Category Archives: Alerts

PowerSchool Maintenance

Per my post yesterday, PowerSchool configured a new server to host ICCSD’s PowerSchool instance and transitioned to the new server yesterday afternoon.  The goal with this transition was to address performance concerns that have existed since August, but have been amplified in recent weeks. 

Please report performance issues that you notice to the Help Desk. We’ve already received some reports that performance problems have not been fully resolved, and continue to with with PowerSchool through Grant Wood AEA to resolve these issues.

PowerSchool Down This Afternoon

ICCSD has been struggling with intermittent PowerSchool performance issues since the beginning of the year, with consistent problems with access and performance throughout the past week.  As our site is hosted by PowerSchool itself, we’ve been working through Grant Wood AEA to address these issues on the hosting end.  

PowerSchool has built a new server instance that they believe will rectify the issues we’ve faced, and will be transitioning our site to the new server this afternoon (11/7/19) at 4:30 PM.  We do not have an ETA for an outage during this transition, but staff, parents, and students should expect that the outage will last into the evening of 11/7.  

Once the transition is completed, we expect that our PowerSchool performance will be restored to normal, and that problems with grading, attendance, portal access, and synchronizations will be resolved.  

PowerSchool and Google Issues

We are currently experiencing problems with access to PowerSchool, as well as issues with Google authentication.  These issues appear to be unrelated, and are both originating outside of our network.  

We have a support request in with Grant Wood AEA to restore our access to PowerSchool, and are monitoring the situation developing globally with Google authentication services.  

Email outage

UPDATE: Email services are working normally. If you’re experiencing issues this morning, please contact the help desk.

We are currently experiencing district-wide problems with email. Google is working on resolving this issue nationwide. We will post an update when we’ve received word that the issue has been resolved.

Canvas Grade Synchronization Issue (and fix)

There seems to be no end to the crazy weather we’ve had thus far this year! Now, not only has the weather complicated school day schedules and our academic calendar, but it’s also having an impact on technology.

ICCSD extended its second trimester to provide more contact time for Tri 2 courses that have already lost so much. In doing so, the District updated its term definitions in PowerSchool, extending the Tri 2 end date by a few days. In doing so, we accidentally broke Canvas grade synchronization. The bug is not one that Canvas was aware of, as it’s not often that institutions adjust term start/end dates in the middle of the year.

The good thing is that we have a solution. Teachers who utilize grade synchronization between Canvas and PowerSchool will need to reimport grading categories within each course. Instructions for doing so can be found in step 4 here, and after doing so, grade sync should work properly.

New Windows Updates

A new major update for Windows 10 (version 1809) is available in the district and will start attempting to install on your machine in the next week or two. It includes many new security features and some improvements to the wireless projection devices already installed in many of our district classrooms.

One thing to be aware of is that if your machine prompts you to restart, it may take longer than normal to complete the process and get back up and running. The tech department would highly recommend doing these restarts before and after school to avoid missed instruction time. While these updates can sometimes be annoying, it is important that we do them to stay up-to-date on current security and quality of life features.

Internet Service Outages

The Iowa City Community School District has experienced multiple, short-lived internet outages this afternoon, and we’ve worked with our internet service provider – the Iowa Communications Network – to identify the cause as a denial-of-service attack targeting our network.

Direct denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are relatively common, and we have resources in place to mitigate the impact of this type of attack on our network. That said, we are working with the ICN to ensure that those mitigation strategies are fully and properly implemented, given the downtime we’ve experienced today.

We do not expect substantial additional disruption, and will be working with the ICN to avert future problems.

Adobe Licensing Issues

*UPDATE: 10:25 AM, 11/30/18*  We have identified a fix for this issue, and are rolling it out district-wide at this point.  It will take some time to apply the fix to all machines; if you have an urgent need to have the fix applied to your computer, please contact the Helpdesk.  

Our Adobe software licensing transitioned last night ot a new model, and we’ve identified an unanticipated problem where users are being prompted to sign in with an Adobe ID (see below), and accounts that will work are currently not available to staff members and students.  

We are working on this issue and will post a resolution as soon as that is available.  

Reminder: Partial Network Outage this Evening

Portions of the district will experience a network outage beginning at approximately 6 PM today, November 19th, and lasting for 5-6 hours.  This outage is due to work being done by the City of Iowa City on a fiber route along Dubuque Street that will allow for construction of a new building in the area.  

Affected buildings will include schools in North Liberty and Coralville, schools in the western portion of Iowa City, and Longfellow Elementary School.  For reference, users of portions of the City of Iowa City, Johnson County, City of Coralville, and University of Iowa networks may be affected by this work as well.   

We don’t expect district-wide internet access to be impacted, and expect that the affected locations will come back up with no lingering effects when work is completed on Monday night.  

ICCSD Phone Service Issues

*UPDATE: 8:36 AM, 11/15/18* We believe that phone and voicemail service has been restored and operating as usual throughout the district.  We will continue to monitor this situation for further developments. 

ORIGINAL POST: We are currently investigating an issue that is impacting phone and voicemail service within certain schools and facilities in the District.  I will post an update as soon as we have information regarding causes and/or an estimated time of service restoration.