Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Year End Technology Checkout, June 2019

Please complete the following list of items 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 (Note, this link is only available inside the CCS network). This will ensure your password does not expire over the summer. See the following  knowledge base article for more information on changing your password:  https://kb.calschools.org/KnowledgebaseArticle50012.aspx.

  • Turn off all computers (CPU), monitors, 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. Leave your carts in your classroom so they can be inventoried and receive maintenance.
    • Please attach keys and/or keycards to the cart.  Padlock combinations can be emailed to Amy Jordan; be sure to include your building name, room number and grade.
  • Please submit a work order through the Help Desk 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
  • Make sure to process and clear pending voicemails from your phone. Consider setting your voicemail message so callers will know if and/or how you will monitoring and responding to voicemails. See https://kb.calschools.org/KnowledgebaseArticle50058.aspx
  • Consider setting the email Vacation Responder to inform people if and/or how you will be responding to school emails. See https://kb.calschools.org/KnowledgebaseArticle50036.aspx
If you do not want to take your laptop home for the summer do not leave it in your classroom. Turn it in to your main office and submit a help desk ticket to let us know. Make sure to put a note on it with your name, room number, and building. We will make sure it is charged and returned to you when you come back.

If you will be leaving the district and not returning for the 2019-20 school year and still have district issued equipment, email your building principal and return the equipment to your main office no later than June 7, 2019.  Principals, please contact Amy Jordan 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 your laptop inventoried and serviced by the Technology Department. Please contact Amy Jordan 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 an awesome summer! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


As you are probably aware, we will be starting the 2019-20 school year on a new Student Information System (SIS), PowerSchool. Teaching staff will technically be using PowerTeacher which provides a classroom view into PowerSchool. From PowerTeacher you can take attendance, access class lists and student demographics, run reports, and use the grade book.

Providing training that meets everyone's needs is going to be challenging. The following is a road map of how we will be supporting you during the transition to PowerTeacher. First, the current school year will be completed using Infinite Campus. Also, most of you have seen a brief preview of PowerTeacher at a recent staff meeting. The high school is scheduled for a preview in June.

PowerSchool has a support website called PowerSource which has a training resource called PD+. The PD+ site features several hundred instructional videos on using PowerSchool and PowerTeacher. The videos vary in length from a few minutes to over an hour. You will need a separate account to access PowerSource.

Within the next day or two your PowerTeacher and PowerSource accounts will be activated. With PowerSource, you will receive an email prompting you to setup your PowerSource password. Once logged on to PowerSource you can view the following video which will give a brief demonstration on using PD+ and finding the videos you want.


To login to PowerTeacher go to: https://powerschool.calschools.org/teachers and use the same username and password you use to login to Infinite Campus. Please note, there will not be much to see until your classes are setup but it is important to make sure you can login.

You will have options for training. You can use PD+ videos to learn most of the PowerTeacher functionality. We will also offer hands on training sessions prior to the start of school. The number of sessions will depend upon interest. There will also be an ISD trainer available in each building for a day or two during the first few weeks of school to assist during planning times. Finally, we can schedule additional training throughout the school year on an as needed basis.

We are also working on focused training for staff with more specialized needs. However, regardless of your role PowerSource will have helpful how-to videos.

After you receive the PowerSource activation email setup your account and explore the available resources. Also make sure you can log on to PowerTeacher. If you need assistance please submit a help desk ticket at http://helpdesk.calschools.org.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Student Information System

After an in-depth evaluation by staff and administration the Board of Education has approved migrating our Student Information System (SIS) from Infinite Campus to PowerSchool. Some of the major factors in the decision to make the change include:
  • Local support and hosting from Kent ISD
  • Better integration with our special education and behavior management software
  • Open architecture that supports third party applications
  • Lower cost
While implementation planning is still in progress some considerations and a general timeline are outlined below:
  • We will complete the 2018-19 school year on Infinite Campus.
  • We will start the 2019-20 school year on PowerSchool.
  • The development of a training plan is in progress.
  • You will see a preview of the PowerSchool grade book and attendance at a staff meeting prior to the end of this school year.
  • Comprehensive online resources will be available before the end of this school year.
  • We will start the data migration in May and will run both systems in parallel during the month of June.
  • Trainers will be available in buildings after school starts to assist with grade book and attendance questions.
Migrating to a new student information system is no trivial task. It will affect almost everyone to varying degrees. However, we will have much better local support from KISD and the PowerSchool online resources are excellent. Information on demonstrations and access to online resources will be forthcoming.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Managed Help Desk

To Begin Immediately After Spring Break

We are planning to restructure technology department operations to establish a full time staffed Help Desk. This position will answer the help desk phone, monitor emails to the help desk, and direct field resources to high priority issues when necessary.

