SchoolCIO: Back Office Business

6/25/2013 By:

Go solar, save the environment, and save money

Challenge: The leaders at Murrieta Valley (CA) USD wanted to save money and be more conscious about the environment.

Solution: They contracted with SolarCity to install solar power systems at all 19 schools and the district office. The new installations comprise more than 10,000 solar panels mounted atop parking lot carports. Currently, the district spends about $3.2 million each year on electricity. The solar project is expected to save the district, at minimum, $1 million per year for the first five years, and $23 million over the next 25 years.

Schools streamline printing and Save $150,000

Challenge: North Kansas City (MO) Schools wanted to streamline printing at all of its 32 buildings.

Solution: By replacing 2,000 laser and inkjet printers and 90 aging copiers with 167 Konica Minolta bizhub Multifunction Printers, the district estimates it saves between $100,000 and $150,000 annually. “With Konica Minolta’s EnvisionIT we have reduced waste and saved $30,000, or 40,000 pounds of paper,” says Richard Gentry, director of purchasing for North Kansas City Schools.

Twelve Arizona schools save money by going solar

Challenge: Twelve schools throughout Arizona wanted to lock in lower electricity rates.

Solution: REC Solar installed solar energy with no upfront costs at 12 public schools. The systems will provide enough power to reduce the schools’ electricity bills by up to 20%. In addition, the schools will have educational kiosks that display sun tracking, kilowatt-hours saved, and information about how much money the school is saving on its electric bill. Teachers can use the data to create lesson plans around how electricity is produced and used.

A New York district to save millions in software maintenance costs

Challenge: Due to mandated budget cuts, Rochester (NY) City School District needed to reduce costs so it could protect programs and fund strategic initiatives.

Solution: The district turned to PeopleSoft’s Rimini Street, which helps schools address budget challenges by replacing annual support from the software vendor with a concierge level support program. As a result, the district is projected to save $6 million in support costs and has been able to redirect money to several strategic IT initiatives.

Colorado district saves storage space

Challenge: Adams County (CO) District 50 needed to update its paper-based filing, which made information difficult to locate and slowed employee productivity.

Solution: The district implemented ImageSilo cloud Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and consolidated all of its files into a single system. The change helped the district improve employee productivity by 20%, increase records security, and save approximately $40,000 by reducing its storage needs. “We’ve become a model district in the region and other districts frequently visit us to see the ImageSilo system. If they really knew how much they’d save, they would do it. The system more than pays for itself,” says Sandra McClure, director of finance for the district.

An Oklahoma district gains control over assets

Challenge: Miami (OK) Public Schools needed a better way to track and manage fixed assets. The district relied on an honor system for managing IT equipment, and teachers and IT employees spent tons of time tracking down the right codes for an audit.

Solution: The district turned to MobileAsset, an integrated asset-tracking solution from Wasp Barcode Technologies, to manage its IT equipment from one central database. By using MobileAsset, the district has reduced audit time from 480 hours to 36 hours, or by 93 percent. “MobileAsset has reduced confusion and eliminated asset loss,” says Jason Garrison, IT coordinator for Miami Public Schools.

This online solution helps a Georgia district save time and money

Challenge: Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) had to drive long distances between schools in the Union County (GA) School System, resulting in costly expenses for the district. To deliver speech therapy to its students more efficiently and affordably, the district needed to find an alternate solution.

Solution: The district learned about PresenceLearning’s online speech therapy and did a test run with 10 students of all ages. After the successful pilot, Union County began using PresenceLearning’s live online speech therapy as the primary therapy service for a select group of students. “Given our rural location, the virtual access to SLPs, in addition to the ease of use of the service, makes PresenceLearning a great fit for our district,” says Kristy Chapman, special education director.

A Florida district saves money and hassle during an audi0visual overhaul

Challenge: While in the midst of a major audiovisual technology upgrade of 4,500 classrooms, technology leaders at Lee County (FL) Public Schools needed to rethink their solution.

Solution: The district went with the Epson AP-60 Projector Sound Solution because of its simple design, functionality, and easy installation. “When you compare it to multi-component systems, it provides similar functionality without all the installation headaches and associated costs,” says Derek Carnwath, coordinator of IT projects and operations.

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