The Technology Support division of the IT Department helps to kick off another great start to the school year. The Technology Support Department consists of four district level Technology Support Specialists (DTSS) and 41 school-based Technology Support Specialists (TSS). Each school has a dedicated TSS and two of our large high schools now have two full- time techs.
The school-based TSS are dedicated to getting all student and staff machines ready for the start of the school year, along with keeping up with every day technology needs at their schools. The current major task for site-based TSS is reviewing and updating technology inventory for their schools.
The DTSS are responsible for supporting all school-based TSS and assisting all district departments to get ready for the school year. The DTSS take calls and assist users through the District Help Desk. They are also responsible for managing all iPads in the district, managing all settings and applications on all district machines, assisting all district departments with their technology needs, assisting all school based TSS with any questions or tasks as well as completing repairs to damaged equipment across the district.
As we have recently celebrated and honored our veterans for Veterans Day, it is important to note that we have 15 Veterans out of 45 total TSS. We are fortunate to have them in our department and we thank them for their service to our country. The picture below shows Brian Paone, a District technology support specialist, repairing a staff computer.
The IT Department continues to make network infrastructure upgrades in both performance and security. In the past few months we have completed fiber/cabling and network switching upgrades at all seven middle schools. This upgrade at middle schools will deliver a tenfold increase in network speed. Upgraded wireless network infrastructure at Fullerwood, Yates, Maintenance and Transportation was also completed.
The IT Department is preparing to implement a new voice mail System for employees in Dec 2018. Our current voice mail system is being discontinued by the vendor. The new voice mail system is very similar to the current system in that each voice mail will also trigger an email that contains the voice file. No speech to text translation will occur with the new system. Employees will be able to listen to their voice mail from their assigned extension or via email. All employees will be required to first setup up their voice mail box. The voice mail setup process takes about 2-3 minutes and you are ready to go.
Here are some key dates and actions:
Employees will receive a phone setup guide via email in early December 2018
Planned Go Live for the new Voice Mail system is 6 December 2018
After 12/6/18: Employees are to setup their voice mail box:
Press the “Message” button on your phone
Login to the voice mail system using the default password
Follow the voice prompts:
Record your name
Record your standard personal greeting
Set your password (min of 6 digits)
Employees that need help can call the Help Desk at ext 1-Help
This is not the pre-registration process for private school, home school or virtual school students applying to a Program of Choice for 2019-20. Those students should follow the pre-registration procedures provided by Career Academies of St. Johns. During pre-registration, families will also obtain a paper Program of Choice Application to complete and return to that school by February 14.
The Information Technology Department is excited to announce the implementation of an Online Registration System. Streamlining the enrollment process will save parents and school staff valuable time and improve data accuracy. This system will allow parents to register their children online by completing forms, uploading required documents, and scheduling an appointment with the school to finalize the process. School staff will review all data entry completed by the parents before accepting the student information into eSchoolPLUS.
Initially, the district will pilot the new process at Freedom Crossing Academy, PVPV/Rawlings Elementary, Sebastian Middle, St Augustine High, Hartley Elementary and Palm Valley Academy. A web link added to the school website will allow parents to create an account and begin the online registration process. Once the pilot has been running for some time, the program will be launched at all schools.
Here is a sample of what the initial registration page looks like:
In addition to registering new students, this system will also streamline the returning student paperwork process. Once per year, parents will receive an email with a web link that will allow them to review and update their child’s data. When completed, the entries will be subject to review by school staff before accepting the changes into eSchoolPLUS. This will significantly reduce the amount of time required to process these forms. This process will also begin later this month for all schools.
For more information on this topic, please visit your child’s school website.
The IT Department is working toward completing two large projects this school year that will use half-cent sales tax funds to enhance and upgrade technology in our schools.
One project focuses on upgrading classroom technology, which will replace classroom hardware at 34 schools. School leaders and site-based technical support staff were included in the decision-making process to determine the greatest need at their site. Planned upgraded classroom technology equipment includes new digital projectors, classroom audio systems, document cameras, flat panel displays and TV tuners.
Our second project focuses on network infrastructure upgrades. Eight schools are scheduled to receive new wireless access points using the latest speed and protocols. This equipment upgrade will drastically increase the Wi-Fi speeds for students and staff at the selected schools. Phase two of the infrastructure project is to replace the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for their server and network switching rooms at nine schools. This equipment is critical to providing reliable power to network equipment during intermittent power loss and brown outs.