Program Introduction and Kickoff
Instructors: Robin Canale & Nancy Sullivan
The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mentor Program kickoff and program introduction is geared toward program success. During the morning session mentees and mentors meet in person and devise an agreement between each pair that outlines team expectations; these guidelines will be adhered to throughout the program. A variety of exercises designed to allow maximum interaction between all mentees provides a feeling of camaraderie. By the end of the day candidates work together to design a team logo and slogan for the cohort.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to develop a clear Mentor-Mentee Partnership Agreement that documents how the partnership will: 1) communicate, 2) work together toward accomplishment of the mentee’s goals, 3) resolve issues/challenges that arise, and 4) focus on successful completion of program requirements and the application of what the mentee is learning in his/her work environment.
Leadership and Planning
Instructors: Robin Canale & Nancy Sullivan
The Leadership and Planning class offers mentees an opportunity to develop specific skills that are based on the Microsoft competency wheel by creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP is a growth plan with timelines and resources that will allow mentees to develop their chosen skills. Throughout the day many activities were used which allowed mentees to learn about Professional Learning Communities (PLC), communication styles, and personality types. The hands on activities served as excellent ice breakers and has allowed our cohort to bond.
Learning Outcome: Develop an individual growth plan using the Microsoft Competency Wheel. Identify the areas of educational growth to be attained and work toward that end with the comprehensive plan.
Instructors: Sarah McFarland & Jeremy Davis
Candidates are tasked with the development of an individual growth plan using the Microsoft Competency Wheel. Identify the areas of educational growth to be attained and work toward that end with the comprehensive plan of developing the chosen skills. Many activities designed to show mentees how to identify with different personality types; introverts and extraverts and learn effective communication. This class is a good overview of how to develop and use certain skillsets to be effective communicators and thus successful Chief Technology Officers.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the SAMR model of technology integration in the TK-12 classroom.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a working knowledge of online learning environments, A-G requirements, and the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) standards for online teaching and how the CTO is involved in the process for establishing online learning programs.
Instructor: Kris Linville
Clear guidelines for providing excellent professional learning opportunities were presented in this class. Often staff are subject to long, tiresome powerpoint presentations which often end up being ineffective. Good presentation skills are demonstrated in this class; skills that keep your audience engaged and active. Key strategies like presenting from the left of the screen and “slides are free” so use as many as you need to keep content interesting. Anyone attending this class will come away with skills to be successful, no matter what the learning content is.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a working knowledge of how to determine need for professional learning as well as how to plan, design, and customize professional learning for specific audiences.
Instructor: Peter Skibitzki
For any educational leader to be successful it is vital that they understand the school finance process. The landscape of school budgets seem to change often; it is important to be able to comprehend its nature. This class described the how funding models have changed over the years. Local Education Agencies (LEA) are now funded through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) which requires that all agencies create a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The LCAP is a three year plan for each LEA with goals, objectives, and the measures that will be used to ensure plan success.
One of the main subjects of the class was the how the Erate program functions. Erate is a funding source for schools and libraries and is managed by the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC). It is necessary to follow strict guidelines in order to receive funding which is primarily based on the percentage of students that are socioeconomically challenged; the higher the percentage the higher the discount. This class explained the process in detail and useful for any person that is involved in the Erate process.
Fiscal reporting for LEAs comes in the form of Interim budgets, where the first interim report is normally due in the spring after the Governor’s May revise. Administrators must understand Standardized Account Code Structure (SACS) in order to be sure that purchases are coded properly within the finance system. Interim reports contain budgets, revenues, and expenditures so it is vital that each item funding source is properly identified.
Learning Outcomes: Demonstrate a working knowledge of budgeting, budget controls and the K12 budgeting calendar. Demonstrate a working knowledge of Management Accounting.
*In the spring of 2016 this final artifact was presented to the Nevada City School District Board of Trustees. The category 2 Erate project was approved and completed during the summer of 2016.
