Staffing Levels Worksheet:
Number of Technical Support Staff Needed in a School District
This worksheet is designed to help school district staff and administrators in Michigan determine
recommended numbers of technology support staff. It will also show which areas may especially need a
different level of staffing. Fill in the numbers requested in the column provided. Be sure to divide by the
weighting factors given in each item and to add or subtract the result, as indicated.
Note: the Technology Staffing Guidelines Project's Information Sheet was created to help you gather and
organize the data needed for this form before trying to do the calculations. We recommend you fill it out
first, if you have difficulty supplying the figures requested below.
It is important that you check the notes at the end for more detailed information about how to calculate
each specific item. Only brief descriptions appear with each item. More complete descriptions, including
details about how to do the calculations appear in the Notes section.
Computer installation, maintenance and repair
A. Number of computers, printers and peripherals in full-time use (divided
by 500): A
B. Number of distinct major LAN's, network operating systems, Internet
servers, sizable central databases (administrative and curricular), etc. that
must be monitored and managed (divided by 5): B
C. Total number of software applications in use on all the computers in the
district. This may be an actual inventoried count, or an average number of
software applications that must be installed and maintained by technology C
staff on each computer multiplied by number of computers in full-time use
(divided by 5000):
D. In service training, one-on-one help in getting computers and
applications to work, creation of written materials, help desk question
answering, etc. This involves all interaction with users beyond taking repair
requests. Number of users (divided by 1000):
E. Number of teachers (divided by 150):
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Other technology responsibilities:
F. Webmaster/web content developer (full-time staff needed):
G. Telephone services (full-time staff needed):
H. Video, audio, satellite and broadcast services (full-time staff needed):
I. Other non-computer technology services (full-time staff needed): I
Management, administration and administrative support
J. Number of full time management and administrative personnel needed.
This number will generally be a minimum of .25 up to 2 or more full
time employees, with larger districts requiring more personnel devoted to
PRELIMINARY SUB-TOTAL (add A - J) Sub-
Modifying Suggested Staff Ranges
Other support options used
K. ISD's, contracts with private vendors, partnerships with businesses or
community members, parent or teacher volunteers, student tech teams or
internships, etc. (Subtract the number of full-time staff equivalents K
handled through outsourcing.)
If more than one of the following factors is affecting the district add
between 10% and 20% to total staff needed.
• Geographical size of school district is very large (buildings widely
• Schools district consists of many buildings (more than 10)
• Buildings are old and/or badly wired or set up for technology L
• Computers are generally more than 2 years old or not of high quality
• Computers are of a wide variety of brands, models and types
• Computer software installation is NOT centralized--all software
installation and upgrades must be done at the individual computers
• Computer maintenance is NOT centralized--repairs must all be done
at the affected computer
• Significant reliance on technology-based curriculum and/or distance
learning using technology
L. Number of staff added:
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District technology priorities and goals
A school district that is not giving a high priority to technology at
this time may be able to offer adequate support with up to 25% less
staff than the recommended level.
A district that is working to achieve or planning to maintain a high
level of technology for its students, may require up to 25%
additional staff (than the generally recommended number) to
A committed effort to raise its technology level, will usually
require extra staffing at least during the transition phase.
M. If District has a lower technology priority subtract up to 25%
If district has a high current technology priority or is attempting to
raise its technology priority add up to an additional 25% of total.
TOTAL TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT STAFF
(Adjust the preliminary total according to the factors calculated in
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Notes on the Technology Support Staffing
Information Sheet and Worksheet
A. Number of computers in full-time use. Since some computers in school districts are used
almost constantly, and others rarely, this will be an approximate figure. Some computers in
classrooms or labs may be outdated or stationed in areas were they receive little access and
use. In order to equate this statistic with full-time business use, the number of computers
entered should not be the gross number, but instead the number in use 60-100% of the time
during 5 business days per week. Adjust for those that are used less. It is also possible that
some computers may receive extra use (for example evening and weekend classes). If this
tends to increase their breakdown rate, adjust to reflect the increased usage. Included in this
number are printers, scanners and any other peripherals that receive substantial use and
B. Major applications: “Major” implies that only systems and applications that require daily
monitoring or substantial amounts of at least one person’s time on a continual basis should
be included. These might include operating systems, networks, Internet and/or WWW
servers, e-mail servers, district-wide filters, large databases, and other large-scale
applications, including building level LANs.
Since this item is divided by 5, it implies that the major application will often require 15-20%
of someone’s time. Many districts may have some major applications that might or might not
fit in this category (they require frequent attention, but perhaps not daily or not 1-2 hours a
day)--these might be combined. There are other major applications that, due to their
complexity, may require half or more of a person’s time. This category is meant to help
districts determine the amount of staff required to manage the major systems that (usually)
must be maintained on an continual intensive basis, and to help show the amount of staff
time that is allocated to working on them. Adjust to fit your local situation.
