The Service Desk has always helped BVSD staff and students troubleshoot technology issues and occasionally received a call from a parent. But they had never been marketed to parents as a service. So it was a big shift in the Spring for the team to take on a whole new challenge— being a Service Desk for families working through difficulties with remote learning.
“Frankly it was just one of these situations where we understood what was happening, what was at risk if we didn’t help,” says Traci Comerford, BVSD Service Desk Manager. “So really the team just jumped in and did whatever was needed.”
As parents and staff quickly pivoted to remote learning in March, the Service Desk was there every step of the way to support—both staff and families— in this new environment.
“As trying of a time as it was, it was amazing to see the entire IT team just pitch in. Overnight the service desk was helping parents for the first time,” says Comerford. It took the team outside its comfort zone of staff and BVSD buildings into the unknowns of spotty internet connections and families and students that had never done this before.
Fast forward to now and the week leading up to the first day of school this year was the busiest the IT Service Desk has ever experienced. It wasn’t unexpected considering all students needed to connect remotely for that first day and the IT department planned ahead by adding four employees temporarily to the team to help with the increased demand. The call volume that first week was four times that of last year, said Comerford.
“The process is brand new to parents, so it’s starting from scratch for a lot of them,” says Comerford, and many were frustrated and concerned calling in.
The wait times were long on that first day, and while many parents called in frustrated, most were grateful for the support.
“In the end almost all of them say they appreciate what we’re doing,” says Comerford.
The IT Service Desk is available during business hours (720-561-HELP or IT@bvsd.org) to help families and students, as well as staff work through password access and technology issues. They also have a webpage for families set up with classroom application information, troubleshooting tips, and internet options.