BVSD completes school technology ‘sweeps’ to prep for fall – Boulder Daily Camera

The Boulder Valley School District’s nine-person IT team, plus two interns, went through each classroom and office at Lafayette’s Centaurus High School on Wednesday, testing audio systems, blowing dust out of projectors and checking phones.

Then they moved to Angevine and Louisville middle schools, repeating the process. The team plans to go through each district school before teachers start returning in August.

“It’s making sure everything is up and running for the school year,” said Clarissa Nielsen, BVSD’s on-site service manager. “We’re finishing faster and faster with each school. The team has become very efficient.”

Derek Geist, right, was part of the team checking the IT equipment. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

About a dozen problems typically are noted at each school so they can be fixed before students return. Any desktop computers more than five years old also are labeled with an “end-of-life” sticker — if they stop working, the IT department won’t fix them. Teachers instead must switch to their Chromebooks, which are replaced every five to six years.

The summer technology “sweeps” also serve as a chance for team building, Nielsen said. The district’s techs, who typically are assigned to six to seven buildings during the school year, work together to go through the high schools and middle schools.

“It’s good to have the camaraderie,” said Deborah Williams, a BVSD IT tech. “We’re kind of isolated (during the school year).”

She added making sure everything is in good working order now makes it easier during the craziness of the start of the school year.

“It’s incredibly difficult to teach without these components,” she said. “This is one thing to make it a little bit easier in the fall.”

Helping the team on Wednesday also were two of the districts IT interns, who both graduated in May and are in their second summer as interns.

Sophie Russ, who graduated from Centaurus and will attend California Polytechnic State University, and Amy Bowers, who graduated from Fairview and will attend the University of Colorado Boulder, spent most of their internship repairing district-issued Chromebooks.

During the school year, they worked on Mondays and Saturdays, replacing cracked screens, dead batteries, broken keyboards and malfunctioning microphones. Along with repairs, they helped set up the Chromebooks the district provides to students.

Bowers said it was “very scary” at first to unscrew the bottom of the Chromebooks. But now, she said, “I see them and just want to take them apart. I love taking stuff apart and putting it back together.”

She plans to major in business and is considering a career that incorporates technology.

“I’m very interested in the technology field,” she said. “It challenges you.”