school resources, and are encouraged to make big-ticket purchases, if necessary, before the end of each school year. If there is money left over from one year, teachers are allowed to roll over the remaining money to spend the following year.
Using money that was rolled over from the 2014-2015 school year, MGCI has made five major investments this year:
- Replacing the bleachers: These bleachers had been previously broken. New bleachers were put up in the week of 29 February.
- Increased number of surveillance cameras.
- Retiling the office.
- Updating Wi-Fi networks in the school.
- Installing blinds in classrooms: To create a more optimal learning environment, every classroom were equipped with new blinds over the March Break.
While significant improvements have been made to physical infrastructure, there are still several needs that are currently being addressed.
For one, the school has been looking at purchasing a high-pixel digital sign to place outside in place of the current manual letter sign. It would need to be large enough for drivers to read as they pass by the building. In order to accommodate foreign languages, the resolution on the sign would need to be higher than standard. At this point in time, Canada does not sell any signs that are both large enough and have an adequately high pixel density. A potential solution is to synchronize four outdoor televisions to display information. While this is not the optimal design, it is a rather feasible solution.
As well, there have been many complaints regarding school’s computer network. In fact, MGCI makes the most calls to TDSB’s central IT helpline out of all schools in the school board. This statistic is somewhat dulled by the fact that multiple teachers often call in about the same issue, creating redundancy. Primary concerns about our network in the past included the fact that students could not log on to their school accounts or the Wi-Fi network, and that the Wi-Fi was often excessively slow.
On 7 March 2016, the internet at MGCI stopped functioning. Due to the significant number of calls the TDSB’s IT department received, the school board sent staff from IT to investigate. The IT staff went through the school labs, checking on the network quality and physically inspecting each computer unit for defects.
Over the March Break, IT workers have also checked the physical structure of the network to determine the root cause of the issue. Flaws in the underground wiring through Don Mills was a suspected issue. Students can expect improvements in the network over the next few weeks.