Client Spotlight: Fresno Unified School District

How One of the Largest School Districts in California Transformed their Operations with EdTech

Any business can anticipate problems or issues in their daily workflow. Inefficiencies aren’t always caught at first, but the compounding effects are felt quickly and dealing with them (or not) will cost you one way or the other. Multiply those routine problems by one or two people who express, “we’ve just always done it this way,” and your speed bumps become difficult, mountain-sized hurdles in need of overcoming. The point: Know your goals, be prepared, and don’t delay. Our client Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) took the time to identify some of their top-level pain points and came to Bitwise Industries for technology solutions that could help alleviate those issues. Here’s how we helped them.

Where Do We Start?

Nestled firmly in the heart of California’s Central Valley is Fresno Unified School District (FUSD), the third largest school district in California that serves more than 73,000 students and 10,000 employees between 107 schools, featuring a minority enrollment of 90%. With an annual budget over $1 billion dollars, falling behind in any situation could jeopardize the district’s mission to help students achieve their greatest potential. That wasn’t an option. This is why FUSD adopted a proactive approach to integrate technology in those difficult places to ensure that they could minimize inefficiencies and meet their goals for students each day. 

Where Did it Hurt?

FUSD’s needs were twofold: 1) prepack every student-used device in the district with the necessary software required by grade level; and 2) to modernize and simplify the entire human resource information system (HRIS) process with an enterprise-wide, fully customizable portal to streamline the HR process and better serve their students and employees. With an educational institution of this size, they required a technology company that could come alongside and complement their requests and timelines with an appropriate sense of urgency.

What Was the Solution?

Bitwise Industries created a custom .NET backend and Knockout.js frontend to provide FUSD with an automated AI platform to seamlessly document each step of the HR life cycle, reduce errors, and secure confidential data at every touchpoint. This automated platform saved hundreds of work hours per manager and allowed each one to keep their student-focused mission on track. In addition, Bitwise Industries designed and successfully implemented the software prepack for every student-used device that were then distributed into the hands of all those young learners to be used at home or in the classroom every day.

What Were the Results?

With a few simple clicks, over 200 managers and admins were able to leverage resumés, supporting documents, and interviews that were logged and tracked through the secure database which included all staff data, workflows, processes, and the ability to schedule substitute instructors through a simple digital calendar and kiosk. This streamlined process connected the ideal candidates with the position that fit them best while maintaining a positive outlook for improving student outcomes. 

“We outlined a fairly demanding timeline for the tablet application, and they beat it by a few days. We’d communicate primarily through emails and phone calls. They’re flexible in how they operate. We appreciate that they’re willing to build software that’s in line with our development stack.”

-Kurt Madden, CTO Fresno Unified School District

Implement Tech to Help Alleviate Pain Points

Many educational institutions know they have operational and workflow issues that could be solved with technology solutions, but are ambivalent about taking the leap into tech due to fear of change or upheaval in processes that ‘have worked okay’ thus far. 
Those concerns are completely understood, but as the world moves toward the use of digital tools, analog tools will become more and more challenging to maintain and track. FUSD identified specific pain points regarding the tools their students and teachers needed before taking the leap of faith to consult with Bitwise Industries. If you can identify the pain points within your organization, that’s the first step. The next step? Reach out for a consultation.

Let Us Help

Technology Consulting is the Software Development-as-a-Service division of Bitwise 

Industries that specializes in custom software development, managed services, and Salesforce implementation. Our technology professionals have deep experience applying cutting-edge technology solutions to help educational institutions of all sizes navigate the technology landscape to find solutions to optimize their operations.
If you’re interested in uncovering the tech possibilities available to your organization, click this link to schedule some time with one of our experts.

This post was written by Jeff Rickels, Technical Writer for Bitwise Industries. When he’s not playing guitar, Jeff is answering questions from his kids like, “Hey dad, can you tell me the difference between Cultural Relativism, Globalization, and Ethnocentrism? Oh yeah, and what Disney movies are good examples of each?” 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a true story. And the answers were Beauty and the Beast, Luca, and Mulan.]