IT department for Clovis Unified busier than ever during distance learning

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As families work through the challenges associated with distance learning -- school districts nationwide are working to bolster its IT departments.

Clovis Unified has a team of about 50 technicians and technical support officers standing by ready to answer questions or troubleshoot.

"I'd say since March, we have basically not stopped. All summer we're trying to get things ready to go as best we can," said Clovis Unified Chief Technology Officer Raj Nagra.

Nagra says virtual teaching has been a huge adjustment for not just families and educators, but for his staff at the Technology Service Center who now receive several hundred phone calls a day from parents and teachers asking for help with district-provided devices.

"Our first day of school we had over a thousand phone calls, which for us is a lot. For a normal school year, we only get two to three hundred but we got over a thousand the first day. Last Monday, it was the same thing. We got about a thousand and today (Monday), I think we already have about two to three hundred."

Clovis Unified handed out about 18,000 electronic devices at the start of the school year. Now, it's up to Nagra and his behind the scenes team to make sure the technology is working and easy enough for families to navigate.

While most of the concerns in the beginning centered around connectivity issues -- many of the calls these days are more specific device questions.

"Getting disconnected from Zoom or what we've heard from staff is they can't hear the students. They ask them to call in to make sure their mic is working or that they have the right setup."

Staffers here are also working closely with each school site and technology teachers to try and mitigate the challenges for remote learners.

"We are our own Geek squad for the district."
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