Infinite Campus will Replace PowerSchool in 2021-2022 School Year

We’re excited to announce that the Iowa City CSD School Board approved a transition from our current PowerSchool student information system to Infinite Campus. Infinite Campus is used widely across the state, including by many of the larger districts with which ICCSD collaborates most frequently, including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Sioux City, Davenport, and others

Infinite Campus, like PowerSchool, will house grades, attendance information, students’ schedules, assessment information, and other demographic and academic information. In order to protect this data, Infinite Campus is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and implements industry-standard practices related to student data privacy and security.

Parents and students will be able to access Infinite Campus through parent and student portals using a web browser on any device or a mobile app on a smartphone or tablet. ICCSD will be sharing more information, including instructions for parents and students to use the Infinite Campus portals, as we approach the 2021-2022 school year. Parents and students who want to get a jumpstart on learning about Infinite Campus can find videos and other support resources here.

The ICCSD student data team has been working with staff groups over the past few months to learn and implement Infinite Campus, including a successful experience with our first official use of Infinite Campus during Kindergarten registration. As with any large rollout, training is being targeted to groups such that staff who need to use Infinite Campus have received training prior to using the system. At this point, building secretaries, counselors, administrators, and other groups have received training related to student registration and scheduling tasks that are completed during the spring. Teachers and other groups will receive training as we move through summer and toward the start of the next school year.

We’ll have much more information to come about Infinite Campus and the transition in the coming months. In the meantime, please read on for answers to some common questions we’ve received about our move to Infinite Campus.

Continue reading Infinite Campus will Replace PowerSchool in 2021-2022 School Year

2021 Technology Refresh

Large-Scale Device Updates

The primary goal of the ICCSD Technology & Innovation department is to provide technology equipment and services that will allow our students to engage with their learning, and our teachers to provide innovative instruction, without presenting technological barriers. We took a big step in that direction this week as the school board approved our device refresh plan, which will:

  • Replace student 1:1 Chromebooks, while formalizing the permanent extension of our 1:1 initiative to grades K-12
  • Replace computer lab and other student-accessible computers in our schools and classrooms
  • Replace staff-assigned and utility devices districtwide

This project represents a major undertaking for our department, but also has a number of benefits. The new Chromebooks will provide students with three oft-demanded features that we’ve never been able to provide before. Specifically, the devices offer:

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  • a convertible form-factor, meaning that they can be used as traditional laptops (like our current Chromebooks), or the screen can fold flat against the back so that the devices can be used as tablets. This provides flexibility of usage that will be of particular benefit to our younger students.
  • touch screen capability with support for pen input will also be available on these devices. While we have had a small number of touch-capable devices in our fleet, it’s never been enough to provide to all younger students, and none of our existing devices support pen input. While we do not plan to initially provide pens with all devices, we have the ability to offer that in the future for targeted grade levels, programs, or for specific students, as needed to support students’ ability to work and interact with the device.
  • a rear-facing camera will be available on devices when they are in tablet mode. While this likely sounds like a small feature, it has been our most requested feature for future Chromebooks, as it allows students to take pictures of written work and projects for submission via Seesaw or Canvas, and allows the devices to be used for activities like photo scavenger hunts.
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We expect that devices will arrive in late April, and are currently working to firm up deployment plans and timelines. Please read below for more information about this project, including the answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received thus far.

Continue reading 2021 Technology Refresh

Kindergarten Registration on March 10th

The Iowa City Community School District will hold Kindergarten Registration for the 2021-22 school year for children who are 5 years old on or before September 15, 2021.

Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Time: 7:40 a.m. – 7:10 p.m.
Place: At your child’s elementary school

We would like to encourage only one family member to come on-site for registration due to COVID-19 health and safety requirements. To encourage social distancing we would like families to sign up for a registration time at their school by completing the following form: https://iowacityschools.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_50hQpMrT52zBEk6

Requirements at registration:

  1. Verification of your child’s birth date [Examples include a copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport. For additional options, please contact the Educational Services Center at (319) 688-1000.]
  2. Child’s immunization records
  3. Proof of residency [Examples include a lease/rental agreement or utility bill.]

If you do not have the needed documentation, please come to registration and we will assist you. If you are unable to register your child on March 10, 2021, please contact your child’s school. Please note, registration may take up to 45 minutes.


So why is this item on the Technology & Innovation blog? In addition to simply being excited about all of the new students who will join us next year, this also marks our first official use of Infinite Campus, our new student information system!

Infinite Campus will replace PowerSchool for the 2021-22 school year, and district and building staff have been working hard to learn and implement the new system. Parents/guardians who are registering new kindergartners will do so in Infinite Campus, and we’re excited about the potential for a simpler and less time-consuming registration process.

Keep an eye on this blog for more information about our transition to Infinite Campus over the coming months.

Stanford Study Addresses Zoom Fatigue and Potential Fixes

While many of our students are back onsite full-time, approximately 40% of ICCSD students continue to participate in our fully-online learning program.  As each of those students – along with our teachers, community members who spend hours at a time in Zoom meetings, and others – have learned, videoconferencing can be exhausting! 

I happened upon a recent article that explores the findings of a Stanford research team that was focused on the root causes of videoconferencing fatigue.  This reinforces some of our rationale for limiting the amount of synchronous instructional time, which has been shown to be far more taxing than in-person interaction. Beyond identifying the causes for Zoom fatigue, the team suggested simple fixes that may minimize the negative impacts on meeting participants. A summary of those findings is below, along with some ICCSD-adapted potential fixes. Continue reading Stanford Study Addresses Zoom Fatigue and Potential Fixes

FCC Approves Low-Income Household Internet Access Subsidy

One of the challenges that ICCSD has taken on during the pandemic is working to ensure that our families have access to reliable home internet service. Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a federal emergency subsidy to offset the cost of home internet for low-income households, which should further the goal of accessing reliable high-speed home internet service for families in our district and around the nation. 

We will post more information to the ICCSD Innovation Blog once application information and further details are available. In the meantime, families should be aware that we continue to provide home internet connectivity to families who don’t have it.  Information about obtaining service is available here

In addition to service through the district, families should also be aware of low-cost internet options available to eligible households through South Slope, CenturyLink, and Mediacom