Monday, September 20, 2021

Parent Portal Troubleshooting

There are two new articles on the knowledge base for tips on troubleshooting parent portal login issues. 

- One of the articles is for how you as staff can help troubleshoot before contacting the help desk.

- The other article can be shared with parents/guardians to have them check things on their end.



On another note, settings have been changed for the Knowledge Base and you will now need to login with your staff account credentials to view the articles. If you have any issues, contact Brittany Hice.


Don't forget to subscribe to receive an email when there is a new blog post!

Monday, September 13, 2021

Little SIS and Google Classroom Sync

An update is coming for Google Classroom sync from PowerSchool! A program called "Little SIS" pulls class information from PowerSchool and creates or updates classes in Google Classroom. This happens each night to ensure classes are always up to date based on the rosters in PowerSchool. 

This update will allow teachers to have better control of the classes pulled into Google Classrooms. 

When a Google Classroom is provisioned, an email with a link to the Teacher Review website will allow teachers to review the information.

The Teacher Review will allow teachers to:

  • Review the class information pulled from PowerSchool
  • Merge multiple classes into a single class
  • Link a provisioned class with an existing Google Classroom 
This is accomplished using a drag and drop feature.

We think this will be a great tool to help ensure student rosters and classes are always up to date, while allowing teachers more control over their Google Classroom structure.

Keep an eye out for more information coming later this week!




Thursday, September 9, 2021

Google for Education Updates

Google has been working hard to give new and improved features to Google for Education programs, such as Google Classroom, Google Meet, and Google Drive. They used feedback from distance learning during the pandemic to update and create some helpful tools. 

Below is a list of some new features available now and coming soon!

Google Classroom Updates
    Coming Soon
  • Schedule assignments to multiple classes at the same time
  • Student engagement and activity tracking
  • Use offline in the Android app, then submit when back online
Google Meet Updates
    Available
  • Identify and notify a person if they are causing an echo
    Coming Soon 
  • Students can't join if the host isn't on the meeting
  • Only students in Google Classroom can join the meeting
  • Co-teachers in Google Classroom are automatically made co-hosts of the meeting
  • Pin or unpin presentation or other tiles for display
  • Improved hand raise sound and icon (shows list  in order and automatically removed when done speaking)
  • Turn off all videos at once

Google Workspace Updates
    Available
  • New fonts available!
  • Google Docs
    • Smart Chips - Tag people or files
    • Checkboxes for lists
    • Grammar suggestions (including inclusive language suggestions)
  • Google Drive
    • Make files available offline
  • Google Sheets
    • Intelligent formula suggestions
  • Google Forms
    • Automatically save responses to return to later
  • YouTube
    • Students set to under 18 no longer able to create videos or comment
  • Search
    • Safe Search enabled for users under 18 if using Google Chrome and logged in (even if using incognito mode)
    Coming soon
  • Google Docs 
    • Tables with voting
    • Meeting note templates
    • Table templates
  • Google Drive
    • Embed Microsoft Office files in Google Files
  • Google Forms
    • Simplify settings with a new "Settings" tab at the top
  • Chromebooks
    • 6-Digit Pin login

Hopefully these changes will help you and your students this school year! As always, if you have any questions, contact the Tech Department.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Welcome Back to School 2021-22

Welcome to a new school year! 

We've been working hard to get some new and improved resources available for this year. 

  • This Blog will continue to be used regularly, as it has been this summer. If you haven't yet subscribed to receive emails for new posts, you can do so by entering your email in the "Follow By Email" box to the right. 
  • The Knowledge Base is on a new platform that is more user friendly. There are many new articles for step-by-step directions for different technology resources.
  • Clever has a Quick Start Tutorial that is great for those new to Clever or those that may need a refresher : https://clever.academy/quick-start-teachers
Technology Updates
  • Phone System Change - To dial an outside line, press "8" now instead of "9". We switched it due to the large amount of accidental 911 calls.
  • Phone Extension Changes (KMIS and DLMS) - With the many changes to classrooms and room numbers, most phone extensions have changed and voicemails will need to be set up again. This link will take you to the self-care portal to set up your voicemail. The login is the same as your staff account/email.
  • New A/V Systems (KMIS and DLMS) - There are new A/V systems in some of the classrooms. These are not much different than the old ones, but the voice enhancement is different.
  • New PA System (Caledonia Elementary) 
  • Updates to A/V Systems (Caledonia Elementary) - All of the classrooms in the West Wing had A/V systems removed. We will be reinstalling them with some projector upgrades. 
Bi-Weekly Office Hours (Secretaries and Admins)

    Office hours will be set up to begin after the rush of the start to the school year is over. These office hours will be great for building secretaries and administrators that have questions regarding anything technology related.