Improved Support
We have a goal in the technology department to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our support efforts. It is key that all support requests are processed through our help desk system. Too many requests are currently made to technology department individuals by phone or email. This interrupts our workflow and skews the priority of what we are working on.

We will be encouraging people to make requests through the help desk, preferably with a help desk ticket. Eventually we will start funneling all phone calls and emails to the help desk for processing.

hours of operation monday through friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Phone: 7990
Email: helpdesk@calschools.org
The help desk technician will be responsible for the following:
  • answer the help desk phone 
  • monitor the help desk email
  • assist walk-in staff
  • resolve some issues immediately like resetting a password or voicemail PIN
  • remotely connect to a computer to troubleshoot and resolve issues
  • open help desk tickets
  • monitor help desk tickets and direct field resources when necessary
  • develop documentation
  • develop PD resources
Please note, the help desk phone and email is not a substitute for help desk tickets. It is a method to address higher priority issues more quickly. It is expected that staff still submit a help desk ticket for all technical support issues.

The timeline is for this to go live after spring break.

Friday, January 11, 2019


The following are tips for using and managing your school district voicemail.

Access voicemail from a different school district phone

  1. From any school district phone, Press the Messages button. 
  2. Press the * key 
  3. Enter your ID (Extension), then press the # key 
  4. Enter your Password (PIN number), then press the # key 

Access your voicemail from an external phone
  1. Dial 616-528-6100 
  2. Enter your ID (Extension), then press the # key 
  3. Enter your Password (PIN number), then press the # key 
Basic Voicemail Controls:

Hear new message
Setup options
Send new message
Cancel or Backup
Review old message
Skip or Move Ahead

During Message
After Message
Restart Message
Slow Playback

Forward Message
Fast Playback

Rewind, small
Pause or Resume

Fast Forward
Play message summary

Voicemail to Email

You can have your voicemail messages forwarded to your email as an audio attachment. If you would like this feature enabled please submit a help desk ticket.

A different voicemail retention policy will be applied to your mailbox if Voicemail to Email is enabled.
  • Move New Messages to the Saved Messages Folder in 1 day 
  • Move Saved Messages to the Deleted Items Folder in 7 days 
  • Permanently Delete Messages in the Deleted Items Folder in 15 days

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Desktop Faxing

Send faxes directly from your computer.

A neat faxing feature with the new copy machines is desktop faxing. Essentially, anything you can
print you can fax by sending your print job to a Fax printer. Unfortunately this feature only works on Windows computers so if you are using a Mac it will not be available.

See the following knowledge base article Desktop Faxing for instructions on how to setup the Fax printer and send faxes from your computer.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018


LanSchool is a classroom management software that provides a set of tools to help teachers manage the instructional environment when using student computers. LanSchool works with Chromebooks, Windows, Mac, and iOS devices. Use LanSchool with Google Classroom to provide a feature rich instructional environment.

Some of the uses include:


  • Screen sharing - Broadcast the teacher screen to the rest of the class or select a student screen to demonstrate their work. 
  • Distribute polls and quizzes and share instant results
  • Use remote control with a student device to provide assistance
  • Blank student screens when you need their attention


  • Send a message to an individual student or group of students
  • Setup individual or group chats
  • Use audio chats
  • Provide quick answers to questions

To use LanSchool you will need to setup rosters of your classes. The following knowledge base articles will help you get started.

If you need additional assistance or have questions please submit a help desk ticket and someone will contact you to help.

Year End Technology Checkout, June 2019

Please complete the following list of items before checking out of your classroom for the summer: Change your password. Visit  http://pa...