CTOs juggle countless district challenges – they have many high-profile systems, implementations, and changes they manage each year. At times, some of the biggest headaches are the low-priority projects that are complex by nature and time-consuming, but that also have a large reach in our districts.

Technology leaders from across the nation shared and discussed some of these district challenges at CoSN’s 2019 conference (Editor’s note: Stay tuned for coverage of CoSN’s 2020 conference in just a couple weeks). While the group shared a number of different solutions, the collective conversation for the session focused on the idea that CTOs have not identified solutions to these district challenges and.

Related content: The role CTOs play in K-12 education

With that said, following are the five main issues CTOs discussed:

CTO headaches: 5 complex district challenges

Onboarding/existing staff

One of the most complex challenges in any organization is the one that touches the most departments: HR, Technology, Business, Facilities, Curriculum/Instruction, School Leaders, etc. It is the first impression of our district and schools for new employees and a huge risk footprint for existing employees if not managed well. Technology department challenges include ensuring awareness of staffing changes before the start or end date, the timing for system access, transition plans for providing access/files from the outgoing staff member to the new employee, managing family name changes and timing, managing multiple building access levels, first day procedures, etc. Even with a system in place, making sure all departments adhere to the defined processes can be challenging.

About the Author:

John Connolly serves as CTO for Consolidated High School District 230. Michael Arensdorff is the Senior Director of Technology for Oak Park School District 97.

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