Cyber Security Fundamentals
Instructor: Aaron Barnett
The Cyber Security Fundamentals class offers students a peek into the world of Internet security. One component is an overview of electronic privacy acts such as SB 1386, also known as the data breach law. Consumers must be notified in the event that their personal information is compromised. While the amount of laws is overwhelming there are agencies like CETPA and Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost LLP (F3) that provide useful resources.
Some of the latest Internet security threats are botnets that can be used to control an infected computer, spynets can control computer cameras for example. Probably the most difficult infection to be rid of is ransomware; data is held hostage in lieu of some sort of payment. The disturbing world of the dark web is covered in this class. The dark web uses currency called bitcoins which are untraceable; one bitcoin is equivalent to about $390.00 US dollars. It is possible to hire hitmen, purchase illegal substances, or anything else one can think of through the dark web.
While there are many forces to be reckoned with on the Internet there are also good security measures available to protect networks. The NESSUS scanner and Zenmap tool are just a couple tools that can protect valuable resources. It is impossible to identify all of the evolving threats but it is imperative to be informed and be diligent about protection.
Learning Outcomes: Demonstrate a working knowledge of one or more tools used in network security. Demonstrate the ability to apply what they have learned from SANS Security Control network security tools to improve network security.
Instructor: Lorrie Owens
Understanding the basic functions of a working organization can mean the difference between success and failure. They key strand throughout this class was meaningful communication by various methods; accurate vision and mission statements, defining department goals and related metrics. Metrics of success can be measured with Critical Success Factors (CSF) and the associated Key Performance Indicators (KPI); if success can’t be measured then it can’t be managed. Success will depend on how clear the department expectations are and how relevant the resources are to staff.
Because of the increase in demand for technology resources it is imperative that staff understand who to contact and what to expect when support is required. A good deal of time was spent during the class developing a “services catalog” which is a clear definition of technology support categories and directives on how to get help.
Also covered is the Control Objectives for Information and related Technologies (CoBIT) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITTL). These resources can help technology departments to provide services that deliver value to stakeholders by facilitating outcomes they need and want. In order to be successful it is imperative that technologists offer helpful resources and excellent communication.
Learning Outcomes: Demonstrate a working knowledge of how to use vision, mission, and goals to direct organizational focus and performance. Demonstrate familiarity with the tools of IT Governance. Demonstrate the ability to apply skills by working with performance metrics in the form of CSFs and KPIs.
Instructor: Lorrie Owens
Managing personnel can be the most challenging aspect of any job. This class provides real life examples of difficult situations that can occur in the workplace as well as methods that can be used by a manager to rectify problematic issues. Being an excellent manager requires outstanding leadership skills; employees need a good leader in order to be successful and motivated. There are many different types of management styles such as; directive, participative, and affiliative to name a few. However, it is of utmost importance to identify with staff and use the most effective style necessary in each situation.
Role play is used to demonstrate how to deal with various employee dilemmas. The mentees are given the task of deciding how to approach the employee and a spokesperson from each group act as the manager. The instructor, Lorrie Owens, portrays the role of the employee. The role play is a significant part of the learning and serves as a solid platform to create the artifacts using the FRISK method. It is critical that employee issues are handled in a professional manner and proper documentation is on record.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a working knowledge of recommended practices for the documentation and remediation of unsatisfactory employee performance.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to apply skills using the FRISK method for employee reprimand.
Staff and Student Centered Aspects
Instructor: Sue Gott
The highlight of the Staff and Student Centered Aspects class is Student Data Privacy. Laws seem to be constantly changing so the challenge for school district leaders is to be mindful of these issues. Elizabeth Wisnia from the California Department of Education (CDE) presented a short overview of student data privacy and provided helpful resources to mentees. Classroom teachers may feel threatened by these issues so it is imperative that Education Technology leaders communicate effectively how these laws impact their classes, students, parents and themselves. Efforts to uphold privacy laws must be supported by board policies and administrative regulations.
