Thursday, August 2, 2018

Staff Portal

Access to the Staff Portal on our website requires you to logon to Fox Bright.

www.calschools.org/staff-portal

​Logging in to Fox Bright has now changed to using your network (computer) username and password. This username and password is now used to log in to your Computer, Help Desk, Infinite Campus, Fox Bright, and other less common applications.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Phone System Status Update

This is a status update and some information on how the process will proceed, at least theoretically.

The primary server has been installed and we have started provisioning and placing phones.

Friday, July 27 - Clear Rate will start routing numbers for Emmons Lake, TMC, Glenmor, and everything contained in the Duncan Lake complex to one of our PRI's. Everything else will be routed to the other PRI. Secant will the connect the cut-over PRI to to the new phone system.

The phone system has already been programmed to route incoming and outgoing calls so things should work, mostly!

There will be some downtime when we cut-over. How much depends on factors out of our control.

We will spend the day Friday, Monday, and Tuesday testing and troubleshooting problems.

Monday, July 30 - End user training all day at Emmons Lake

Aug. 1-3 - Working on connecting paging system for buildings on the new system

Tuesday, Aug 7 - End user Training in Admin PD room. A sign up sheet will be available soon.

Aug 1-17 - Moving the remaining buildings to the new system one building at a time. Clear Rate will route appropriate numbers to the cut-over PRI as we do each building. This will cause some down time in that building, hopefully minimal. I will notify the administrator before we start each building.

  • HS
  • KMMS
  • Elementary buildings (order not yet determined)

Friday, Aug 17 - Cut-over second PRI to the new system

Wednesday, Aug 22  - End user Training in Admin PD room.

Please note that internal (extension) calling will not be available between buildings on the new system and buildings on the old system. You will need to dial the buildings external number.

Everything will not be perfect as we go. Report issues to the Help Desk so we can track and get them resolved.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Infinite Campus Logon

Logging onto Infinite Campus will now use your normal network (computer) logon credentials. You will use the same username, Last Name + First Initial, and password that you use to logon to your computer. 

Note: This only applies to Caledonia Staff. Parent and student logons will remain the same.

This is part of an ongoing effort to consolidate and reduce the number of different accounts required to access our systems. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Summer Projects 2018

The following is an overview of some of the major projects the technology department is undertaking over the summer. Some projects directly affect the way you interact with technology and other resources. A separate Blog will be posted to outline specifically what has changed and how it will affect you.

Phone System
Our legacy Toshiba PBX phone system will be updated to a new Cisco VoIP phone system over the summer. This is one of the last major initiatives of the 2014 building project. This is a large project consisting of installing and programming new switching hardware and software, and replacing all of the existing Toshiba telephone handsets with new Cisco handsets. The new system will connect and operate through our existing data network. It provides enhanced functionality with simplified management.

Some of the features include

  • Simplified voicemail access through the handset, email, or smart phone application
  • Robust auto attendant capabilities
  • Powerful notification features
  • Presence functionality
  • Conferencing capabilities with desktop sharing
  • Softphone support
  • Much more...


We are still working on developing the deployment schedule and  will communicate details once established. The new system will be entirely in place before the start of the 2018/19 school year. Individualized training will be available for staff, secretaries, and administrators as they return to work. Online resources will also be available for viewing.

G-Suite
We are planning a significant change to our G-Suite domain. We will be combining the staff and student domains into a single space. This will improve communication and collaboration features in Google Apps. To accomplish this we will duplicate student accounts and move all devices into the calschools.org domain. There will be a period of time available in the fall for students to move their content from the old domain to the new one. Detailed instructions will be available for moving content.

YouTube is also undergoing some changes and will be configured to integrate with our G-Suite accounts. To access YouTube content you will need to be logged onto your Caledonia G-Suite account. Staff will have unrestricted access and student restrictions will vary according to grade level. Staff can approve videos individually or utilize channels which will approve all included videos.

Single Sign On
We will be linking Infinite Campus and Foxbright to Active Directory eliminating the need for a separate username and password for those applications. Additional integrations will follow in the near future.

Network Security
In an effort to better secure our network we will be removing all unsecured wireless networks from the school district. This is a standard security practice and will help prevent unauthorized access and malware intrusion.

User Account Automation
We are working on a process to automate student user account creation. The process will automatically create a student account in Active Directory and G-Suite when a new student is enrolled in Infinite Campus. The process will run periodically throughout the day once every 2 hours between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Website
Website responsibility as been moved to the technology department. We will be working with building and department administrations and their staff to address federal ADA standards. We will also working on standardizing many of the common areas of our website for user consistency. Training will be provided on an as needed basis. This is a large and complex undertaking and is expected to continue throughout the 2018-19 school year.

Surveillance Cameras
We will be continuing with the addition elementary and middle school surveillance cameras. An additional 20-30 cameras will be installed over the summer. We will also be providing training on using the camera software.

Classroom A/V Systems
We have a long list of classroom A/V systems in need of attention. We will not be able to address everything on the list but we do have it prioritized and will be working on the more significant issues first. Some of the work includes updating wiring to support HDMI. We will also be replacing old data projectors and failing amplifiers,

Friday, July 6, 2018

2017/18 Year in Review

This has been a busy year for the  technology department. The following is an overview of the work we have done.

