Des Moines Public Schools has contracted with the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology (CELT), a nationally recognized IT architect and learning/business systems integrator with headquarters in Massachusetts and several regional offices throughout the United States, to conduct the technology assessment and planning effort.
The project team will be guided by Dr. Tom Ahart, Superintendent of Schools, with leadership from Ms. Holly Crandell, Interim Chief Academic Officer and Mr. Dan Warren, Technology Director.
The project will address the following key areas:
- Improving consistency and quality of information technology services available across all DMPS campuses
- Upgrading the network and security systems
- Increasing the instructional technology programs and opportunities
- Reviewing the information technology department’s organizational structure
- Providing accurate and appropriate Information (data) to decision makers
The overarching goal for the study is to ensure the alignment of DMPS’ information technology systems with the school district’s mission-critical teaching and learning initiatives. The technology planning process is divided into several phases. During the Audit, Needs Analysis, and Data Collection phase, the CELT team will work collaboratively with DMPS staff to perform comprehensive information gathering that focuses on the diverse needs of all stakeholders. Using site visits, focus groups, key stakeholder interviews, document reviews, end-user surveys, and inventories, an accurate profile of the current status and impact of information technology in the schools will be developed.
The next phase will identify key findings derived from the information gathered and offer observations and current research and best practices, as well as improvement options that address important teaching, learning, and administrative issues. Suggestions for information technology investments, fiscal sustainability, and a process to provide yearly updates of the DMPS Plan for Technology will be included.
The final phase of the process will focus on the development of a three-year information technology plan that includes recommendations, action plans, budgets, and funding strategies in areas such as: teaching and learning technologies, organizational development and staffing, cyber security and safety, decision support and accountability systems, communications and network infrastructure, and community/home access. This planning effort will assist DMPS in identifying new ways to use information technology to improve schools and provide every student with appropriate and contemporary learning opportunities. The completed plan will provide the School Board and DMPS leadership with information that supports timely student-centered decision-making. Most importantly, it will focus on the impact of 21st century learning resources and technology skills on improving student achievement, enhancing staff productivity, and increasing operational effectiveness.
An initial draft of the Information Technology Blueprint will be submitted to DMPS in December 2014. A final Information Technology Blueprint will be submitted in January 2015. The project will conclude with a presentation of the completed Information Technology Blueprint in February 2015.