Upcoming Trainings

    November 11 (PD Option) - LANSchool: A program to control student Chromebooks during lessons
    

Staff Board Policy - Acceptable Use Agreement

    Staff members are required to complete the board policy agreement for acceptable use of technology. This agreement must be accepted annually. This can be done in PowerSchool/PowerTeacher. Please complete this by September 1, 2021.

    Click here for directions in PowerTeacher
    Click here for directions in PowerSchool Admin


Looking forward to a great school year! Thank you for all you do! As always, if you have any questions, contact the tech department.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Phone System Change

Last year, there were numerous unintentional 911 calls placed from our phone system. This causes frustration with the county dispatch and our School Resource Officer when dispatch cannot connect with the individual who called for confirmation. The School Resource Officer or another deputy must then check for an actual emergency. With continued false alarms, comes a decrease in effectiveness and timeliness of responses to our school district.

This is a common problem with phone systems that use "9" to dial an outside line. After looking at different possible solutions, we have determined the best option is to make the change to our phone system to use "8" to dial an outside line. This change will happen on Friday, August 6th.

We will run an awareness campaign during the months of August and September in an effort to communicate this change to all staff.

While this solution is not ideal, we believe it is the best option.

As always, reach out to the Tech Department with any questions!

Friday, July 23, 2021

PowerSchool Updates!

We have updated to the new Back to School version of PowerSchool. With this update, comes some exciting enhancements and new features! This update focused mostly on the admin side of PowerSchool, but there were a few changes to the look and feel of PowerTeacher and PowerTeacher Pro.

Teachers

  • Updated icons in PowerTeacher
  • Student Observations 
    • Add time-stamped notes in PowerTeacher Pro
    • See the Knowledge Base for directions!


Admin

  • Updated alert icons - includes accessibility improvements

  • Graduation Plans

    • New user interface and format!
                    *All graduation plans will need to be moved to the new version - more
                      information coming soon!*
    • Now track Senior Math!
    • Use complex & mixed requirements (example: complete Test A with 80% or Course B with C+ or higher)
    • Select if test scores should be from same day or combined with other testing instances
    • View all courses completed even if not counted toward the graduation plan
    • Exclude grades from ineligible years, such as middle school

  • Health 

    • Input office visits, medications, health concerns, and health plans
    • Health module shows when a student is absent
    • Multi-select options for office visits (ex. assessments, visit reason, treatments)
    • Prevent overlapping health concerns
    • Edit monitoring schedule already created
    • Copy health plans to a new school year
    • Exclude vaccine dose from compliance calculations
    • New data sets in Import/Export Manager

  • Search

    • "enrolled_in" and "not_enrolled_in" now include pre-registered and active any date
    • "currently_enrolled_in" and "not_currently_enrolled_in" only include active enrollments as of current day

The blog has gotten a new subscription service. If you had previously subscribed to receive emails for new posts, you will need to re-enter your email to subscribe again. If you haven't subscribed yet, see the screenshot below for how to do so.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Tech News Blog is Back!

Some of you may be familiar with the Tech News blog, but if not, this blog is intended to provide consistent updates and information about technology at CCS.

To start off, let me introduce myself! My name is Brittany Hice and I am the new Technology Trainer. My role is to create documentation and provide training on technology resources, mostly software programs, used in our schools. I will be using this blog to provide updates and information about technology with a new post about once a month. If you want to receive an email when a new blog post is posted, enter your email in the “Follow by Email” box.

One of the main resources we have for technology is a new Knowledge Base. This is a place you can go to find training and directions for many different pieces of technology, such as PowerSchool, Google, SchoolMessenger, etc. This will be ever-changing with new articles or updates as needed. Before putting in a Helpdesk ticket, this is a great place to check for information!

The Knowledge Base link is available in a few places:

        1. On the main website

                calschools.org > Our District > Departments > Technology


        2. On the blog homepage

        
        3. Link: http://ccskb.calschools.org/
            
                *Highly recommend bookmarking this link*


New features available in the PowerSchool and PowerTeacher update - blog post coming soon!


Parent Portal Troubleshooting

There are two new articles on the knowledge base for tips on troubleshooting parent portal login issues.  - One of the articles is for how y...