Superintendent's Notes

Superintendent's Notes


smart moves lead to tech consortium

Last month the board approved the hiring of Lane White, former Director of Technology for Mona Shores School District, to serve as the Director of Technology Services for the MAISD. This month the board received further details about the development of the Lakeshore Technology Consortium (LTC) Mr. White will be overseeing. The LTC is a new way the MAISD will support our districts as they integrate and advance new technology programs and processes in our local school districts. Our goal is to establish the very best programs (with the greatest quality and efficiencies) for our students and the taxpayers who fund our countywide technology and security millage.

The emphasis of the LTC team is the “operations and infrastructure” aspects of technology support. The team is committed to planning, acquiring, deploying, and supporting the appropriate technologies for each school district in a unified, efficient, timely, and cost effective manner. Working closely with with the district leadership and staff (including contractors and vendors), the LTC is structured into the Client Services and Network Services teams:

Client Services focuses on providing technology support to LTC member school districts utilizing a central ticket system, onsite/remote device support, local peripheral equipment support, device security updates/patches, district technology acquisition(s) and support (recommendations, RFP’s, purchasing), project management, assistance with technology planning of projects, and managing computer lifecycles, and asset management. Client Services also provides technical support for various academic systems and applications.

Network Services focuses primarily on the network (both the network physical plant and electronics), server administration and enterprise level communication applications (email, video conferencing, etc.). Management and support of wireless networks, security systems (video surveillance and door access), VOIP phone systems, firewall and filtering configuration, server hosting environments, disaster recovery, and backup services are all a part of this network services.

Mona Shores School District will be the first full partner of our Lakeshore Technology Consortium. Mr. White will work closely with Drew Hubbard who will be the district coordinator for Mona Shores. Mr. Hubbard will work daily at Mona Shores and attend required meetings at the MAISD. Chad Pranger is the network engineer for local school districts in the LTC. Mr. Pranger will work at Mona Shores and MAISD initially. Most of his duties can be completed remotely except for local projects which will require onsite responsibilities. In addition, Mona Shores will have three onsite technicians that work daily inside district buildings. They are contracted through NeXtIT.

As the consortium grows, each district will assign a functional leader to assist the LTC team with district issues/concerns,discuss future projects and technology planning, and budget planning. In addition, each district will assign two members to the LTC advisory board. The board will meet regularly and be involved in discussions when a prospective school district wishes to join the LTC.

This consortium approach will allow school districts to set and achieve technology goals and implement projects that are beyond their individual scope or resources while delivering timely technology support with minimal downtime. The highly skilled and experienced staff will provide expertise and knowledge in visioning and planning in all areas of technology and provide consistent research-based “best practices.” Ultimately, partnering with the Lakeshore Technology Consortium will allow local school districts to focus on the primary mission of educating students and allow the LTC to handle the operations and infrastructure aspects of technology support.

We are eager to see the benefits unfold in the Mona Shores School District and anticipate serving many other local districts through this new consortium.

In closing, I wanted to bring your attention to the Learning on the Lakeshore Conference held at Muskegon Community College on August 18. Over 350 local educators learned about engaging students and personalized learning from keynote speaker Jay Gross. They also attended over 90 breakout sessions taught by both local and statewide experts. In fact, WZZM TV 13 News stopped in to help share our story.

What a great way to start a new school year!

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Dr. John Severson
Muskegon Area ISD Superintendent