Night And Day

I’m at Berryessa Union School District now and it’s been like night and day. The on-boarding process was incredibly efficient. My new boss threw a bagel and pastry reception the first day to introduce me to the district staff. They got me a plant for my office, which reminds me, I need to remember to water it. My business cards were ready day one. It’s all textbook employee retention stuff but it has been very well executed. And everyone is very friendly. Not that people at the last place weren’t. It’s just that the culture is noticeably different, more sunny. Maybe that’s just the elementary way, I don’t know.

I’ve only got a staff of four now but so far it appears that they have very good processes and procedures in place that make that number work for what they need to do. The infrastructure is solid and well documented.  Wireless is still Cisco and they’re on Exchange email but I guess you can’t have everything.

I’ve got a lot of technology to get up to speed on. The VDI infrastructure is probably the biggest. Almost all of the computers in the district are virtual. Reminds me of my Terminal Server days back at Le Grand. So I’ll be brushing off my Lone Ranger IT tech skills and getting my hands dirty again. Something about that has a zen like appeal to me.

Did I mention how supportive my boss is? Any reservations I had on day one about my decision to move were cleared up by day three. I’ve started building the white board map already. The challenges here are different. With the infrastructure basically stable, the discussions I’ll start having are where do they want to go from here. 1:1, mobile, social, individualized instruction, teacher technology training? I’m here to make it happen. There is already a planned pilot this summer with Khan Academy using Google Apps for Education. I setup the Apps domain on day two. Looking forward to seeing how all that goes.

I can’t wait to start visiting sites and meeting the Principals, Teachers and Students of Berryessa. Time to get out there to where the magic happens.

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