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Staff responsible for 30,000 devices plus much more
Calla High student Cheyenne Leandro, center, uses a Manteca Unified tablet with fellow students in an English class on Friday at the alternative education high school. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The Geek Squad has nothing on the Manteca Unified School District Information & Technology Department.

The Manteca Unified 49-member IT staff  provides technical support for over 30,000 devices, more than 3,000 pieces of network equipment, and oversees all software applications and technology peripherals. That includes 33 school site technical staff located at each campus to assure quick response tissues.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The IT staff also is responsible for technology integration and implementation, the district’s communication systems from phones to two-way radios, technology training, print shop oversight, attendance and student flow, state and federal reporting, as well as digital school safety.

While the most high-profile task is keeping the tablets issued to all 23,500 students up to par, the IT department has been tasked for years with keeping close to 7,000 other devices for teachers and staff computers to audio visual another equipment in top working order.

“They (the district IT staff) will work weekends to make sure all issues are addressed before a school, week starts,” noted Superintendent Jason Messer.

Messer noted it is not by design when that happens but because of the crucial role that technology plays for both teachers and students in maximizing the learning experience.

The superintendent often times said no one in the classroom is even aware there was an issue.

Then there are the other things that people don’t think about such as maintaining phone lines.

“We basically have our own little phone company,” Messer said.

There are phones in every classroom as well as offices. A dedicated IT staff member check each line to make sure they function and that the 911 system is operating before the school year starts. They also troubleshoot phone  issues during the school year.

“The district office knows immediately whenever a 911 call is placed at any of the schools,” Messer said.

It is part of an ongoing effort to keep campuses as secure as possible.

The IT staff will play a crucial role as campuses are modernized and additional security cameras are added.

While all of the behind-the-scenes tasks are essential, Messer noted the IT staff “prides itself in supporting a student centered technology support model” with the goal to provide technical assistance to teachers, staff and students.

Messer noted the IT staff is dedicated to optimizing support for current and emerging technology.