With 62,000 students, 10,000 employees and 87 schools, Mesa Public Schools in Arizona had a huge undertaking when looking to maximize the use of technology in the classroom. What started as a visioning process in partnership with Cisco, led to the comprehensive re-design of the district’s infrastructure a few years ago.
Recently, the partnership with Cisco has gone beyond the previous transformation to support a more comprehensive look at enhancing the efficiency and services provided throughout Mesa’s business operations as well as the classroom and teacher instruction.
Together with Mesa, we went through Cisco’s Business Solution Methodology, which is a visioning process aimed at understanding the education system holistically, closing gaps between business strategy and technology strategy, aligning IT design with the organization’s goals, and elevating IT relevancy at the executive level.
For this methodology process, the Cisco team, comprised of a distinguished system engineer, solution architects and an education advisor, interviewed 35+ members of the organization, ranging from district leadership in business, operations, curriculum and instruction, communication, HR, and food services to teachers, principals, special education teachers as well as board representation.
The purpose of these conversations was to assess the degree to which information was being used to successfully improve learning outcomes as well as business efficiency.
Through a series of refinement and validations, Mesa and Cisco explored and analyzed the system and then sought out the thoughtful placement of technology to address core challenges, rather than finding the challenges our technology can solve.
“The opportunity for staff to review the accomplishments over the past 5 years and then look forward to assessing more complex needs was invaluable,” says Bobette Sylvester-McCarroll, the Assistant Superintendent for Business and Support Services of Mesa Public Schools.
So, what’s next for Mesa? We’re using our conversations with faculty, staff and administration to assess the needs of the district, which will then be prioritized and presented to the Governing Board for consideration and potential inclusion in their upcoming 2018 bond, a mechanism for funding the next 5 years of digital expansion.
We can’t wait to see the ways that Mesa School District will be able to transform through these insightful conversations.