19 March 2010
This document summarizes the work of former Wayland Public Schools technology director, Jean Tower and current WPS technology director Leisha Simon in creating, implementing, and evolving the district's education technology plan. To put the School Committee's most recent technology capital request in perspective, it's worth looking back on the recent history of technology planning and capital budget requests.
The School Committee's discussion of the FY2011 technology capital request began in the fall of 2009 with approval of a $750k request in order to meet the 2010 Annual Town Meeting article submission deadline, with the understanding that more detail would be added prior to the final request. In late December, the technology director and I, drawing in part on the 2009-2012 technology plan and the more recent work of the TTF, generated the initial FY11 request referenced above.
While this plan and accompanying request were significantly more detailed than those from the 2006 to 2009 time frame, they were nonetheless met with a desire on the part of the Finance Committee for more information. Over the course of January, the technology director and I worked with the School and Finance Committees to refine the request. Along the way, it became clear that the Finance Committee was requesting a level of detail beyond what could be prepared in the course of a month.
As a result, the schools scaled back the Student Computer Initiative (SCI) to a smaller pilot implementation and redirected the request for those funds to teacher and replacement computers, choosing to use 2010 to draw on its pilot and on the plans and experiences of other districts to develop a plan meeting the Finance Committee's requirements. The Finance Committee agreed with the pilot approach, but scaled it back by $50k and reduced the peripheral, infrastructure, and replacement computer elements of the request by $100k.