It is imperative that school district leadership teams understand laws of retention, paper and electronic. “E-Retention” is a new term used to describe all forms of electronic documents including e-mail. Board policy in conjunction with retention laws must be updated to reflect the addition of e-retention. This class provides students detailed information about how to update policies with ‘best practices’ procedures.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the requirements of record maintenance, storage and retrieval.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the role of the custodian of records and the responsibilities of that position.
Instructors: Robin Canale & Brianne Ford
A good project manager is able to successfully navigate every aspect of any project that is presented to them. The ability to manage people with respect and authority as well as managing project scope, cost, and execution will make every task a victory. As technology professionals it is often involuntary to slip into “techno-speak” when communicating with peers.
The artifact for this class is a clearly articulated report about a project; which must be communicated so that anyone can understand the content. Class exercises presented during the class supported the content well and created real life situations that can occur on any project.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to apply Project Management Initiation and Planning Tools to gain board approval to implement a technology project.
*This is the project that was approved in the Spring with the Fiscal Management artifact. This artifact was also presented to the Board of Trustees in the fall after the project was successfully completed.
Technology Infrastructure and Data Systems
Instructor: Julie Judd
An excellent technology professional will have a clear understanding of how physical and logical infrastructure is composed. It is imperative that knowing where data flows through the system of systems and which system is the primary source of information. Data integrity is crucial to successful operation so controls must be in place to ensure that data is entered properly and then verified through certain processes.
Following clear rules and regulations when planning and implementing large projects is imperative. Understanding what the bid limitations are and when the formal bid process must be used as well as key terms such as; Public Works and Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) are covered in this class. Failure to follow the strict guidelines can have detrimental effects to an agency. The learning that is available in this class is very valuable to any person involved in technology.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the interactions between student systems, HR systems and financial systems.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the RFP/bidding process for the local education agency.
Assessment and Accountability
Instructor: Craig Blackburn
The Assessment and Accountability session is a two day class that starts out with good discussion where all candidates participate equally. Many subjects and how they impact student learning are covered; the transition to the Common Core, California English Language Development Test (CELDT), California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), building relationships, and Future Ready Schools to name a few.
It is imperative that the CTO understands how assessment and accountability data affect a district. District leadership must have timely and accurate information in order to make informed decisions that affect student learning. With the full implementation of computerized testing for both math and english language arts in the third year data is available to anyone online. Data from the CDE website can be used to create a variety of informational reports that should be shared with all stakeholders in a meaningful format to show how a district is performing in these areas.
Learning Outcomes: Demonstrate a working knowledge of best practices districts utilize to report achievement data to various stakeholder groups. Demonstrate a working knowledge of how districts utilize assessment data to improve achievement for all students.
Technology Policies, Standards, Plans
Instructors: Robin Canale & Bob Gravina
All local education agencies are governed by board policies and procedures. Due to the nature of changing laws and circumstances it is necessary to review and update the policies as necessary. During the course of this class mentees used the greensheet format as a method of board submittal of a recommended policy change. A section of a selected technology plan was evaluated against the National Education Technology Plan rubric. Mentees collaborated in small groups to create the two artifacts in class.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to apply what was learned regarding policies and procedures to create or revise a policy.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to apply what was learned about technology plan requirements to evaluate an existing plan and to create a new one.
Instructors: Robin Canale & Bob Gravina
The Strategic Leadership class provides CTO Mentees an opportunity to run through presentation skills with an overview of the individual development plan. Instructors offered vital feedback that will help candidates successfully navigate the final presentation at the end of the course. It is clear that the leadership of the CTO Mentor program are passionate about the program and offer every tool available for successful completion.
Generally, this final session wraps all of the other sessions into a neat little box as we covered topics such as; legal requirements when dealing with vendors, personal ethical framework, procurement procedures, strategic and operational planning, organizational management, and the future ready pledge. Candidates had ample time to learn everything about final presentation requirements as well as commencement at the annual CETPA conference.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to show professional growth in leadership related to the individual development plan.
Learning Outcome: Demonstrate the ability to evaluate the progress and learning that resulted from the Mentor-Mentee Partnership.