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  • 1. Section 3: Continuing the Vision 1
  • 2. Maintenance and Support As technology has become embedded in the • regular backup of stored files school setting, schools and districts have had to • monitoring the condition and come up with systems to support it, and have had functionality of the network and to create support roles and find people to fill equipment including testing web site them. In early states of implementation of accesses. technology in schools, the need for maintenance • installing and removing equipment and is often unanticipated. Volunteers are pressed applications from the network; into service, or teachers with an interest in Currently when the network goes down, the technology are assigned support roles in addition administrators, teachers and students just wait to their other obligations. Such systems and until it comes back up. Any information lost roles are difficult to sustain. may not be restored. As schools rely more and Maintenance means that preventative, more on technology, the loss of time and diagnostic, updating, replacement, and repair information is increasingly understood to be procedures that a school district has in place. It expensive and disruptive to the learning process. can be provided either by persons who are part of BISD conducted an assessment of maintenance the school system or through an outsourced and support systems in terms of the number of contract. It includes: maintenance incidents; the amount of down time; • documenting trends and patterns in the the stages of response to a request for use of applications or equipment maintenance; backup and recovery procedures; • replacement of parts; repair or replacement and upgrade procedures and replacement of faulty components diagnostic and repair procedures. • upgrading software, including installing Results of the assessment indicated software new operating systems failure, hardware failure; network switching • adding or deleting users from a system devices, router failure, power failure, network or modifying user rights and properties cable or wiring failure, wireless system failure 2
  • 3. and human error as the cause of maintenance managers who kept the network and machines support issues. running. The majority of support personnel time has As part of this plan, tech staff has become been focused on acquiring, installing and committed to making themselves key members maintaining hardware and technology of the school’s planning process, not just crisis infrastructure. The ratio of computers to managers. They are training school personnel professional support personnel is very high (1 as problems arise. hardware technician to 2,000 computers). In the future, TIMS will budget realistically to For each school, the level of support staffing purchase technology and to maintain and and maintenance incidents resulted in a 6 to 8 upgrade it on a regular basis so that students and week wait for repairs with support provided to teachers can use it. With the addition of a new each campus 1 day every 2 weeks. Much elementary school an estimated 200 new pieces support for instructional staff comes from of technology equipment will be added to the volunteer or part-time technology support staff at new site. Additional technology staff support the campuses, working on donated time or in will need to be allocated. Current Support addition to other instructional obligations. Structure includes the tech support staff, Current campus technology specialists work education assistants, and teachers at the school. during their conference period, before and after school for a $500.00 stipend. At Birdville High School, the campus computer repair instructor provides 60% of the technical support on the campus. The current imbalance between the size and age of the technology infrastructure and the number of support staff members created a reactive mentality. As a result, Technology Information Management System support staff has been crisis 3
  • 4. Funding Strategies In 1993 the community approved a $ 10 provide for the total cost of ownership of those million bond package for teacher and student resources also expands. Macintosh computers. In 1996 the community Installing and managing technology in schools approved a $ 7.15 million bond package for involves allocating resources. Budgets must be technology infrastructure and telephones. adequate to support the technology system as Between 1999 and 2004, operating funds paid designed. A financial plan must include the for a series of four-year leases on 6,000 Dell necessary funding to replace technology computers. The district received $ 2,225,680 in components as they become obsolete. The lack TIF funds that were used to purchase 21 of either of these key ingredients in the teleconferencing equipment packages and over budgeting process will ultimately result in a 450 computers and other technology equipment technology system that does not function as an for 20 district campuses. The district receives effective tool. approximately $630,000 each year in State Infrastructure and connectivity expenses are Technology Allotment dollars for technology considered capital investment costs and are non- staff development provided by 12 instructional recurring expenditures. These expenses include technology specialists. HVAC, security, electrical capacity expansion, Over the past five years, 1998 – 2003, Career wiring, switches and servers. and Technology Education has budgeted and We anticipate funding to remain relatively spent $1,456,000 on computers and other stable in the short term. Therefore prioritization technology for instructional programs on eleven is the key in determining resources available for campuses (7 middle schools, 3 high schools, the various projects. There are several recurring career center and learning center). essential expenditures. These expenditures In 2003-04, the district spent $2.5 for new include telephone access, maintenance, cell business and student information systems, phones, pagers and network connections. These PeopleSoft and Skyward. As our reliance on costs are approximately $2.5 million per year. technology resources for teaching, learning and BISD will have to address items with support services continues to grow, our need to significant budget impact. These items include 4
