Contracting for Technical Support

We’ve limped along by providing technical support through the services of a teacher who deals with hardware and network problems after school and sometimes on weekends. She’s paid on a timecard for this work. However, our need for support is growing beyond the few hours she can devote each week. The school’s budget cannot be stretched to hire a full time technician, which district policy identifies as a site responsibility. Can you suggest an alternative?

Several large districts around the country are now outsourcing their technical support rather than hiring IT staff because contracted services are usually less expensive. Since you don’t currently have someone in a tech support staff position, you may want to consider a scaled down site version of this approach. You need to check with the district’s Human Resources Office to see if it’s permissible to contract outside the district for this type of work. If it is, the next step would be to talk with equipment vendors and local computer repair services to see what arrangements might be made.

In addition to cost, you need to clearly identify the services that would be offered and the turn-around time for repairs and regular maintenance tasks such as upgrades for hardware and software. Be sure to get everything in writing.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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