The school is small and located in a rural area with only 260 students enrolled in K-12th grades. As a member of the MOREnet system, the school receives their Internet and other on-line programs from the MOREnet network. Many other school districts which are members of MOREnet have access to Ethernet over fiber optic cable; however this technology was not readily accessible at a reasonable cost in Niangua. The telecommunications infrastructure that was available in Niangua was not robust enough to allow the school to take advantage of the hi-tech applications they needed for their students.
Through the NTIA grant received by Sho-Me Technologies and in cooperation with Webster Electric of Marshfield, MO, the Sho-Me MO project was able to make Niangua Schools a Community Anchor Institution with grant funding providing for the fiber optic cable build to the school. Now they have a 100 Mb/s Ethernet connection to the MOREnet network.
“Before our recent fiber update our students and teachers were unable to utilize the technology that our district has collected over the last five years. Due to the lack of speed and connectivity, our students were unable to research effectively and our teachers were unable to provide quick learning opportunities in the classroom. With the increased bandwidth, our students are able to research more quickly and efficiently using our laptops and tablets. Our district is pushing to provide a 1 to 1 tablet environment to all students in grades 3 through 12 for the 2012-2013 school years and this would not be possible without the upgraded fiber,” said TJ Bransfield, Niangua School Superintendent.