  • 5. replacing computer devices that are 5 years old Current levels of service require increased and older that are no longer under maintenance support personnel to decrease loss of agreements and updating obsolete infrastructure. productivity from six weeks to two weeks. In Budget commitments for acquiring and order to improve the ability to provide adequate maintaining the hardware, software, professional service to users, as least 2 people will need to be development, and other services that will be added at an approximately cost of $ 110,000 per needed to support this plan in the future may be year. allocated from the annual maintenance and Since 1998 BISD has received $1,237,217from operations budget or other funds listed below: E-Rate or approximately a 55% discount on all The WAN and LAN infrastructure will need to telecommunications services and Internet access. be updated in order to maintain and improve In 2004, BISD applied for reimbursement of levels of service. The cost will be approximately both 90% (2 campuses) and 80% (9 campuses) $15M. Existing technology equipment will need of the costs of infrastructure cabling and to be replaced as part of a 5-year replacement equipment along with district wide telephone cycle at an estimated cost of $4M per year. services Budget for personnel, time and materials for In addition to bond funds and the other funding staff development is expected to increase. Staff listed above, BISD will continue to investigate development in the use of network infrastructure, and evaluate additional funding opportunities, desktop computers, and relevant software for including: Competitive grant and special fund productivity and instructional purposes will opportunities will be sought, particularly as they continue to be a priority. The cost will be relate to distance learning, networking, approximately $ 800,000 per year. training/staff development, and educational technology. Regular school and department operating budgets will continue to budget for equipment maintenance and repairs. Special Education department budget will continue to include money for equipment maintenance and repairs. Title I funds and other funds from 5
  • 6. special programs will be combined and used for the purchase or lease of equipment, maintenance and repairs. Finally, BISD will continue to provide the necessary resources required to investigate, evaluate and compete for local, state and federal grant or discount opportunities. Birdville ISD is committed to providing a long- term financial plan that provides students and teachers with suitable technology to support learning, and at the same time, protects the community’s investment. It is understood that responding to the financial challenges presented by the need to make technology available to all students is multifaceted. This challenge includes not only the initial purchase price of the equipment, but the infrastructure to connected one classroom to another, each school to the district and every student and staff member to the world. Furthermore, beyond providing the initial equipment, the district must be able to provide staff training both in the use of the equipment and software, as well as instructional strategies for the integration of this technology into the curriculum. Finally, the district must be prepared to meet the challenge of supporting its comprehensive plan to upgrade and replace both software and hardware as required by obsolescence and growth. 6
  • 7. Evaluation Measure is critical to progress Evaluation is a continuous, ongoing process. The STPT established the following BISD has developed strategies that contain both measurements to evaluate the progression of this informal and formal components. The informal plan. Evaluation of the Technology Plan will be evaluation is more intuitive and takes place in the a systematic ongoing process. All aspects of the minds of the planners and project managers as Plan will be evaluated formally two times each the technology plan is implemented. The formal year: evaluation components are based upon December . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2004, 2005, 2006 established criteria and employed at various June. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2005, 2006, 2007 phases of the project to measure success. The Technology Plan Committee will be The Superintendent’s Strategic Technology responsible for the ongoing evaluation of this Planning Team (STPT) realized that as the plan. The intention of the evaluation will be to technology plan was implemented, some areas make decisions on the impact that technology would perform better and be more successful has on the learning process for all students. A than others, relative to various factors, including report will be given to the Superintendent and the the planning and working environment as well as Board of Trustees after each formal evaluation the people involved. The purpose of the occurs. evaluation process is to determine what is Methods for Evaluation effective and what is not, making necessary The following systems and documents will be adjustments to the plan. The team meets monthly used to evaluate the districts progress in reaching to discuss the district technology initiatives, the technology goals. BIRDVILLE ISD’s STaR review the technology plan, and to ensure the Chart results for each campus will be used to district technology plans and needs are help BIRDVILLE ISD assess its progress toward addressed. The technology department reports to meeting the goals of the Long Range Plan for the School Board quarterly on the progress of Technology. technology. Texas STaR Chart results for each campus will be evaluated to help determine progress toward 7
  • 8. meeting technology goals. Each campus is asked • Records of staff member participation to compile this data in the spring semester with in technology training monitored by the assistance of their Instructional Technology sign-in sheets and teacher professional Specialist. development records. The HEAT system will be utilized to document • Feedback forms after each staff and track the need for maintenance of existing development session or offering. purchases and software. Purchase orders and • District sponsored discussion boards, financial data will provide documentation of conference rooms for teacher money spent on technology and staff collaboration. development. • Teacher created performance-based • Curriculum guides that address/align assessments aligned with standards. with standards. • Board Reports on percentage of • Campus technology plans. faculty / staff at each location who have • Campus improvement plans completed or met the 24 hour staff • Classroom observations development requirement. • Integration of training into the • Increase the percentage of teachers classroom as measured by lesson plans meeting SBEC standards for and number and type of technology and Technology distance learning projects. Increasing the ability of teachers to teach Enabling students to reach challenging State academic standards • Systematic professional development • Student work products that reflects program for all staff that spans multiple collaboration, real world applications years/multiple sessions. and the integrated use of technology as • Professional development fliers, notices a learning tool. or catalog with course objectives • Password protected Internet access for aligned with standards-based and child- parents to obtain student records and centered strategies. information. 8
  • 9. • Access to real world software, hardware and “probeware” • Monitoring and documentation of community access to technology resources and information on the campuses and on the web site. Acquiring & deploying technologies and telecommunication services • Yearly inventory of hardware and software • 5-year replacement cycle for technology equipment. • Continued support and maintenance of technology as documented by technical support records (H.E.L.P.) 9