CIO Profile: Patricia Haughney, Chief Information Officer, Barrington (IL) Community Unit School District 220
Name: Patricia Haughney
Title: Chief Information Officer
District: Barrington (IL)
Community Unit School District 220
What are your big-picture
We are focused on how we accomplish the
4Cs (Critical thinking and problem solving,
Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity
and innovation) and providing the technology
that seamlessly makes that happen. We started
by looking at how adults work, and we realized
we don’t use our computers all day but we can’t
be productive without them. An office laptop
cart? No way. We view the role of school as
education but we also have the responsibility
to teach our children to be ethical and socially
responsible. We must teach them how to learn,
how to be intellectually curious and to be team
players. We’re working toward a blended model
because that’s how we work and we want to give
our kids access to the same information.
We provide a 1:1 device for our sixth through
eighth graders—an hp notebook running Linux.
We’re now working on doing the same for all
fourth graders and up through high school. For
now, we’re trying to determine the best device.
What will work best at elementary, middle and
high school? For now, we’re focused on notebooks
and starting to pilot test iPads in our pre-K
through second grade classes. We need the most
cost-effective device that offers flexibility.
We’re doing a lot of PD and focusing on
Google Apps, which our teachers like. The
middle schools are using Google Apps a lot. We
have a Google-certified trainer who does a lot
of PD via Skype and other methods. During the
summer, she runs large academies (Teacher
Institute Days) and has trained her assistants to
work with teachers.
What changes are you
taking to achieve these
We’re changing to a responsible use policy and
teaching students to ethically manage their devices
because it’s much better to have the devices 24/7.
If a student goes to a bad website we make them
hand write their assignments. So we’re working
on responsible use, offering lots of PD, purchasing
low-cost devices, and building the infrastructure.
We put a lot into our bandwidth—upgraded the
network, installed wireless everywhere. Our state
has a consortium to help with funding.
What are the biggest
challenges in your day-today
life and how do you
We have an economic challenge; money is
tightening and people are less willing to support
the district. Now that technology is ubiquitous,
everyone thinks they can tell us how to manage
it. A lot of people tell us how to handle things,
but I don’t tell my network guy how to run the
switches. I respect his expertise and time crunch.
These days, we are all doing more with less.
I try to avoid teacher bashing. They’re
overburdened. I want to be the safety net at the
beginning and model what they should be doing.
We have to give teachers more credit and respect
everyone’s expertise. Let’s honor each other.
How do you get buy-in on
ed tech from the school
We are fortunate to have a pretty
supportive community. We have a great chief
communications officer who does email blasts
and e-newsletters to give parents information.
If my superintendent and Board are committed
to something, they know what’s going to be
challenging and what the parents will want.
We also invite feedback with surveys and try to
understand what’s important to the community.
What currently has you
I’m thrilled that we are starting to shift our
curriculum to be more research based with a
variety of resources. We use LibGuides (http://
www.springshare.com/libguides/); it’s a
system for creating research guides and sharing
them—kind of like an electronic file folder.
One tab could lead to video resources of the
Civil War; another can be stuff from the library.
It’s a subscription service that’s very exciting.
Teachers can build one and put it online.