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Technology Department Structure

  • 1.  Technology Department Structure

    Posted 20 days ago

    We are in the process of growing our technology department from just IT support to a support and technology innovation/integration department.  We are trying to figure out how to organize the department and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share the department structure of their own school.  I'm looking for the number of staff members, job titles, the number of students at your school and any other relevant information that might be important. 

     

    We have about 600 students so information from schools of a similar size would be most valuable to us.  But if your school is different I'd love to hear from you too.  Maybe your response could help someone else too.  Thanks for any info you can share!

     

     

     



  • 2.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 19 days ago
      |   view attached
    I'm guessing that being a very small school district, you already have Admin staff who wear many hats.  Coming from a larger system, I would want to caution you on having an Integration Specialist fall under the IT realm.  Ultimately, Integration Specialists need to understand pedagogy and Standards of Learning in addition to having experience with 'devices' - the end goal is not to make prodigious iPad users, but successful students.

    We have just under 25-30k students (APS Quick facts document is attached)  and the Instructional Technology Coordinator position has bounced from being part of the Department of Instruction (now the Department of Teaching and Learning) to being taken over by IT.  Now, our only direct supervisors are the principals at each school.  (Who, of course, do not work for IT!)  So I have many cautionary tales about how NOT to do tech integration.  Hopefully someone else can speak up about how it is done well!  (I heard someone from Baltimore County, MD speak one time and I really felt they had a great system!)


    ------------------------------
    Robin Gardner, CETL
    Instructional Technology Coordinator
    Arlington Public Schools (VA)
    Arlington VA
    (703) 228-8516
    ------------------------------

    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    APSQuickFacts-8.08.18.pdf   1.30MB 1 version


  • 3.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 19 days ago
    Edited by J Patrick Mount 19 days ago
    The St. Vrain Valley Schools has about 32,000 students across about 50 sites. Our Technology Department (org chart here) collaborates with a team of 6 Integration Technology Coordinators (ITCs) and 11 Learning Technology Coaches (LTCs) to support our Learning Technology Plan.

    Identifying those professionals who can articulate and advocate for best learning technology practices while sustaining credibility with teachers is paramount for a success. For a smaller district such as yours, the same person may have to set up the district wifi and be able to talk best instructional practice. In any case, that role is powerful in transforming education. Best wishes as you create that team!

    ------------------------------
    J Patrick Mount
    Director of IT
    St. Vrain Valley School District
    Longmont CO
    (303) 702-7761
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hey Brian,

    To answer the specifics to your question:
    • Students: <900
    • Teaching Staff: <90 - All Staff <150
    • Job Titles: Director of Technology, Assistant Director, 1/2 Integration Specialist (who is also a 1/2 Elementary Computer Teacher - many hats)
    • Org Chart - Superintendent > Director of Technology > Assistant / Integration
    • Integration Position was created 5-6 years ago / Assistant Position was created 3-4
    • This is my second year as director, but I have been with the district approximately 16 years and I have served in all of the positions (I was our first Integration Specialist, and then I was our first Assistant two years later). I have been through the entire process as it has morphed.

    Relevant information gets a little more complicated as small districts can vary so drastically (org charts look more like roadmaps with lines everywhere). I would gladly elaborate on any of the details below if you would like more specific information - feel free to contact me.

    Here is a list of items we established over the last 2 years to help facilitate our evolution:
    • Define our focus: (as Robin Gardner said) It is the students, not the tech. Even in our tech meetings, we discuss how this is going to help teaching or learning.
    • Define who is responsible for what and who is back-up (redundancy). This also created a subset of conditions for us. Some good examples of these conditions:
      • The redundant person was only to be used in absolute emergency and/or training.
      • The Lead Person is to always be consulted and waited for, if possible.
      • Commitment to our helpdesk. We didn't want staff trying to decide who to contact, so we always say: "Put in a ticket and we will get it to the appropriate person quickly." They don't have to worry about who is going to respond!
      • Established a line of departmental communication and catchphrases. When new situations come up, we discuss them at weekly department meetings and determine the appropriate departmental response. For example, if one of the principals asks the assistant to investigate an issue with a student account (which is the director's responsibility - the assistant is the redundant person), the correct response is some variation of: "I need to check with the Director and get back with you." - assuming this isn't an emergency, which is defined by immediate student health or safety concerns
    • Define district communication and responses. I had to become the primary contact point for the entire administration team. If an administrator goes directly to one of my staff members, I ask that staff member to contact me, and oftentimes I then go meet with the administrator. This addressed a very specific problem we were having in our district: Decisions being made about technology without a technology person being consulted. We are now consulted with regularity. We are now over-consulted, but I will take that!
    • We are NOT the gatekeepers! I could say a lot about this one, so I will sum it up by saying that in a small school, the technology department is not always seen as a team player, again because of the multiple hats and general lack of a defined organizational structure. We are hired to be experts and make appropriate recommendations that work within the educational environment, not to be the last hurdle everyone must pass. The more everyone feels like the tech department is on their team, the more the tech department will be consulted and the appropriate solution can be realized.
    We have a practical district workflow that most projects follow now.
    • Administrative Team discusses a problem
    • Tech Team Works on Solutions (consulting appropriate stakeholders along the way)
    • CTO proposes a set of options to the Administrative Team
    • Decisions are made (involving/consulting stakeholders as appropriate)
    • CTO oversees the project completion
    • Tech Team assists integration/training/setup as necessary
    • School Benefits!
    I do feel it is important to have the Integration Specialist on my team as she is the educational expert that helps advise our tech team. I can fulfill that role if necessary considering my educational background and experience, but I am no longer in the classroom every day. Having said that, the integration person also has to work with the Principals and Director of Student Services. With multiple hats worn in smaller schools, it is easy for an Integration Specialist to be tasked with unrelated items that take away from the benefits of the position. As long as that position is on my team, I can help provide accountability. Otherwise, my Integration Specialist could be potentially filling in regularly as a sub, an extra body at an assembly, testing proctor, etc.