C. Software applications: all of the classroom level and administrative applications that are
used. They may be widely used or only in a single classroom, but do require installation,
troubleshooting and support. Only applications that are used at some time in the academic
year should be counted. Each time an application is installed on it different computer, it is
For example: if Netscape is installed on 300 computers in the district, count it 300 times in
your total. If a math program is only installed on the 15 computers in one lab, it would be
counted 15 times.
Obviously some applications are used much more than others. The number of installed
software applications divided by 5000 represents an average amount of support needed. It
assumes that an application that is used will require about 15-20 minutes per computer per
year for installation, needed upgrades, configuration, resolving compatibility issues, etc. If
each application is individually installed (rather than installed via the network or as part of a
CD that handles several applications; it may be necessary to increase the number of staff
required to handle software maintenance).
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If the average number of applications on computers is very different in different schools,
these may be calculated separately and totaled.
D. Training Needs: number of users. This should be the number of students, teachers,
administrators and staff using computers full time (between 60 and 100% of the day). Since
many students may not have access to computers for much of the day, they would not count
as full users. Because each user does require training and support, they do need to count. So
roughly, someone who accesses a computer during 50-100% of hours in a day, is a full user.
Someone who accesses a computer daily, but during 10-50% of the hours in the day, is a
50% user. A person who accesses the computer occasionally (only a few times a week or
less) is a 25% user.
The divisor of 1000 represents between one and two hours of personal training and help per
user per year. This figure may need to be shifted in some school districts depending on
technology skill levels and attitudes of teachers, administrators and support staff, since it is a
very small amount of support time. A larger training staff, as well as group sessions, job aids
and other assistance, will be needed if a substantial change in skill levels is desired.
E. Curriculum Support: This reflects staff dedicated to advising and improving use of
technology as integrated in the curriculum by working with teachers, independent of
platform. The number would vary depending on how current the school’s instructional
(curriculum) model is and what the district’s goals are, but as currently stated—one support
person / 150 teachers, it offers about one day of support per school year per teacher, when
other general duties of the curriculum specialist are considered.
F-I. Other technology responsibilities: These may include telephones, all video, audio,
satellite and broadcast systems, VCR’s, copiers, security systems, voicemail, and any other
responsibilities that are delegated to the technology department in the district. Because the
extent to which these are assigned to the technology budget, instead of to other areas varies,
you should fill in the number of people it is currently taking to handle these responsibilities at
an adequate level at this time. In some districts, additional research may be required on what
standard support requirements are for specific systems.
J. Management, administrative and administrative support: The management and
administrative duties are generally handled by the technology coordinator or similar
personnel who manage technology plans and policies, research, attend meetings and
conferences, report on compliance with state and federal requirements, apply for and monitor
grants, manage other fund raising activities, handle major purchases, maintain inventory
records, study and implement options for reducing Total Cost of Ownership, supervise other
staff, deal with outsourced providers of services, and do a variety of other management level
tasks that are not incorporated in the other duties listed. In larger districts, technology
management staff usually has administrative support who do a variety of clerical, reception,
payroll and related tasks.
K. Other support options available: If ISD’s, volunteers, contractors or other types of
outsourcing are currently being used to accomplish any of the responsibilities, and you
anticipate that this arrangement is satisfactory and will continue, calculate the number of full
time staff people this is equivalent to in work accomplished, and subtract it from the total.
Note: it is not recommended that classroom teachers be requested act as volunteers and
assume technology support roles without release time from their regular duties, since this
practice will generally result in a hidden cost of less effective classroom instruction.
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L. Environmental factors: Some of the most frequent environmental factors that may increase
a district’s need for staff are listed here. These are further elaborated in the Technology,
Demographic and Organizational Factors section. There may be additional factors in some
districts that should also be considered. If more than one of these factors applies to your
district, you will probably need an increase in staff overall of 10% or more to offer adequate
support. Almost all areas of staffing will need to accommodate to the factors and provide
additional help. If several factors exist in a district, the staffing may need to be increased by
20% or more, or serious attention placed on reducing the impact of the some of the factors.
M. Technology priorities: Districts have different technology priorities. The number of
staff needed will fall in a range depending on the its current level of technology use and its
goals. For example: according to the STaR Chart continuum, districts are low tech, mid tech,
high tech or target tech.
Some districts also set local benchmarks for computer repair, downtime, professional
development, etc., that help them determine how well they’re meeting their goals. In some
cases, a district may be looking for adequate technology at this time, and focusing on other
matters. Other districts may consider themselves technology magnet schools or districts with
a serious goal of upgrading and improving their technology use. If your district falls at either
end of the spectrum in terms of commitment to technology use, it may require staffing of up
to 25% more or less to meet its technology goals.
These materials were developed under a grant awarded by the Michigan State Board of
Education under the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund Grant Program.
Last revised: November, 2000
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