Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fellowship Opportunity for ICCSD Teachers

Digital Promise, one of ICCSD’s partners on research projects and initiatives related to computational thinking, data interoperability, and learner variability, has released a call for applications for the next cohort of HP Teaching Fellows. The HP Teaching Fellows program supports elementary and secondary school educators who demonstrate powerful teaching and learning with technology. Ideal candidates design authentic, personally relevant lessons that challenge students and encourage collaboration.

The program provides educators the opportunity to:

  • Bring visibility to best practices happening within their school and district
  • Share thought leadership at national conferences and in various publications
  • Build community with innovative educators across the United States and Canada
  • Share and learn best practices with their peers and experts at Digital Promise
  • Earn micro-credentials for free
  • Experiment with new tech tools in their classrooms

There is no fee to apply or participate in HP Teaching Fellows. For priority consideration, educators should apply by Sunday, November 17 at:  http://go.pardot.com/e/414542/2PC5m5W/5dwzzn/993837131?h=zUfL4fzaio1ANLM0VOULmtSD4tlkVogIhWkFwnqEnfs

Continue reading Fellowship Opportunity for ICCSD Teachers

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.  

National IT Professionals Day

September 17th, 2019 is National IT Professionals Day!

At the Iowa City Community School District, we have a variety of roles in our tech department. Here are the types of IT professionals that make up our technology and innovation staff, and the ways they support tech throughout the district!

HelpDesk

If you’ve ever had a broken device, trouble logging in to an account, or issues getting your tech to work properly, then you’re probably already familiar with the ICCSD Help Desk.

Since the start of our fiscal year on July 1st, the HelpDesk has received over 2,500 support requests. Helpdesk staff review many of these tickets, and either complete the request themselves or assign them to a more specialized tech staff member. Whether you give them a call on the phone or submit a request online through HappyFox, our HelpDesk staff is here to…well…help!

Technical Support Specialists

The Iowa City Community School District has a total of 28 schools, plus additional facilities like the bus barn and physical plant (just to name a couple). All of these buildings have technological devices that need to be supported and maintained. Enter the ICCSD Tech Support Specialists!

While most of our tech staff members work from the ESC, our tech support specialists provide “on the field” support. Some of them are stationed at a single school, while others travel across the district, checking on multiple buildings per day. They make sure the tech in each building is functioning properly and support Happyfox tickets at the buildings to which they are assigned.

Network & System Administrators

In layman’s terms, our Network/Systems Administrators make sure that our internet works. This group oversees server and networking infrastructure, equipment, deployment, administration, and maintenance. 

They also administer Active Directory, a program that helps us assign email addresses and account permissions to students and staff throughout the district.

Data Team and Administrative Staff

Our data team members maintain necessary data in Powerschool and other district applications. They also export pertinent data when needed to evaluate programs or understand district demographics.

Administrative staff don’t really fit into any of the previously mentioned categories, but fulfill vital roles in the tech department. They perform the clerical and administrative tasks that keep our department’s operations running as smoothly as possible.

Fiber Cut 9/11/2019

Final Update: District fiber has been rerouted and all services have been restored. If you have any additional connection issues please contact the Helpdesk. 
 
 
 
Update:Internet and phone services have been restored at all schools except for Hoover, Lemme, and Lucas. 
 
The following update was provided to families of the remaining affected schools.
 

“We wanted to make you aware that construction crews working on a private development in Iowa City cut and damaged over 1,000 feet of Iowa City Community School District and city-owned fiber optic cable, which caused an internet outage at the end of the school day Wednesday, September 11. The outage impacted City and Tate High Schools, South East Junior High, and Alexander, Hills, Hoover, Lemme, Lucas, Twain, and Wood Elementary Schools. As of Wednesday early evening, services have been restored to City, Tate, South East, Alexander, Hills, Twain, and Wood by using a secondary fiber optic path.   

Unfortunately, there is no redundant fiber path available for Hoover, Lemme, and Lucas Elementary Schools. Crews will be working through the night to establish a temporary fiber route for these buildings, with a best-case completion timeline of Thursday morning. In the meantime, internet and phone services at Hoover, Lemme, and Lucas will be unavailable. Parents who need to get in touch with the school by phone can still call the school’s regular number, and those calls will be routed through district office staff. The district is working to establish cellular phone and data services in the affected buildings to provide for communications needs.  

We appreciate your patience as we work through this issue.”

 
Orginal Notice: A fiber connection providing internet services for the school district and the City of Iowa City have been cut somewhere between the ESC and SEJH. Repair crews have been dispatched and are currently working on locating the cut. The following schools are affected and will do not have the internet.
 
  • Lucas
  • Lemme
  • Hoover
  • City
  • Sejh
  • City Annex
  • Hills
  • Twain
  • Alexander
  • Wood
  • TSC
 

Happy Fox is working again

UPDATE: Happy Fox is working again

 

Happy Fox is temporarily down. For now, instead of submitting a ticket, email the Help Desk at ​helpdesk@iowacityschools.org if you’re having technology-related problems.

No wifi districtwide tomorrow (Friday, July 12)

Due to a wireless management software upgrade, there will be no wifi districtwide tomorrow (Friday, July 12). This will start at 8 AM and last the entire day. Please note that screenbeams and other devices that require wireless internet will not work. Wired internet connection will continue to work. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the help desk.

Data Interoperability?

No, no, no … you’ve gotta say it like, “data interoperability!”

Over the past several days, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with district leaders from around the country as we learn together about a fantastically riveting topic: data interoperability! (see, I said it right)

So what is data interoperability? 

In a nutshell, data interoperability relates to the ability of systems that create, store, or consume data to seamlessly talk to one another.  Once the systems can speak to one another, data can be pulled – generally in real time – for analysis, regardless of what system the data originally resides in.

Continue reading Data Interoperability?

Copying an Outlook Email List to Google

As we await a new update for email migrations, I thought I’d address one of the more common questions I’ve received regarding migrating from Exchange to Google.  Specifically, a lot of people have been asking me how to migrate email lists from Outlook to Google. Continue reading Copying an Outlook Email List to Google

Email Transition Update

Updated at 4:54 PM, May 1st: While ICCSD staff members should expect to receive an email with finalized information later tonight or tomorrow, here’s an update regarding where we’re at with the email transition for those of you who follow the blog:  Continue reading Email Transition Update