School districts share technology gurus

After the unexpected recent retirement of their district technology director, school officials from Coupeville sent an urgent request to Oak Harbor for help.

Superintendent Rick Schulte said the agencies investigated options and decided to sign a trial agreement to share technology services through the end of August. It’s modeled after the interlocal agreement between the City of Oak Harbor, which also uses the support of school technology.

Although resources will be divided, Oak Harbor Technical Director Bruce Roberts said it won’t draw from their work in the city. Coupeville’s machines can be accessed from Oak Harbor, and they won’t require a full-time staff.

“Coupeville gave us the keys to the kingdom so we don’t need to drive down there,” Roberts said.

Coupeville agreed to reimburse the Oak Harbor School District for use of staff and technology.

With the funding, Schulte said they are considering bringing back a secretarial position in the technology department and hiring a part-time technician, possibly in college.

“We can train them in our system and if we have a turnover, we’d have someone knowledgeable to take over. It could be a kind of training,” Schulte said at Monday’s school board meeting.

The agreement will be beneficial to both cities, Schulte said, and cost mutual in the long-term.

If the trial agreement for shared services proves beneficial for both districts, the school board could propose a renewal of the agreement for the 2009-2010 year.

“The problem in Coupeville is infrastructure,” Roberts said. “We are seeing what we can update and bringing in a varied set of skills.”

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