In 2006, Dynamic Network Solutions performed tech consulting work for a charter school. Things would never be the same for DNS – or for many American charter schools.
Today, servicing the tech needs of more than 150 charter schools around the nation has become a big part of DNS’ business, and the company approaches this growing educational movement with an enthusiasm that extends beyond the corporate bottom line.
“Not only are we good at it, but we’re also very passionate about the charter community. We really want to help them find better technology options that are out there,” said Sam Chawkat, DNS chief operations officer. “There are more cost-effective options. There are more efficient options so that the charters can focus on what they need to focus on, which is supporting their community and academic programs and not so much running the day-to-day IT.”
Headquartered in Burtonsville, Maryland, DNS considers itself a one-stop shop for charter school IT needs. Although DNS handles clients outside of education, it has continued to add services for the past 17 years based on the unique needs of charter schools.
“We’re like a boutique shop in that arena because we have a lot of insight and background on how to run a charter IT organization,” Chawkat said. “We’ve perfected our craft and our service delivery models around that charter space and put a lot of our time and attention on it. … If it plugs in or turns on, we take care of it for charter schools.”
The company’s involvement goes beyond its business relationships, such as sponsoring the 2022 Sisterhood Summit at the Girls Global Academy charter school or sending employees to help another Washington, D.C., area charter build a playground.
The more DNS has worked with charters, the more the company has come to believe in their mission.
“When I was going to school, it was just the public school system,” said Chawkat, 37. “If I was lucky enough that they had a program I was interested in, I could go for it. But if they didn’t have that program, it is what it is. Now, going back in time, if I had a charter school option growing up … an IT-focused charter school, now that’s the one I’d want to go to.”