TSI students work to troubleshoot and repair Chromebook issues.

Photo by Bridey Costello

The Flip Side: Understanding TSI

TSI shares their perspective after criticism for long wait times

December 11, 2018

Over the course of this semester many students have found themselves waiting in line at TSI with a Chromebook issue. 

But TSI is as frustrated as you, the anxious student with a broken Chromebook. They too have to face rigid procedures, worries outside their control, and long back-ups.

“Simple things can be done in one period, multiple times a period, but it just depends on what’s in front of it,” Emilio Suarez a TSI senior said. “If there’s a whole shelf full before that one that takes five minutes to do, we have to do all those before because those kids have been waiting longer.”

But TSI’s worries may be bigger than yours, anxious student with a broken Chromebook.

“Most students don’t realize we are helping the entire district,” TSI instructor Kristen Bartholomew said. “We don’t just do York; we’re doing grades two through 12, so that’s 12 schools worth of Chromebooks, and we do them in the order they’re received”

TSI is also subject to some out of control hurdles, such as each student needing a new certification for every new Chromebook and Google updates leaving some Chromebooks without WIFI.

“We’ve had lines when there are Google problems that we can’t control that happen across school districts around everywhere, so there’s no much we can do when those google problems occur,” said Bartholomew. “They tend to be random, and it’s long lines of people that get hit all at once randomly; so it’s not something that the school did or we did or anything like that.”

Of course, the District also requires students to be very responsible with each student’s important belonging.

“We have to take pictures of stuff in case of any ‘my kid didn’t break it,’ but we have evidence that ‘yeah, it was broken,’ if we have to charge them,” Suarez said. “We just have to document pretty much everything we do.”

Some students with Chromebook issues do not realize members of TSI are still York students and not professionals with the Geek Squad.

“The thing with TSI is that it’s not really a balance between classes because obviously the counselors have got to work with everybody’s schedules,” Suarez said. “There’s some classes with five or six [students].  Especially first period gets slammed in the morning.”

But beyond even logistics of students, there’s the reality that like in all York’s other classes, students are not already perfect.

“It’s a class, we’re limited, and kids are learning, so you’ve got to keep that in mind,” Bartholomew said.

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