Rural Tech Advisory January 16, 2008 Astoria eSIS System

Rural Tech Advisory
January 16, 2008
eSIS System & Rollout
Several districts will be starting on eSIS in the fall. Scheduling training begins this February.
Hillsboro secondary will be coming on our instance and having teachers start with TA as well.
Hardware upgrades: Started out with two databases and two app servers. Discovered that it
wasn’t enough redundancy and now have four database and four app servers. Have more than
doubled the hardware and built in a lot of redundancy. Invested 50K in hardware upgrades.
Should have enough capacity now.
The biggest hit came at the beginning of the year when people were changing schedules. The
rest of the year would have been ok with the hardware in place but considering the big spike
that happened at the beginning of the year having the hardware in place is a good failsafe.
CIM-CAM Pass may be picked up in the budget next year.
Sped Advanced module is slated to replace SpedEZ July 1, 2009.
Meeting with the Superintendant of Astoria after this meeting to discuss eSIS.
NW Partnership Webpage
Updated daily by Eve.
If eSIS goes down or if there are other issues will be posted on the website.
Parent Assistant Webpage
Updated daily by Eve.
Also want to mention that has a link to ivisions. Currently no status update for
ivisions but if we see any issues we will try and update it.
Many of the school districts have completed the first round of tests and are on second testing.
Worked well and flowed very smoothly with no major issues to report.
Things about liked about OAKS:
o Gives instant scores
Teachers did not find it too much of an inconvenience to have to authorize the sessions.
Biggest bandwidth hit always seems the authorization part.
Some problem with students being approved for the test but it doesn’t start. Issue is the result
of them hitting the enter button too many times and this tends to freeze the account. Let SEG
group know when this happens so they can do a bandwidth test.
Bandwidth tends to vary greatly from day to day for Seaside.
Over all fewer issues than what was experienced with TESSA last year
Infinite Visions Fiscal System Update
 ESD started using iVisions January 1st. Have been using it to approve purchase orders. Have had
some minor wrinkles to work through but over all seems to be running smoothly.
 Seaside is still having some issues with the program. Rick and Tim are working with CSA
regarding Seaside’s issues. CSA reporting that Seaside’s issues are fixed but Seaside reports
 Most are using the electronic approval for Purchase Orders. Jewell still doing manual approvals.
 Seaside has used the payroll feature and it went out two days early.
 Question on if IV has a time card feature. Tim at one point wanted to do a time card system
such as Kronos. Rick has major objections to Kronos.
 NWRESD has decided to move EdZapp for the HR application, have not decided when to end of
life the existing system. Will work with the districts to figure out when and how to do this.
 Two concerns:
o It uses Social Security number for log in
o It uses older technology.
 Rick has asked for a quote.
 Item will remain on agenda for next meeting.
Platform has been stable.
Jewell was unable to log on Wednesday, January 9th. Tried the “other way” to log on but still
was not able to.
4.5 now supports more printers.
Will be upgrading all hardware for Citrix next year.
Sped EZ
 Sped EZ will be retired and available read only in 09.
 There was a small problem with Service Pack 2 but it was a quick fix.
 Have Sped Advanced but it’s not in test yet. When it is put on test will be looking for people to
test it out for us. Think it’s a much better program than Sped EZ.
Spam Filtering
 It’s very important for people behind the firewall to have their filters set up correctly. If things
are getting bounced back it’s because there’s not a MX record in the DNS. This is important for
those who aren’t using it four outbound mail otherwise there will be a lot of bounce back.
 There was an issue with ODE bouncing things back because the SPF records don’t work on
 Astoria wanted to know if there was a way to block e-mails based on content. 50% of the emails received are for pharmaceuticals. When that happens it’s because there’s a machine
behind the firewall that’s been turned into a spam bot which would be why it’s not being caught
by the filters.
Bob C. will check on Ironport reports to make sure that they’re getting sent out.
When an employee leaves, do not disable the mailbox because it causes issues. Can’t do
anything on the exchange level but can set up notifications in Iron Ports. Bob has set it up so
that a message will bounce back stating that the employee is no longer here.
Internet Filters
 For the most part everything has been status quo.
 Playing with a new version of DansGuardian.
 Most common request is for access to Youtube. Teachertube is a good alternative available to
teachers. Paul Nelson will figure out the best way to do this for windows.
 Total Traffic Control- by Light Speed Systems. Muhammad asked that the ESD look into it.
Network Changes
 T1’s have been put into Neah-Kah-Nie but they haven’t really seen much difference in
bandwidth. Still have points during the day where traffic from district office is really slow.
 EBITS- ODE met with Qwest and Qwest reported that they will not be able to meet their
obligation. ODE has said that they’re pulling the money back that they’d already given to Qwest.
There will be about 1 million available to help build the infrastructure. They claim that they can
get high speed to everyone but the nonrecurring costs are very steep. When Bob has solid
information on how everything is moving forward he will let everyone know.
 Jewell now looses even basic telephone service when the weather gets bad.
 Rick has asked for a redesign on the 1g pipe as a result from a power outage that happened
1/10/08. Right now we don’t have enough bandwidth to fail over one of the connections. The
gig would be subbing for the 2 megs and another would be needed for redundancy.
NWRESD has almost completed the VoIP integration.
Neah-Kah-Nie’s group contract is almost up. Will need to be renewed.
