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Technology at Stratford Schools Needs More Staffing, Says Director

Instructional technology at Stratford schools takes a backseat as tech staff try to keep up with changes in operational technology.

New operational technology at Stratford schools like the food service program and the student information system require constant attention and support that the current staffing is struggling to provide.

"We've lost three positions and have gained a lot of technology," Ed Molloy, director of technology for Stratford schools, said at a school budget committee meeting last week. "I don't have staff to hand these projects off to."

While the online student information system, PowerSchool -- which logs grades, attendance and more -- requires more support staff in order to function properly, Molloy in a telephone interview said the most "significant" project is the food service program.

The online service called Nutrikids was rolled out two years ago and now serves 59 percent or 4,107 of the district's students. Nutrikids allows parents to deposit funds into an online account that the student accesses by punching in a pin when he or she goes to purchase lunch.

"It directly impacts parents so you hear it more," Molloy said. "Parents can go online at three in the morning, it needs to be up."

Instructional Technology on the Sidelines?

Molloy says he spends hours on support calls with Nutrikids technical staff and as the only educator in his department that takes up time he could be using to focus on more instructional technology which would benefit kids in the classroom.

Two of the three positions removed in the last few years dealt with integrating technology at Stratford schools. A coordinator of instructional technology ($120,000) used to write curriculum and work with the district's librarians; and a technology integration teacher ($90,000) had been employed to work alongside the coordinator.

There is some hope, however, that a new position in the school budget for next year will free up some time for Molloy and his current staff of five to turn the focus back on instructional technology by first corralling the operational side.

A database administrator ($56,765) is included in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14. Molloy said the administrator would concentrate on the Nutrikids system.

"The board recognizes the investment in technology needs a staff to support it," Molloy said. "I've stretched and delegated our staff as much as possible."

fairfield newcomer January 31, 2013 at 10:32 PM
I have a novel idea for all boards of education, don't ask for something if you don't have a plan on how to pay for it without asking the taxpayers, in this case maybe getting rid of some administrators, that just might cover it cost.
Tom February 01, 2013 at 08:57 PM
But try applying for a position with the schools in this town, if they don't like your views, they just put your application/s on file and you never get called. So much for holding a Master in Science, so much for military service-- it means nothing when it comes to politics.
Tom February 01, 2013 at 09:17 PM
We will be fleeing this state as soon as our children move into the right grades in their education, so the outcome is of very little interest to me any longer; however, I strongly recommend that those who intend on sticking it out here strongly push for review of political nepotism and cronyism practices in hiring. The place is out of control in how civil service rules are just blatantly broken. Hiring is never done through the EOE standards; the decisions are often made long in advance of positions being posted. Working conditions for those already hired are tantamount to something out of Tammany Hall, with the real workers often being burdened with incompetency that is thrust upon them in the form of diminished hiring standards, often a byproduct of getting ones cousin hired or a son or daughter or something. When I first started off here, nearly two decades ago, well intended newcomers to the state, more familiar with the goings-on’s here than I, grabbed me on the side and welcomed me to “Corrupticut .” I had no idea what they meant by this at first, I was much more naïve back then. I have since learned.
Wally February 02, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Amen. This is quite prevalent throughout the nation. If you are not a progressive or at least convincingly feign progressive views and agenda you do NOT have a chance. So much for DIVERSITY!!!
Concerned Person December 25, 2013 at 07:50 AM
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