35 NY School Districts Adopt Managed IT Services
Thirty-five school districts in New York (in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties) are adopting a state-backed model of technology supported services.
The Journal News reported that the 35 districts will roll out a managed IT services program. The districts have contracted with the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center (LHRIC), the technology arm of Southern Westchester BOCES which operates under the New York State Education Department. There are currently 37 BOCES, or Boards of Cooperative Educational Services, in New York, which incorporate all but nine of the state’s school districts.
The newly contracted districts used to hire technology specialists for each school, but that “wasn’t an affordable option in the long run, which is where managed IT came in,” according to The Journal News. The LHRIC contracts range in price from about $127,000 for a district with close to 1,400 students, to nearly $831,000 for a 10,000-student district.
LHRIC’s managed IT services encompasses:
- Service desk;
- Managed infrastructure;
- Managed wireless;
- Managed systems;
- Managed end-user computing; and
- Field support.
As part of the service, LHRIC employees will “work hand in hand with district administrators to integrate and coordinate the delivery of services to meet the needs of each individual district through a centrally managed, regional and standardized service approach and methodology,” according to its website. Since LHRIC is part of BOCES, some tech projects (i.e. classroom software and laptop purchases) are eligible for reimbursement from the state.
Last summer, Pleasantville in Westchester County was the first to pilot LHRIC’s managed IT services. The district’s $150,000 contract with the LHRIC supports having three rotating tech and education specialists who train teachers on how to use the new software and meet with curriculum administrators weekly, The Journal News said.
A LHRIC technology and education support specialist assigned to Pleasantville and Mahopac told The Journal News that there used to be no communication between teachers and tech at these districts. Now, the goal is to make sure that everyone is talking, “in order to bridge that gap.”
To learn more, read the story.