Cisco Wireless system was put in at Knappa and Vernonia. For less than 5 grand a 6 port access
point can be purchased. Bob will put together a paragraph about the Cisco Wireless access
points. It has been working well in Knappa.
Training Opportunities
 Budgeting for training next year. Please let Rich know what ideas for training ou have.
 Bob will be doing an Active Directory Training sometime in February. Location will be Hillsboro,
just need to decide on a date.
 Still working on a Zenworks Solution
 NWRESD purchased a program called GoToAsist where users can log into a website and allow
the helpdesk to “drive” their computer remotely.
Current Status of United Streaming
 United Streaming is now Discovery Education Streaming. Asked them to come to this meeting
to talk about how to address schools with low bandwidth. They’d also like to hear if you have
any complaints or suggestions.
 Currently the contract with the ESD is set to expire this June. Looking at either replacing or
extending the contract. NWRESD is working with the other ESD’s in the state to discuss the
access to digital content available through Discovery Education.
 Discovery Education allows teachers to take the content created for The Discovery Channel and
use it in their classrooms. Programs like Planet Earth are available.
 Have relationships with PBS and the Library of Congress and can get content from them as well.
 Tech support is provided 8am-7pm eastern. Have beefed up their tech support group to meet
increasing needs. Customer support number 8000-421-2363
 Blocktime Editor allows administrators to limit the times of days that teachers are able to
stream and download videos.
 Network manager designed to help preserve the school districts internet bandwidth by utilizing
the bandwidth during off peak hours.
 Local Host allows teachers to access Discovery Education Streaming normally. When a user
selects a video it’s streamed or downloaded from a server located on the districts internal
 Most users are using approximately 256k. 1MG will be available first quarter of this year.
 NWRESD is writing an RFP that we hope everyone will buy into state wide. Some ESD’s have
already said that they will not buy into it it’s United Streaming because of poor customer service
and bad experiences in the past. Asking for a 3-5 commitment in the RFP.
 Seaside believes that usage is more of a issue of training the staff more than anything.
 Astoria thinks it’s a mindset, a change in how the teachers present the material. They need to
be comfortable incorporating the information in their classrooms. There’s also a limited amount
of labs.
Metadot Web Hosting
 St. Helens is migrating tomorrow.
 Having some issues with the virtual machines.
 Moved just the database section to a dedicated host. Since doing that the time to bring web
pages have been reduced.
 Seaside is having some issues with pages timing out.
Smart Find Express Subfinder System
 Several districts are planning on coming on with the ESD.
 Banks, Gaston, Scappoose, and the Service Centers are on system.
 Forrest Grove and Knappa will be coming on soon.
 At point now where the hardware needs to be upgraded
Summer Projects
 Please let the ESD know if there’s any projects that can be assisted with
 Will keep Summer Projects on the agenda
Drupal Blogs
 Drupal Blogs are very easy to use.
 There will be Drupal training at the ITCE? Both sessions are full.
 Paul Nelson will work with anyone who’s interested.
Statewide Streaming
 One month preview period where you can participate in person or via webinar.
 All streaming vendors will be considered.
A/V Repair
 Vern Fowler was doing a lot of our A/V repair but he is retiring.
 Have been getting requests to start up A/V repair again but will not be doing so.
 If districts have someone specific that they send their A/V equipment to be repaired then let the
ESD know
Google Student E-mail
 Seaside has been having some issues. MX record isn’t configured correctly.
 Paul Nelson can walk districts through the setup if needed; Don has setup a ticket with the
helpdesk on a specific error.
 Archiving isn’t available for free there is a cost associated with it.
 Can embed the Google calendar on your school website. Calendar aggregation is good if you’ve
got sports teams and other items that you’d like to go on the calendar.
MACC Grant
 Received a $15,000 grant from ODE to teach algebra teachers how to use ODE’s Rural Algebra
resources and collaborate together. Supports substitute pay.
 The goal is to get 23 algebra teachers together, and the hope is that bigger districts will send
their best and that the algebra teachers from the smaller districts would be on the beneficiary
 Algebra is the most commonly failed course but it’s also a gateway course that opens up a lot of
opportunities for students that pass it.
 Would be a 4 day workshop where the teachers can collaborate and work on their curriculum.
 Would like to do one a month starting in February.
 Texas Instruments is willing to co-host the match teacher group and would also provide some
teaching tools. Still working out the details and possible funding.
 No discussion on this item
 No discussion on this item
 Joint Tech Advisory will meet March 5th at the HSD.
Table go round
 Scott- all good
 Joan – all good
 Tim- lots of busy work. Wanted to know if anyone had rolled out parent assist and how the roll
out happened.
 Ed- normal stuff, working through the last of the eSIS conversion still looking for a new
antivirus/antispyware software.
 Gwen- have 5th graders making their own movies and 6th graders making their own Moodle
pages. They’re essentially getting their own web page but it’s closed off from the rest of the
world it’s between them and their teachers. Will push it as far as she can.
 Mark- had a heater break. Big project will be replacing teacher machines and upgrading them
all to XP.
 Muhammad- seriously looking at Total Traffic Controller.
 Justin- nothing major, just the normal stuff. Will drop a line when the OYA thing is worked out.
 Chase- had some poles that snapped and all fiber was on the ground but was still working.
 Don- Regular stuff.