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.
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.
I’m sure by now you are all familiar with and have experienced email phishing, but today I’m reaching out to discuss another very popular tactic called email spoofing.
Email spoofing is a type of forgery that makes the email look like it’s from a boss or colleague in need. They will often send a short, vague and sometimes desperate email in attempt to get you to reply to the message. Recently, school districts (including ours) have been hit hard with these attempts. Just in the last week we’ve seen five building administrator’s accounts spoofed.
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!
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.
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.
Along with many other school districts in Iowa, the Iowa City Community School District is working through a challenging budget situation for the coming fiscal year. After years of identifying opportunities for increased fiscal efficiency, there are few ways to further reduce costs without impacting service delivery and – ultimately – the classroom environment available to our children.
While I won’t address the District’s comprehensive efforts to address these challenges in this post, I do want to highlight some of the efforts we’ve made in the Office of Technology & Innovation. The past several years have been marked by significant technology-focused initiatives, including those focused on device availability and infrastructure, as well as initiatives such as our IDS Innovation team’s focus on instructional technology integration.