School relocations are challenging.
Running a school in an existing location is hard enough. Taking an entire school and transplanting it from one location to another is even harder, especially when the new facility requires renovations before your move-in date. It’s not enough to pack up your school’s desks and whiteboards: moving to your new school will likely require a reimagining of your existing layout, core IT infrastructure and, to some extent, may even impact your existing instructional design.
At CTS, we help our school partners open, expand, and even relocate, all while recognizing that no one solution makes sense for every school. Instead, we collaborate with school leaders to brainstorm, design, and execute school relocation plans that are both cost-conscious and aware of the school’s unique instructional needs. By taking the time to think through each technology-related element of your school’s relocation plan, we help ease the relocation process so that school leaders can focus their attention on teachers and students.
CTS supports school relocations using a three-step school design process.
When supporting a school opening, our team embraces a three-step school design process that’s equally applicable in the school relocation context. First, we brainstorm solutions by meeting with your school’s leadership team; with these general concepts in mind, we then fill in the details and then, ultimately, finalize a design for your new space.
During the first step, “brainstorming,” a senior CTS design specialist will meet with your school’s leadership team and begin recording a shared vision for the new facility and the intended instructional uses for each portion of the new space. We also capture desired locations for wiring and other technology necessary for instruction during this step.
In the second stage, we transfer the results of your brainstorming session to an easy-to-edit design plan where school leaders can review and modify any aspects of the planned IT system. We know things can change throughout the relocation process; this added flexibility helps school leaders adapt their educational-technology vision with ease. We’ll also include additional non-instructional details like security cameras, PA system components, and other Wi-Fi locations that you’ll need in your new facility.
Once your team is completely satisfied with the detailed plans formed in the second stage, our team will begin working on your final design documents, which will also include helpful information for general contractors and low voltage specialists who will help set up your facility. We’ll help keep your relocation timeline on schedule by ensuring everyone has what they need.
First, we’ll help your team source and install your core technology infrastructure.
Reliable internet service is the core of any school IT program. Because of this, we help ensure that your organization has fast, reliable internet access in every corner of its new building. The networks we install are powered by sophisticated, high-quality technology that’s still simple for school leaders to operate. We leverage technology from industry leaders like Cisco and SonicWall to build cost-effective, scalable networks for our partners. Rather than worrying about whether the school’s wireless internet might “go out” on a high-stakes testing day or if a particular classroom is sufficiently close to a wireless access point, we build these considerations into your new facility’s design from day one so that you can keep your focus on instruction.
Next, we’ll tackle any low-voltage wiring needs.
Even the most tech-savvy school leaders likely aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of a school building’s wiring needs. How many feet of wiring do you actually need? How should it be configured, and what about stub-ups? Similarly, will your building need connectivity across floors? If so, that might influence the types of wiring you decide to install. We work with our school partners to answer all of these questions and find the right solution for your school’s facility. A sloppy wiring job can compromise your entire school technology program. We get into the details early, incorporating any instructional considerations into your design so that your school’s core IT infrastructure supports your school in year one and years three, five, and beyond.
Your school relocation will likely involve changes to your new space’s classrooms. First up, A/V support.
For today’s learners, whiteboards and Expo markers don’t cut it. Teachers are increasingly competing with students’ personal devices for time and attention. Our team has equipped over 1,000 classrooms with the A/V tools they’ll need to grab and maintain students’ focus with this reality in mind. From overhead projectors ultra-short-throw or the latest interactive flat panels, our team has the technical know-how to install your desired A/V technology and an expansive view of trends in the educational technology space to help you stay ahead of the curve. We can also offer your staff members professional development sessions geared toward your new facility’s technology so that you can maximize your instructional return on investment.
Shared spaces like gyms and cafeterias might also need A/V support.
Sure, your gym was built for sports and other recreational events, your cafeteria was built for student dining, and your classrooms were built for teaching, but these spaces can do so much more with the right technology. Finding technology solutions for these spaces can seem overwhelming: what size screen does a 200-foot-long gymnasium need? How many lumens should a projector emit for compelling presentations in the school library? We provide answers to these questions and handle all installation logistics so that you don’t have to, all at the lowest possible cost, that remains true to your educational technology vision.
Digital signage can help your new space feel like home.
To make your new space feel more “lived in,” our team can also recommend various digital signage solutions that improve your new facility’s aesthetics while reinforcing your school’s unique mission. As costs for digital signage have decreased, more and more schools have adopted digital signage as a visually pleasing, cost-effective alternative to bulletin boards and other analog messaging techniques. We can both source and help install these solutions in a manner that conforms with your school’s unique mission. As with other aspects of your school’s educational technology design, we’ll build in the specs required to support digital signage at the beginning of the relocation planning process.
Student and staff security are also paramount.
Security cameras are essential to your facility’s security protocols. By partnering with CTS, you can ensure that every angle of your new building is covered so that you can keep students and staff members safe in the event of an emergency. We can also source solutions that give you and your school leadership team access to camera feeds at any hour and on any device, providing you with the information you need to make split-second school security decisions. As more schools embrace swipe card systems to regulate building and room access, our team can recommend additional security solutions that make sense for your school’s new facility.
School relocations might occur alongside increases in enrollment. We’ll help you purchase and set up any new student and staff devices you’ll need.
School relocations often present opportunities for school leaders to rethink technology choices like student and staff device make, model, and operating systems. As you move into your new building, we’ll help your team think through the costs and benefits of Mac, PC, or Chromebook solutions and the financial ramifications of each choice. You’ll also need to consider your device choices in the broader context of your instructional design: your student information system, data and assessment platforms, and online instructional systems may work better or worse on a particular device model. We help you think through these tradeoffs to select the right device for each of your school community’s constituencies.
Once you’ve ordered additional devices, our team can also share best practices that will allow you to keep track of your existing device inventory. By creating a “golden source” of student and staff devices, your team can pinpoint, at a moment’s notice, which devices are currently in use, which need repair, and which ultimately need replacement. Doing so can take the guesswork out of device ordering for the following year, saving your school valuable time and money that can be devoted to other instructional priorities. For each laptop repurposed, a teacher can purchase dozens of new titles for his classroom library or a new science curriculum kit.
At CTS, we help schools accomplish their unique missions.
Our team has worked with more than 60 schools across the United States to improve their educational technology programming and accomplish their unique missions. Comprised of former teachers and school operations professionals, our team has a track record of managing effective school relocations. With this experience in mind, we help craft solutions that are both effective and cost-conscious. Whether you’re relocating for the short or long term, our team is here to help ensure your new space feels like home. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your school accomplish its unique mission.