Preparedness Pays Off for Texas District After Hurricane

By Consortium for School Networking

The Cypress-Fairbanks district's chief technology officer discusses how resources from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) helped her district built a technology infrastructure that withstood Hurricane Harvey

As Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc across Southeast Texas due to the worst natural flooding disaster in history, almost 200 school districts canceled or delayed schools. This placed an inordinate amount of pressure on education technology leaders as they are responsible for every aspect of school district operations that make schools work, including internal and external communications, financial and business systems, file management, and the technology infrastructure for teaching and learning.

To be successful, technology leaders must be actively involved in crisis preparedness, disaster recovery, and business continuity. National organizations like the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) helps technology leaders network with experts in the education industry and develop strategies that are essential for success. Some of CoSN’s recent focus areas have included Information Technology (IT) Crisis Preparedness, Building Smart Education Networks by Design (SEND), SEND Cloud, and the Certified Education Technology Leadership program, all of which provide resources about how to plan and recover from a crisis, just like Hurricane Harvey.

Cypress Fairbanks ISD (CFISD), Texas’ 3rd largest district in the state with 115,000 students and 14,000 employees, took advantage of CoSN’s resources that proved to be extremely beneficial during the destruction and flooding of Hurricane Harvey.

Using the SEND blueprint for network design, of the 113 schools and facilities, CFISD lost connectivity to 1 school. This is a 99.9 percent success rate for the district’s enterprise Wide Area Network (WAN) all systems availability!

At the school where connectivity was lost, the school was completely destroyed and district administration decided to move the school to another location. Within 1 day, the school was moved to the other location and it was connected to the district’s WAN, bringing the district back up to 100 percent availability. Needless to say, CFISD is thrilled with the design of the robust technology infrastructure. Thank you CoSN for providing district’s like CFISD with innovative strategies for educational success!

Additional information:

Hurricane Harvey Network Systems Availability

Robust Data Center Infrastructure Design

Hurricane Preparedness for Campuses

August 31, 2017 Technology Staff Assesses Damages

September 1, 2017 Technology Staff Relocates Damaged Elementary School

September 4, 2017 Technology Staff Removes Equipment from Damaged Elementary School

By Frankie Jackson, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Technology Officer at Cypress Fairbanks ISD. Originally published by CoSN.

Views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the endorsement of the Learning First Alliance or any of its members.

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debris at school destroyed by hurricane

One elementary school in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD was severely damaged by flooding.