Category Archives: Alerts

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). 

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”.  

 

ICCSD Tech Support

Iowa City Schools students, families, and staff can reach us to obtain technical support using any of the methods listed below. Also, please check out our Frequently Asked Questions page to support home use of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ICCSD Helpdesk

Hours: 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday

helpdesk@iowacityschools.org

Phone: (319) 688-1950

Chat: Use the chat option available in the bottom right corner of this page during business hours.

Spanish language support is available at the ICCSD helpdesk.

After-Hours Help

Hours: 4:30 PM to 10:00 PM, Monday – Friday

Click here to reserve a time slot

Pearson Education has partnered with the Iowa City Schools at no charge to offer after-hours technology support through their customer service centers in Iowa City and San Antonio, TX.

The District has coordinated with  Pearson to help support District students, families, and staff, though please be aware that certain types of requests will need to be referred back to the District.

Spanish language support is available via the Pearson after-hours support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check this document for current answers to the most common questions we receive related to offsite learning.  

ICCSD Providing Home Computer and Internet Access During COVID-19 Closure

It is important that students and families are able to gain access to educational, news, and communication resources during this challenging time.  To this end, Iowa City CSD’s Technology & Innovation staff are preparing to make Chromebooks available to elementary school students who do not have access to computers within the home.  Families of elementary students that do not have access to a laptop computer, desktop computer, or tablet in the home may complete this request form or call (319) 688-1950, after which you will be contacted with instructions for picking up the device.  We do ask that requests be made by families who lack computing resources at home, as we wish to ensure that devices are available to all families in need of service. 

While secondary students have been assigned a Chromebook from their school as part of the secondary one-to-one Chromebook program, we recognize that some students may have left their school-issued Chromebook at school prior to leaving for Spring Break.  If a secondary student’s Chromebook is still at school at this time, please contact the ICCSD Technology Helpdesk at helpdesk@iowacityschools.org, or by calling (319) 688-1950.  

We have also worked with telecommunications providers to identify opportunities to provide for internet access to District families with no existing internet service. 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 the telecommunications provider and assist in arranging for the establishment of service during the COVID-19 related school closure.  Again, 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 Helpdesk is expected to remain open throughout the school closure, and will be available to support use of district-provided technology beginning Tuesday, March 24. You can contact the Helpdesk by emailing helpdesk@iowacityschools.org, using the chat option available in the bottom right corner of innovation.iowacityschools.org, or by calling (319) 688-1950.