Special Meeting - SRCS Board of Education
San Rafael City Schools
April 01, 2015 3:30PM
District Office - Boardroom 310 Nova Albion Way San Rafael, CA 94903

Quick Summary / Abstract:
President Natu Tuatagaloa, Vice President Rachel Kertz, Linda M. Jackson, Greg Knell, Maika Llorens Gulati
President Tuatagaloa convened the meeting to Open Session at 3:35 PM.

Trustees present were:
Natu Tuatagaloa
Rachel Kertz
Linda M. Jackson
Maika Llorens Gulati

Greg Knell arrived at 3:45 PM.
Sean Rozell led the Pledge of Allegiance.
III. PUBLIC COMMENTS on Agendized Item(s)
Carmen Puga, CSEA President:

She spoke on behalf of IT department; strongly objected to the contracting out of IT work. She asked that the email she sent to the superintendent and board president be forwarded to other trustees.

Ms. Puga read a message on behalf of SRFT President Chris Simenstad stating that SRFT agrees that the district cannot continue to hire consultants to deal with Infinite Campus issues. A new consultant is a stop gap; need to hire long term.

Ms. Puga continued that CSEA will not tolerate having an outside organization supervise and evaulate members.
V. BOARD BUSINESS: (ESD/HSD) Approval of Agreement Between San Rafael City Schools and Think Connected, LLC
Quick Summary / Abstract:
The Board is presented with an agreement for services from Think Connected, LLC for the period of April 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015, for recommended approval.
BACKGROUND: With the resignations of key technology staff members we are recommending the services of Think Connected, LLC for the period April 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015. Think Connected will provide three tiers of assistance to the Information Technology Department: System, Project and on-site as needed to manage tasks, liabilities, risks and mitigations.

The support will include: a Specialized on-site resource person; Project management and consulting for technology upgrades related specifically to Student Information Systems and Learning Management Systems, SIS and LMS system efficiency and data integration to state systems; E-Rate processing; and a once a month CTO level meeting with a technology steering committee.  

Staff recommends approval of this agreement. 
Financial Impact:
$15,000 per month, split between both districts , not to exceed $100,000 between April 1, 2015 and September 30, 2015.
Approval of the Agreement between San Rafael City Schools and Think Connected, LLC with the amendments to rewrite the Scope of Work, add a respect clause, and remove references to evaluation and/or management. Passed with a motion by Rachel Kertz and a second by Greg Knell.
Yes Linda Jackson.
Yes Rachel Kertz.
Yes Greg Knell.
Yes Ms. Maika Llorens Gulati.
Yes Natu Tuatagaloa.
Superintendent Watenpaugh provided clarifying information. With the loss of key positions, the Think Connected contract will provide oversight to the Information Technology Dept. The contract term is for up to 6 months with a dollar amount not to exceed. Think Connected will assist department staff and keep the momentum moving forward with priorities such as master schedule development, SBAC, SIS, attendance reconciliation and operations.
Dr. Zaich noted Think Connected was recommended by the MCOE Technology Department. They have provided CTO like services for Ross, Reed and Ross Valley districts in the county. They will work with IT staff on high priority issues such as SBAC and SIS until a new chief technology officer can be identified.
In response to questions from Trustee Llorens Gulati, Dr. Zaich reported: the key positions that had recent resignations are the CTO, Database Administrator and an IT Support staff member; upon seeking recommendation for interim support Think Connected was the first recommendation, the second recommendation was for a firm out of Novato that was determined not to be a match for the district, and the 3rd recommendation was for MCOE specialized support services. Superintendent Watenpaugh added he has spoken with other county superintendents who have used Think Connected and it is reported that their knowledge base is high and can provide the support that is needed immediately. Josh Demetri, Think Connected IT Services manager is a former SRCS IT employee, familiar with the district.
Staff responded to trustee questions and discussion regarding: the process used to identify this consultant, the plan to use an independent assessment done by Dr. Barbara Vrankovich in the hiring process for a new CTO; clarification that Think Connected will not be writing evaluations for district IT staff; the financial costs and the urgency of bringing in this outside group versus a longer term process of hiring staff; CTO Rozell’s estimate that currently 7 additional staff members are needed in the department, with CBO Thomas providing approximate costs and limitations with the HSD budget in deficit spending; and the contract can be terminated by either party at any time with no cause.
The following individuals addressed the Board:
Noel Mathias, IT Support: in response to questions from President Tuatagaloa, provided clarification that CALPADS has been taken care of, and clarification that the IT support person who resigned provided desktop support.
Alex Perez, Database Administrator: regarding 2 tech support handling SBAC for 9 schools; database infrastructure has been done for the CALPADS deadline tomorrow; Infinite Campus was handled by the database administrator who recently resigned. He noted his preference to have new staff join the department. He requested that the Think Connected Scope of Work be rewritten to reflect support to the department rather than project management.
- Ren Yildiz, IT Support: regarding lack of IT personnel results in frequent crisis reaction.
- Drew Hanson: regarding the impact on current IT staff’s day to day activities to onboard the consultants and bring them up to speed.
CTO Rozell noted that interviews were held last week for IT techs, with 2 strong candidates who have potential to be hired in the next couple of weeks.
President Tuatagaloa noted that the IT department needs help as soon as possible. The consultant can provide this assistance to the department. He added that the potential candidates identified in recent IT interviews is a good sign.
Trustee Kertz and Dr. Zaich will work with the consultant for clear roles and responsibilities and rewriting of the Scope of Work. Ms. Kertz recognized the time IT staff will be giving and the importance of their assistance to have the consultant be successful. She added that Think Connected’s experience working with other districts may provide a new opportunity to bring a fresh set of eyes.
Trustee Llorens Gulati suggested that department and consultant’s work be reviewed at the end of each month to see how things are going.
Ms. Puga reiterated that the board should read the email she sent. She suggested a respect clause be added to agreement, for the work of what employees are currently doing.
President Tuatagaloa asked those present if there were other recommendations to immediately address the district's IT needs. No comment and no other alternative were suggested. Mr. Tuataglaoa indicated he believe staff's recommendation was the best course of action at this time.
Contract Agreement - Think Connected, LLC
Exhibit A - Scope of Work
There being no further business, President Tuatagaloa adjourned the meeting at 4:25 PM.

The resubmit was successful.