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Iccsd Power Outage Update (9/8/2020)

Power has been restored to the District’s Educational Services Center, but a separate power outage is now impacting schools across the northern portion of the District.  Power and/or internet services are currently down in the following schools: 

  • Liberty HS
  • North Central Junior High
  • Wickham Elementary
  • Grant Elementary
  • Garner Elementary
  • Penn Elementary
  • Van Allen Elementary

Linn County REC has been contacted, but we do not have an ETA for service restoration.  

Further, the District has been notified that many residences on the east side of Iowa City are without power.  This outage has not yet impacted any District facilities, so we will not receive communication from MidAmerican Energy regarding this issue. 

ICCSD Power Outage

Happy first day of school, everybody!  Unfortunately, the District has experienced a power outage impacting the Educational Services Center, which serves as the District’s administration building and home to the technology help desk. 

We have a generator that will ensure that our servers and network services stay up, so there should be no substantial impact to services like Canvas, Seesaw, G Suite, etc.  Our Help Desk has been interrupted, however, and we are currently redeploying staff to facilities that do have power.  We will continue to work through requests as quickly as possible, but be aware that phone and chat support, in particular, will be disrupted. 

MidAmerican Energy reports that they expect to resolve the outage by approximately noon today (9/8/2020). 

Home Internet for Students

If your family does not have internet service at home, please fill out this form or call (319) 688-1950 to arrange for district-provided internet access.  Once your form has been submitted, we will contact a telecommunications provider and assist in arranging for the establishment of service during the 2020-2021 school year.  We ask that requests only be submitted in cases where home internet is currently unavailable, as we want to ensure that resources are available for all families in need of service. 

The ICCSD Technology Help Desk is open on business days, and will be available to support use of district-provided technology and to provide limited support with District-provided internet. You can contact the Helpdesk by emailing helpdesk@iowacityschools.org, using the chat option available in the bottom right corner of this site, or by calling (319) 688-1950. 

Canvas Video Conferencing

In addition to Zoom and Google Meet, ICCSD teachers also have access to the video conferencing tool built into our Canvas LMS. Please check out the video below for a quick walkthrough that shows how to set up and use the Canvas Conference feature.

Zoom Video Conferencing Best Practices

UPDATED: 09/11/2020

As the use of Zoom has exploded in ICCSD and around the country, here are some best practices to implement in order to ensure that your Zoom meetings run effectively and securely.  

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a Zoom alternative, you should check out Canvas Video Conferencing or Google Meet.  

1. Do not post Zoom links publicly

Share Zoom meeting URLs by email, Canvas site, shared document, or another form of direct or secured communication.  

2. Create meeting-specific URLs, rather than using your personal meeting room

If you use your personal meeting room, you run a greater risk of the URL being exposed than when using a one-time or meeting-specific URL.  

3. Ensure that you (and your students) are using an ICCSD Zoom account

  • To log in, visit Zoom’s Sign-In page and click “Sign in with Google”
  • NOTE: Unfortunately, this is currently unavailable for most students due to Zoom’s age verification rules.  ICCSD is working to determine whether Zoom can configure our domain to bypass age verification. 

4. Consider using secure options for your meetings

These options include: 

  • Add a passcode to your meeting
  • Require all students to use their full name when joining class.  
  • Enable your meeting waiting room to approve attendees. Only allow students to join who are using their full (first and last) name. 
  • Control or disable in-meeting chats, if the chat feature isn’t required for a meeting
  • If your meeting includes only ICCSD individuals, you can check “Only authenticated users can join meetings”.  Note that students and staff would need to log in to Zoom rather than joining as a guest; all ICCSD users can log in using Zoom’s “Log In with Google” option.  
    • NOTE: Unfortunately, this is currently unavailable for most students due to Zoom’s age verification rules.  ICCSD is working to determine whether Zoom can configure our domain to bypass age verification. 
  • If you are sharing your screen, you can lock annotation by clicking the “…More” button in the main toolbar, then choosing “Disable Attendee Annotation”
  • Lock your meeting after all expected attendees have joined.  You can do this by clicking the “Participants” button, then clicking “…More” toward the bottom of the participants panel and selecting “Lock Meeting”.