SchoolCIO Profile: Paul Sanfrancesco
Garnet Valley School District
Name: Paul Sanfrancesco
Title: Director of Technology
District: Garnet Valley School
What are your big-picture
tech goals for your
We put two iPad carts in each of our three
elementary schools, one iPad cart in the middle
school, and one in the high school. One teacher
gets the cart for the entire year, and with that
comes a lot of training. All of the iPad teachers
meet every in-service day for professional
development. The middle and high school iPad
teachers are science teachers, and it’s been great
for them to discuss curriculum around this
common tool. They are sharing resources and
discussing how they use Google Docs and other
tools. The teachers will help us in our summer
tech academy to deliver iPad instruction to
other teachers who are requesting iPads.
Our high school has a hybrid BYOD effort
in place. If a teacher wants to use a device, he
or she makes that call. The students respect the
technology and the teacher’s methods, and it’s
working well for us. This year we have a lot of
teacher- and parent-focus groups on expanding
that BYOD program. We are upgrading our
network again to handle it, since more teachers
are using BYOD and we have more iPads. We
already have wireless campuses all over and can
add access points where needed.
What changes are you
taking to achieve them?
We do a lot of peer sharing during the
year and, of course, there’s our summer tech
academy. We’re a big data-driven district
and show the data to everyone in the district
to get the support and make sure everyone
understands where we’re going. We use Speak
Up data. It’s been key for us for when we make
What are the biggest
challenges in your day-to -
day life and how do you
There’s not enough time to do enough staff
development. It’s a huge and ongoing concern.
Also, being fiscally responsible and tying
everything to student learning. We make sure we
spend the money in a very conscientious way.
How do you get buy-in on
ed tech from the school
We educate as much as we can by partnering
with the Board and the Home and School
Associations (i.e., PTAs). We go to them with
every tech initiative and explain how it ties into
curriculum, how it’s going to work, etc. Every
time we do anything we meet with them and they
provide matching funds. They got us to where we
are. On the flip side, I give talks on anti-bullying,
technology, or whatever they need.
What currently has you
Staff development and going to conferences
excites me. Too many times we stay in the bubble
of our districts. If you don’t get out to listen,
collaborate, and appreciate—even if you don’t
agree—you’ll miss out. Getting into a national
setting and listening to the different initiatives
going on helps you fix or reinforce your own
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