Interoperability and Peninsula School District (WA)

I’m Kris Hagel, Chief Information Officer of a suburban school district about 45 minutes south of Seattle.
 
We’ve struggled at times with funding for technology, but it feels like there is a little bit more momentum here. We are pretty well caught up in providing devices to our students, but we’ve got a long way to go on the interoperability trail.
 
Looking at how we’ve brought interoperability into teaching and learning/administrative efficiencies, we are really in the emerging category here. Right now, we’re just simply looking at a few data elements, but it doesn’t really drive decision making yet. We’re working on a collective vision of what good teaching and learning looks like in our district. I think once we have a coherent vision across the organization, those conversations will take place, but until then, it’s hard to have a deeper conversation about what we need to facilitate good teaching and learning -- one of those things being data interoperability.
 
We are moving toward implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for our students and data will be a huge part of that, so I would hope that within the next two or three years, we can really move this category to the optimizing category. I think the final hurdle to transformative is a huge leap for us and will take much longer.
 
We’re working hard right now on information and system Integration. While I would still classify us in the emerging category, through our upcoming work with our partners, we have a road map and are getting much closer to data integration systems than we ever have before. There is still a lot of manual work to do, but we are working through it. I feel that within the next one to two years, we will be able to rate ourselves in the transformative category.
 
I would say that we need the most growth in IT governance. The understanding of the system as a whole to policies and the need in regards to technology is not well developed. We recently restructured our central office to merge the teaching and learning, assessment, and technology departments to create the Department of Learning and Innovation. It will be co-led with me and our Executive Director of Learning and Innovation. This cohesion is anticipated to more deeply engrain technology into everything we do, and the conversations we have throughout the district will likely change with this deep integration.
 
We’ve had a lot of challenges over the years, which is probably why we’re at level two on that whole interoperability maturity matrix. It’s something I know that’s important and needs to be a focus moving forward and will become more and more important in the next three to five years.