    I am sure there are items I have forgotten. If I had to sum up our transformation, I would say that the three most important changes we adopted were: 1) Clearly defined our department's vision (simply put - students); 2) Committed to our helpdesk as our communication mechanism; 3) Cleary defined our roles and created redundancy within our department.

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    Dustin Ruffell
    CTO, Director of Technology
    Patrick Henry Schools
    Hamler OH
    (419) 274-1876
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 13 days ago
    Thank you all for the great responses.  They have been really helpful so far.  Dustin, do you have additional staff members or are you providing both IT support and integration with 2.5 full time employees?

    ------------------------------
    Brian Durst The Roeper School 201703-3991
    IT Manager
    ROEPER SCHOOL
    Bloomfield Hills MI
    (248) 203-7417
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  • 6.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 9 days ago
    Brian,

    We are providing both IT Support and Integration with 2.5 staff members. At times others fill in - Director of Student Services and I tag team a lot and she does provide another outlet for integration. Our building / maintenance crew has also performed basic break fix / setup. Many people wearing multiple hats makes it a true team effort. 

    At times it causes more problems than it helps and communication can be lacking. We are trying to change some of that, but making the necessary changes is a slow process.

    Dustin





  • 7.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 18 days ago
    I am the CTO for my district and I have my tech team. However, since the 90's I saw importance of effective integration PD and that in order for technology to be effective it had to be a part of the instructional process and not a separate process. I created a Technology Integration specialist position to be my link to influence instructional practices before instruction knew how to effectively use technology. The vision for this position was to not just show how things work but to work with teachers to embed tools like technology into their instruction when appropriate.

    This is a long discussion but I will say what my bottom line is.

    It is less about who the position reports to and more about the vision, plan and support for the position. If the IT leader has a great vision and can add staff to implement that vision... great. If instruction realizes the importance of this type of integration that is great as well.

    Sometimes we get to caught up in our silos and don't give credit to others who may have a great idea or vision on how to improve.

    Again, this is certainly a drastically short version of this discussion. Leadership is much more about influence and effectiveness than just a title or department.

    ------------------------------
    Thomas Ashley CNE, A+
    Director of Technology (CTO)
    Huntington County Community School Corporation
    Huntington IN
    (260) 356-7812
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  • 8.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 12 days ago
    We have made a similar transition in Harrison.  Our IT is now T&I (Technology & Innovation).  So, the focus is now on instruction rather than information.  Our department is what I fondly call the Three Ring Circuits of Technology.  We have:
    • Central Services (Infrastructure and Department Support)
    • School Services (Staff and Student Device and Deployment Support)
    • Instructional Support (Design, Applications and Integration)
    So, everything is now framed around how actions will impacts our learners no matter how disconnected it may appear.

    While we provide server and infrastructure support for all departments, with so much going to the cloud, each department is responsible for their own "information". Departments have their "data" position(s) to support their platforms.  So, Academic Support oversees our SIS and Finance oversees the Employee Portal with their own embedded system and data managerial staff.  We still struggle with integration of information across all our platforms.

    You can see our structure on our website.

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    David Jarboe
    Executive Director, Tech & Innov
    HSD2
    Colorado Springs CO
    (719) 579-2101
    Executive Director
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 4 days ago
    Brian,
    My district is larger (17,200 K-12 students), yet perhaps this may help you, if not then perhaps others viewing the post as you mentioned.

    Technology Department:
    1 - Director
    1 - Admin Assistant
    1- IS Manager
    2 - Software Support Specialists
    1 - IT Help Desk
    1 - Programmer
    2 - Network Engineers
    1 - Systems Administrator
    1 - Technology Services Manager
    12 - Building Technicians

    The district only has one instructional technology coach.  A few years ago, before some budget cuts, the district had two.  This position actually resides in the Academics Department, yet we work closely with that position.




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    Richard Wilson
    Director of Technology
    Francis Howell R-III School District
    St. Charles MO
    (636) 851-4011
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  • 10.  RE: Technology Department Structure

    Posted 3 days ago
      |   view attached
    Brian,

    I recently came from a West Salem a district of around 1700 students. They are a 1:1 district in grades 4-12
    • (1) Contracted engineer $40K (savings came from not paying benefits, as of 2018 I believe this was eliminated with restructuring)
    • (2) Technicians- one for the ES/MS and one for the District Office and HS 
    • (1) Director of Technology and Director of Instruction (combined position, since I left has now been separated and I believe they dropped the contracted engineer)
    • (1) Technology Integration Specialist K-12
    • (1) Administrative assistant

    I am currently at the School District of La Crosse. We have roughly 7000 students, and 14 buildings. We are a 1:1 district in grades 4-12. For the Technology side of the house we are comprised of:
    • (1) Director of Technology
    • (1) Network Manager
    • (2) Assistant Network Manager (servers / infrastructure)
    • (2) Technical Service Assistant Managers (project management technical and educational side)
    • (6) Technicians


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    Michael St. Pierre, Director of Technology
    School District of La Crosse
    807 East Avenue South
    La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
    t: 608-789-7600 | w: www.lacrosseschools.org
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