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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
• Systematic professional development
• Student work products that reflects
program for all staff that spans multiple
collaboration, real world applications
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
• Access to real world software, hardware
• Monitoring and documentation of
community access to technology
resources and information on the
campuses and on the web site.
Acquiring & deploying technologies and
• Yearly inventory of hardware and
• 5-year replacement cycle for technology
• Continued support and maintenance of
technology as documented by technical
support records (H.E.L.P.)