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Case Study

Simpler Device Tracking and Easier Ticketing

Hawkins County School District uses Frontline’s Asset Management and Help Desk Management to track and support devices for thousands of teachers, staff, and students.

Hawkins County School District Hero Image

District Background

In northeastern Tennessee, Hawkins County School District serves approximately 6,200 students, sprawling across seventeen campuses. Database Manager Sheila Peters works in the Technology Department, managing and tracking the thousands of Chromebooks and other devices that students and staff use each day. “We have approximately 9,000 Chromebooks in the district alone. That does not include any laptops that we have.”

Tracking Headaches

In the past, Hawkins County Schools was working toward a 1:1 model but faced challenges tracking where devices were. “We just assigned everything to a classroom, no matter what it was, and then they were responsible for it. I won’t say that we had a good method of tracking things,” Sheila says. Accountability for devices was difficult to enforce. When devices needed repair, teachers would submit work orders on paper, and school technology specialists would import it into the system the district was using at the time, leading to frustration all around. “Technology never got the work order because it was in somebody’s inbox or something, so we had a lot of problems with that.”

A Change Was Needed

The turning point came in 2020 when the district received federal funds and ordered a large number of Chromebooks. Realizing the need for accountability with federal money involved, the district sought a solution. At that point, Sheila says, “we decided we were going to have to do something, because a lot of it was ESSER money and it’s federal money, so there’s a lot more accountability that is going on.”

The Solution: Frontline’s Asset Management and Help Desk Management

After evaluating various solutions, Hawkins County Schools chose Frontline’s Asset Management and Help Desk Management. The system’s ability to streamline processes and bring tracking into one place was essential, and the team especially appreciated the reports they could generate. Plus, they could tag devices to specific funding sources. “This is a perfect thing because you can designate your funding. It has the POs. Everything is linked together, so it is just a great product all around that met our needs,” says Sheila.

Sheila Peters Photo

“Everybody could have access all in one place, because we would have Title I inventories on Google spreadsheets, special education inventory on Word documents. We have CTE (Career & Technical Education) inventory somewhere. We were trying to get one platform that everybody could come together.”

Sheila Peters
– Database Manager

Sheila and her colleagues jumped into the system with both feet. It took a couple of months to fine tune the system, largely because it sparked an effort to clean up the district’s technology inventory data. Now, Sheila says, they are reaping the benefits. “Things are starting to go a lot smoother because we’ve cleared out a lot of the old stuff that wasn’t supposed to be there anyway.”


Greater Accountability

Since implementing Frontline, the district has made considerable progress toward a 1:1 model, and students in the high schools have their own devices. Frontline gives Sheila and her team the ability to track where each Chromebook is and hold users accountable for them. “When we do our audits and we know these are missing — either the kids will not bring them in, or the kids have transferred and nobody collected the devices — we have that list and then can charge the school or whoever must pay for them. Sometimes, principals actually go to the student’s house, or an SRO officer has gone to collect them, so it does help hold them accountable.”

In elementary and middle schools, devices are assigned to classrooms, but they are still able to be tracked. Sometimes a device is misplaced and discovered in a building, but because the district’s Google Console is connected to Asset Management, the technology staff can quickly see who the last person was to log in on the Chromebook and return the device to the correct person.

Federal Reporting

Frontline has significantly eased compliance and federal reporting requirements. Sheila’s Director of Finance recently asked her to provide a listing of all devices broken down by funding sources such as Cares Act, ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III. Within ten minutes, Sheila exported a report and provided it to the auditor.

Help Desk Tickets

Gone are the days when IT staff would have to import work orders teachers submitted on paper. Teachers and staff can submit tickets through Help Desk Management, or by sending an email or even leaving a voicemail, which automatically creates a work order. “We have it set up to automatically import users from Asset Management, so all our users are already in there,” says Sheila.

Workflows customized by the district route tickets to the correct support technician, which saves the technology staff from having to manually update them as they come in. “I have it set to notify the technicians when they get a new work order assigned to them. The automated workflow helps us a lot because there are only, like, 10 of us total.”

As devices are serviced, users are automatically kept up to date through email, and techs can ask follow-up questions as needed. Help Desk Management is connected with Asset Management, providing real-time visibility into the status of each device and noting which devices are “In Repair.”

The team can also sort and filter tickets and see how workload is distributed across the technology staff. “Our supervisor can look and say, ‘You’ve got this many work orders. What’s going on?’” Additionally, the data can show if certain schools tend to have more issues with devices. All of this, Sheila says, helps the Technology Department serve schools in a timelier manner.

A Meaningful Partnership

Sheila says that the support she receives from Frontline is fast and effective. “I’ve had very few issues, but when I have issues, it’s a pretty quick response time and they’ve always solved my issues.”

Hawkins County School District’s adoption of Frontline’s Asset Management and Help Desk Management has proven to be a critical part of providing technology to enable learning. “It’s been a game changer,” Sheila says. “The ease of use and the ease of the reports all in one place and getting everybody’s inventory in one place.”