Peer Review from CoSN is a resource for school systems seeking to improve technology operations and structures. Using the Digital Leap Matrix, a framework developed by CoSN, Peer Review offers a comprehensive review of a school system’s use of technology, including cybersecurity, data management, digital privacy, and change management. The service is available to school districts with 35,000 students or less and is conducted by seasoned practitioners familiar with today’s technology best practices. Watch the video and review the infographics below to learn more.

Why Peer Review?

School system leaders need guidance to advance their technology goals – and overcome both the expected and unexpected challenges. This is why CoSN developed a resource to support their efforts. Learn more about the benefits of Peer Review.

How does Peer Review work?

The Peer Review process uses CoSN Digital Leap Matrix, a method that outlines best practices for a successful digital school system. Using this matrix, reviewers determine how a district aligns with best practices identified by peers who have successfully converted to a digital environment.

How does Peer Review support interoperability?

We understand the effort needed to connect siloed systems is expensive and time-consuming. Interconnected systems directly translate to an improved data security posture for your school system. Included in the Peer Review is an interoperability analysis with actionable steps a school system might take to improve each component in the interoperability process. Learn more about interoperability practices.

Peer Review benefits (click to expand)

Peer Review interoperability (click to expand)


“Moving through a digital conversion is a complex process, requiring transformation not only from IT, but across the entire school system. The CoSN Peer Review offering aligns with CoSN’s mission to support school technology leaders with the resources and information they need. Experienced leaders visit and apply their combined knowledge and experiences to assist school districts in assessing their capabilities and planning for a digital conversion. This service is an incredible value.”

-Steve Langford, Chief Information Officer, Beaverton School District, OR

"CoSN’s Peer Review was extremely useful to Sante Fe Public Schools because it gave us high level, externally validated overview on how we are using technology and it tied to the rigorous Digital Leap Success Matrix.  It was very timely and provided key recommendations that were realistic, tangible and very much aligned with the realities of our operating environment.”

-Dr. Veronica Garcia, Superintendent, Santa Fe Public Schools, NM

"This document is one of the best IT planning documents that I have found in my 27 years in Information Technology."

-Ed Leypoldt, Chief Information Officer, East Brunswick Public Schools, NJ

"With expert guidance, school system leaders can accelerate their progress toward achieving ambitious technology goals. CoSN and a volunteer group of Chief Technology Officers who have successfully completed this process have developed a tool to provide such guidance. This new resource supports school systems interested in making a digital conversion. The Framework for School System Technology Success outlines the best practices needed to be a 21st Century school system."

Jean Tower, Director of Media and Digital Learning, Needham Public Schools, MA

"As the Director for a small Technology team, it was really helpful to have an outside agency meet with different stakeholders in our district to assess the work we are doing. The list of commendations and recommendations were shared with members of our community and will serve as the basis of our next long term Technology plan that will be tied to the district strategic plan that is currently in development. [We] refer to many of the recommendations that were identified to ensure we are using Technology in a safe and reliable environment that supports staff curriculum and student learning."

-Kadion Philips, Director of Technology, Oxford Public Schools (MA)

"The Peer Review process was so helpful to us in highlighting not only our gaps, but also showing us our strengths.  We built upon those strengths and were able to address the gaps with an increase in our technology budget. The final debrief meeting that was held with Senior Staff and the President of our school, went a very long way in moving the needle for us in regards to funding our improvement requests."

-Milena Streen, VP and Chief Information Officer, Saint Ignatius School (OH)

-Tiffany Norton, Chief Innovation and Information Officer, Desert Sands Unified School District (CA)

Phase 1: Fieldwork

The Peer Review team will visit your district to assess your operations.

Phase 2: Meetings

The team will spend the first meeting confirming priorities with the lead sponsor. The remainder of the day, as well as the second day, includes interviewing key leaders within the district.

Phase 3: Assessment

The Peer Review team will provide a verbal assessment of their recommendations and discuss initial thoughts.

Phase 4: Post Consultancy

A full written report summarizing observations and detailing the team assessment evaluation will then be prepared by the group leader and submitted in draft format within two weeks. The basic outline of the final report is as follows:


  1. Purpose of the Peer Review
  2. Members of the Review Team
  3. Process used to gather information
  4. Summary Recommendations
  5. Assessments grouped by general categories aligned to the CoSN Digital Leap Success Matrix. These general categories are described in the Interoperability Practices infographic.
  6. Recommendations by the review team
  7. Attachments:
    a. Bios for review team
    b. Agenda for the site visit
    c. List of documents that were reviewed
    d. List of district personnel interviewed

Do reviewers evaluate cybersecurity systems?

School system leaders, including technology leaders, need to protect their networks and information security, analyze their current situation, and understand how they align with best practices. The Peer Review tells school systems what they are currently doing well in terms of cybersecurity best practices, as well as how they can improve.

Why not get a technology audit?

While many school districts are familiar with technology audits, Peer Review is a distinct option with a stronger focus on problem solving and without conflict of interest. Here’s why.

What will it cost my district?

For Districts with fewer than 20,000 students, the service fee is $11,000, inclusive of all travel expenses (Continental U.S).

Please contact us for a custom quote if your school district has an enrollment of 20,000 - 35,000 students. We are not performing reviews for districts with enrollments greater than 35,000 students at this time.

When do I need to apply?

You can apply at any time. Just print the application below and submit to Robert Duke, Chief Operating Officer (