Saturday, August 18, 2018

Start of the Year 2018/2019 Technology and Operations Updates

Welcome Back!

I'm receiving a number of questions so I wanted to compile the answers in one post to hopefully make it easy for everyone to have the same information.

Staff Intranet: Important insurance and staff forms are located on the staff intranet. The log in is the same as you would have used in previous years or to update your website, if you use Eschoolview. If you have lost that username and password, please let me know. I will be sending this info our to new staff this week.

Work Orders

Please make sure that you are using work orders for any classroom requests. 

Technology Reporting and Support Tickets: These are located under the "staff" tab on the district site and should be used for any technology needs. These are broken up by building and send emails to everyone in the technology department and any related supplemental holders. You do not need a special account. It is the same Google Forms as used in previous years. Please use this for all requests as they are searchable by Ed and Don based on building and gives us a history of repair needs in your room.

Maintenance and Classroom Work Orders: If you go to the "staff" tab under work orders, you will see a link labeled "work orders". Your user name is your email address. The password will be the same as last year. If you have forgotten it, the system allows you to reset it. Please let me know if you have any issues logging in. These should be used for any work requests for your classroom. It sends the request to your principal, and Mark Richardson, our facilities manager. Work is then assigned to maintenance or custodial team members based on need.

Staff Emergency Contact and Snow Calling Information 

Please use the link and access info below to approve and update your info. Information you entered from last year is already in the system. You can log in and verify it. It will also allow you to change any new phone numbers/email addresses.

Please note that new staff will be receiving a separate email when you are entered into the system this week.

Security projects, Safety Plans, and Propping Doors

This year, each building will be working to develop new safety plans. The new plans are due to the state by the end of February. More information will be rolled out by building principals, as work begins on these plans. Mark Rich, our new School Resource Officer and our local police and fire departments will be key resources. Not only are we looking to develop the larger state document, but we will be working to put together a simple one page reference for all staff and substitutes to help. Feedback opportunities will be provided at the building level. More information to follow.

The high school entryway modifications are almost complete. This will allow for greater control of how visitors enter the building. A similar project is going to begin at the middle school. Four firms are being evaluated for the next board meeting. This is a more extensive project because of the needs of the entryway. The original main entrance will be converted into a visitor's entrance.

We are also in the process of doing major upgrades to our security card entry system behind the scenes and beginning a multiphase upgrade to our security camera systems. The security of our students and staff are a major priority this year.

On a side note, please do not prop open any doors without adult supervision. We have had multiple instances of doors being left open for many hours an in numerous cases being forgotten. We can't leave our building open to this security risk. If you prop open the door, you have to monitor it and make sure it is closed immediately, if you have to walk away. This isn't about inconveniencing anyone, we have to be consistent in how we control access to our buildings.

Outside Furniture/ Stacking Items

Please make sure to put in a work order for approval before bringing in any new outside furniture. While many home furniture items may seem perfectly safe for classrooms, there is a liability issue based on construction and warranty. We do not want anyone having to unnecessarily take home furniture that was brought in because it wasn't approved. A work order sends the request to your principal and Mark Richardson and protects you and your students. In most cases, the items you are bringing in to enhance your classroom are just fine. Things to avoid: Pointed corners, loose or wobbly chairs or tables, furniture that is top heavy, etc. 

There are a few classrooms that have plastic items such as milk crates or modular storage that are stacked higher than student level or even rating for the weight requirements. The big problem is that you can see the lower items actually buckling. We do not want these falling on students or staff. If this applies to your room, please decrease the height of the stack. Your building custodians or principals are an excellent resource, if you need advice.

The goal here is to protect you and your students. No one wants to prevent you enhancing your classroom or instruction, it's just a safety and liability question. When in doubt, please ask.

1:1 Devices

This year, the board approved additional funding to increase our rollout of Chromebooks to classrooms.

The week after labor day, every 9th grade student will be receiving a HP G6 Chromebook and a case. The device will be able to be taken home and will have GoGuardian installed for filtering. This is a pilot group. If the program is successful, it will be continued next year. Parents are charged a fee and students will keep the device upon graduation. More information will be coming about this rollout.

Middle school carts that still have the old silver Samsung Chromebooks will have those devices replaced in September.  We are also adding additional carts to that building.

5th Grade Chromebooks will be replaced. Their previous Chromebooks are still in good shape and will be used to replace second grade iPads in September. We ordered additional units to make sure that there are full class sets.