Over the Summer of 2014 a Consolidation of Services Grant was applied for then awarded to West Shore ESD and Wexford-Missaukee ISD. The purpose of this grant was to combine the Technology Departments at each ISD. At that time each ISD was operating a technology collaborative serving between two and four local districts. In each case, the local ISD collaborative was seeing some benefits of the consolidation of these services. However, each of these was limited in participation and the size of individual ISD regions is small, thus the benefits are limited.
We pursued the consolidation of these efforts into one larger regional effort so that we can now achieve the critical number of districts and students served to see true scale benefits for educational technology support within the region. Combining our smaller, limited effectiveness, efforts into one immediately gave us scale in staffing, improved the implementation of best practices, and provided the redundancy in technology staffing that smaller schools desperately need. This effort also set the stage for the consolidation of hardware, volume purchasing, limited replication of efforts (one, rather than ten annual federal e-rate filings, for example), and standardization of software and support efforts.