News

Updated Technology at MQP

Posted on February 28, 2017 in: General News

As you may have heard, we have an MQP Technology Committee working on a plan to update our wireless internet connectivity throughout the entire parish campus. The committee has been working on this issue for over a year, getting information and bids from various vendors.  It's been determined that we need to raise $45,000 for this project, which will purchase 50 access points to be placed from one end of the campus to the other (we currently have 7).  This cost also includes the engineering and configuration, wiring for each of these access points (through our cinderblock walls and in the ceilings) and the labor to install.

We have raised $26,800 to date towards this goal, and we are now challenging all parishioners to join in this opportunity.  
 
Wireless technology is commonplace in all business settings today, and will even become more important in the future.  This update is necessary in order to support 21st century learning for our students, as well as allow staff and parishioners access no matter where they are on the property. Currently, the school, rectory and parish center are operating with very limited wireless capability which is restricting the use of computers and technology mainly to the areas where they can be physically connected. Many new technology platforms don't even allow for the physical connection, so use of tablets and other new learning tools are limited. Such an update will enable everyone to work more efficiently, new educational practices to emerge, new security systems, and better access for rectory business, parish meetings, retreats and events.

Some examples of issues with current Wi-Fi:

  • Day school & PSR learning is disrupted with continuous dropping of the Wi-Fi, setting up laptop carts only to find out they won't connect, no access to videos that are part of the curriculum, etc. 
  • Retreats, RCIA and parish meetings often try to access the internet to show videos, presentations and other websites with little success.
  • The rectory has 1 access point for the entire building.  It usually is inaccessible in the Bishop O'Toole room or Msgr. Lubeley room.  The rectory staff wrestles with the wifi issues daily in trying to process everyday parish transactions.
  • Parents working on events or attending meetings at school are virtually cut off from their children as there is no Wifi to receive emails and cell phones also rarely work (another issue we're working on)
  • The Spring Festival committee offers credit card transactions for both the mini-auction, ticket & raffle sales, but must get to the right place in the building in order to run them.
  • Almost all Women's League Boutique vendors depend on the Wi-Fi to run their payment transactions, and have difficulty connecting every year.  We lose vendors that don't want the hassle.   There were similar issues with the Men's Club not being able to accept credit card payments for their Pullin' for the Poor event.
  • There have been ongoing discussions about updating our STEM curriculum in the school and raising the funds for a new STEM laboratory down the road.  However, that can't happen without the proper connectivity. 

This technology is necessary for continuing school and parish business.  We will also use this new technology to update our security throughout the campus and increase safety for anyone on campus.  We invite you to make a gift, however large or small, to help fund these needs, and we thank you in advance for your generous donations and support.  One hundred percent of Fund-A-Need donations will go directly to this need, and one hundred percent of your donation is tax deductible.

How to contribute:  
Donate online at:  https://squareup.com/store/MQP-events or make your check payable to MQP Auction and designate "Fund-a-need" in the memo.  Drop in the rectory or school office or Sunday collection basket or mail directly to the rectory at 676 W. Lockwood Ave, 63119.  

 
No amount is too small!  Thank you for your continued support to MQP!
Thank you for your support.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Peter Leritz or Donna Schnieders.

- MQP Technology Committee
 
 
From our teachers, parents, staff:

"I was so excited to get an online book so the students would not have to carry theirs in their backpacks to my classroom and home. If there was an activity in the book or its resources I could present it on the Smartboard or just get the laptop cart and we could all access it and learn together but each at their own pace. What usually happens is, you spend more time dealing with why we cannot get on the system than doing the activity I planned, or even worse, having to ditch the whole idea and go to a backup plan."
- Betty Ciolek, 8th grade teacher

"I have extreme frustration with the laptop carts DAILY. It is AWESOME that we took the plunge as a school to invest in the laptops as many of our nearby schools incorporate technology into their daily curriculum. We currently use Google Classroom and the Google Drive which is a phenomenal tool for the students - they can access at both school and home and even on their phones. However, if we are unable to access the Internet, the students can't access their work in progress."
- Erica Venneman, 8th grade teacher

"I've directed Vacation Bible School at MQP for the last two years and have found the lack of Wifi presents us with problems when we are in charge of 200 children and 100 volunteers.  A few issues we have faced:

  • We showed a slideshow each day and often found that we were unable to connect to the necessary website to make it work properly.
  • Sending and receiving communication while VBS was taking place was pretty much not an option. We would leave for the day and dozens of emails, texts and phone calls were finally delivered after exiting the campus.
  • We are unable to use any of the music or downloadable media products offered to us by the company we use because Wifi is required. We therefore miss out on using some of the free products available to us.
  • If parents wanted to check in on their children, they received no response because texts and emails were not delivered. 
  • We were unable to look up any additional contact information via our registration site due to lack of connectivity.

Overall, it can be scary to feel you have no reliable communication with parents, etc. when you are in charge of over 300 children and teens!"
- Laura Boeker, parent director VBS

"My major frustration is the network going out in the middle of a lesson or research in my class on a daily basis. The kids become extremely frustrated when they are in the middle of something and cannot continue with their work as do I which I'm trying to do for them. Being kids, patience is still being developed, but no teacher or student is able to meet the learning expectations when we're literally sitting around waiting for the network to decide for half of a class period - 20 minutes of learning time wasted because we're waiting. I'm tired of having to change a lesson on the fly just so that I can get the lesson in to move on with my curriculum. That's not effective teaching when we're dependent on the tech to teach our students."
- 7th grade teacher

"The Women's League hosts a Fall Boutique every year, featuring around 50 vendors.  Most vendors now use Square or some other "swiping" mechanism to take credit card payments and must have Wifi access for that to work.  During the last two boutiques, we've had many disgruntled vendors who could not access the Wifi and therefore had to hope that when they DID connect, the credit cards were valid and would clear. We have lost some vendors due to this issue."
- Women's League

"More and more resources are available online as far as videos, services, access to church and bible sources, etc.  It is frustrating to not be able to access those for use during our team formations. The only alternative is to make lots of copies so that everyone can follow along.  Wifi access would bring a new level of information that we could make use of, both spiritually and administratively."
- ACTS Retreat Director
 
"Sometimes I assign the students special presentations on a topic. We are far past the days when a typed report is read at the front of the class to everyone. It is very frustrating for all of us when we come to a standstill because the internet doesn't work for them. All that hard work in research, and preparing the presentation goes unseen until we can connect to the internet."
- 6th grade teacher