The Meramec Valley R-III School Board approved a $238,882 contract with WJR Technologies of Fenton for a districtwide wireless network.

The contract includes $213,082 for hardware and $25,800 for installation.

The bid was approved Feb. 27 at a special board meeting.

The wireless network will provide for wireless access in all secondary and elementary buildings, as well as Meramec Valley Community School and the district administration office, according to Cheryl Schlemper, technology director.

“The district is committed to preparing our students for 21st century learning and instruction,” Schlemper said. “Future plans include developing policies and procedures for students and personal devices.”

The E-Rate program provides discounts on certain services and products that are essential for classrooms and libraries to receive voice, video and data communications. The amount of the discount depends on the level of poverty and location of the school receiving service.

The discount ranges from 20 to 90 percent of the cost of eligible services.

To be eligible to receive discounts, a school must meet certain eligibility criteria. In general, elementary and secondary schools are eligible to receive discounts.

The E-Rate funding year runs from July 1 through June 30 each year (same as district fiscal year).

The district sent a notification of the wireless network bid to Teltron, TSI, WJR Technologies and CDW-G. Several additional vendors made inquiries from the bid advertisement.

Two vendors responded with bids. The other bidder was Provision Data Solutions, with a bid of $258,629. WJR Technologies provided the lowest bid.