Progress on Printing

With the current printing contract expiring later in the year, vendors have been inquiring about our next steps. We are working to identify the best plan regarding types and placements of multifunction devices as we phase out desktop printing. The process is taking some time, though we hope to have a RFP available this semester. Some items are on the “must-have” list, such as key fob scanning and “follow-me” printing. Others are dependent on the needs of the buildings. Meetings are scheduled to get feedback from the buildings that haven’t already provided it.

Back from Break

The Secant crew wasn’t able to finish the installation of the new wireless hardware before break ended, though they expect to finish today. The downside is that wireless is not working in some of the rooms around the district at this time. They are hopeful that everything will be working today, however. Our techs are heading out to resolve what they can at this time as well.

Project Updates

The crew installing the new wireless hardware will begin work this week. They’ll be in the various buildings installing new cables. Once break begins, they’ll do the more involved, and disruptive, work of actually installing the hardware. We’re also hoping to tackle a bunch of outstanding helpdesk tickets during that time. When all is done, we should return from break to a much-improved wireless experience and fewer issues to solve!

Email Issue

December’s arrival also brought an email issue where messages sent between Harper Creek and other locations were not going through. This appears to be a result of the spam filter malfunctioning and blocking messages to/from the outside world. The problem appears to be resolved after restarting the spam filter service. Messages going out should send now. Messages sent from the outside may still be delivered if the sending server is still retrying them.

This is one of the issues we can avoid if we can migrate from Exchange/Outlook to Gmail in the future. The two systems are tangled together at the moment, but we are hopeful it can be achieved in time for the 18-19 school year.

Let There Be Light!

After a long hiatus, the middle school auditorium once again has working lights. It seems that the system broke down a few years back, and the only way to turn on any lights was to find your way to the booth (in the dark, of course), and power up the board.

A processor module that controls the light switches by the door is defective and is going back for repair. The company provided a loaner module while this happens. The loaner is installed and the lights are working as they should. Yay!! Once the repair is completed, we may need a tech to come by to finalize things.

If you use this space with any frequency, you are probably aware of the aforementioned process to get lights turned on. Now, you can use the switch by each door to turn on the house lights. Additionally, the touch screen in the booth is working again as well, so you can easily turn on house and stage lights without powering up the full system.

Also, a work order has been submitted to have the many burned-out bulbs replaced. It’s nice to see this great space become more useful again!

1:1 Computing and Technology Training

A technology-related goal at Harper Creek is to move to 1:1 computing, where every student has access to a device. The board was briefed on some ballpark costs for this, and the reaction was positive. The staff and administration are on board as well.

While we need to figure out the financial and logistical aspects of this before it could become a reality, we can all be thinking about what training / PD would be needed to make it a success. At the high school building technology committee meeting, we discussed what this training might look like and we’ll be looking into the possibilities for some staff development around technology for the 18-19 year.

Wireless Upgrades Coming

A major wireless upgrade project is tentatively scheduled to take place over winter break. A total of 75 new wireless access points will be installed across all buildings. The new units will take the place of existing ones as well as add coverage. The removed devices will be redistributed throughout the buildings to increase density of coverage. This is a big step to having our infrastructure ready for a potential 1:1 computing environment.

Destiny Student Account Issues

Today, we resolved a lingering issue with some students having incorrect homeroom assignments in Destiny at the middle school. It turns out that the PowerSchool export contained the same student twice, as they switched English classes earlier in the year. The student record was updated two times in a row. This led to old data overwriting the new data with the old.

Solving this required digging into the scripts that read and export the data to make changes in how the results were ordered. Now the records are in chronological order and the new data overwrites the old. Not very exciting, but this a good example of the day-to-day around here.

HS Tech Committee

The high school technology committee is getting together to discuss…. technology in the HS. This group will be discussing printing, teacher devices, students devices, and whatever else is of concern to the teachers there. They will also be the building reps for the district-wide conversation about printers. This will be a valuable group to get feedback on how things are going and hints on where we should be going.