Since July 1, 2017 we have processed nearly 3,000 help desk tickets. This does not include the numerous emails, phone calls, and hallway interactions.

We posted a Copy Machine RFP and evaluated proposed solutions. Removed around 200 printers and copy machines, many that were not working. Installed and setup 90 new networked Kyocera copy machines with find-me-printing and G-Suite integration.

Upgraded wiring and projectors to HDMI in 19 classrooms.

Repaired over 150 Chromebooks

Completed several High School South Campus technology projects that were left open ended.

  • Surveillance Cameras
    • Installed two new servers
    • Brought online and configured over 130 cameras 
    • Mapped existing and old cameras
    • Removed failed DVR
      • Moved IP cameras to new servers
      • Added analog to digital converter for analog cameras
  • Connected projectors to network
    • Enabled wireless access to projectors
  • Enabled interactive features on projectors
    • Provided PD
  • Completed the Cafeteria A/V system
  • Completed the Gym sound system
  • Completed the Science room matrix switchers
  • Installed retractable HDMI cables to all collaboration stations

Commissioned a design for district-wide message boards. Installed and configured server software for message board content. Installed and configured client software on 27 message boards district wide. Provided training for staff managing message boards.

Worked with the high school technology committee to develop an upgrade plan for obsolete high school technology. Removed and recycled a large amount of obsolete technology from the high school and around the school district.

High school upgrades

  • Video production
    • Computers
    • Tricaster Mini
  • 2267 lab computers
  • Media Center computers

Installed new Chromebook carts for elementary and middle school buildings

Installed surveillance camera server for elementary and middle school buildings

  • Installed cameras in cafeterias
  • Installed 20 cameras in buildings

Posted a RFP for a new phone system throughout the school district. Evaluated responses and selected a vendor. The new phone system will be installed over the summer.

Friday, May 4, 2018

CCS Year End Technology Checkout, June 2018

Checklist of items that must be completed before checking out of your classroom for the summer: 

  • Change your password. Visit http://password.calschools.org to change your password before you leave for the summer. This will ensure your password does not expire over the summer. DO NOT CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD ON YOUR MAC, IT WILL BREAK YOUR PASSWORD SYNC!
  • Turn off all computers (CPU), monitors, printers, scanners and, projectors in your classroom. Do not unplug devices from their power or unplug your phone or network cables from the wall.
  • All school owned student device screens and keyboards should be cleaned by the last day of school with the screen wipes that were provided.
  • All labels applied to any device by the teacher or student MUST be removed and surfaces cleaned of any sticky residue that may be left behind.  (GooGone works well for this.)
  • All school owned student devices must be returned to their carts and brought to your buildings library by the last day of school so they can be inventoried and receive maintenance.
    • Carts, and individual devices should be clearly marked with the teacher name and grade level. 
    • Please attach keys and/or keycards to the cart when delivered to the library.  Padlock combinations can be emailed to Rhonda Schroder; be sure to include your building name, room number and grade.
  • Please submit a work order through the HelpDesk before June 8, 2018 if:
    • Any of your Chromebooks are broken or need repair (place the Chromebook on top of the cart)
    • You have broken equipment or work to be completed in your classroom
    • You have unused technology equipment in your classroom that you would like removed
  • We will be updating our phone system over the summer so your voicemail will be unavailable and all existing voicemails will be deleted.

If you will be leaving the district and not returning for the 2018-19 school year and still have district issued equipment, email your building principal and return the equipment to your main office no later than June 8, 2017.  Principals, please contact Rhonda Schroder when you have received the equipment, it will need to be serviced before it is issued to another staff member.

If you will be changing buildings for next year you will need to have their laptop inventoried and serviced by the Technology Department. Please contact Rhonda Schroder to schedule an appointment with Technology Staff to complete the laptop service. There are building specific services that will need to be addressed. 

You will want to periodically check your email throughout the summer to keep up with any news or changes. You can also visit http//www.calschools.org/technews  for up-to-date information on Technology Department projects and initiatives.


Have a safe and relaxing summer. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Chromebook Carts

One of the most frequent complaints we hear from classrooms is about the poor wire management in the Chromebook carts. Technology department staff as well as classroom teachers have spent many hours trying to solve this problem. It is time consuming and the solutions have not stood up well to time. The end result is wasted time every day while students struggle to retrieve and return their Chromebooks to the carts.

Because of some unused textbook funds we are able to replace the existing carts with a better designed cart that has much more effective cable management. The carts are easier to access and provide ample space for Chromebook storage.

Unfortunately there is no good way to quickly deploy the new carts without disrupting classroom instruction. We have come up with a method to deploy the carts without interrupting classroom activities but it will take several weeks to complete. If everything goes well everyone should have new carts by the beginning of May.

Please note, the Chromebook cart replacements will be in the elementary and middle school buildings only. The high school receive new carts over the last two years.


Staff Portal

Access to the Staff Portal on our website requires you to logon to Fox Bright. www.calschools.org/staff-portal ​Logging in to Fox Bright...