School Start-Up Guidelines - 2019-2020
Please review this important information to help you prepare for a successful start to the new school year. If you should need assistance in any of these areas, please contact the Service Desk at email@example.com, support.pps.net, or 503-916-3375.
What’s New for 2019-20!
New Department Name
The PPS IT Department is now the Office of Technology & Information Services (OTIS). We look forward to continuing to support you and your staff in realizing the PPS vision, to prepare our students to lead change and improve the world.
Google Account Change
PPS Google Apps for Education account names and passwords are now the same as PPS account names. Staff accounts are “ firstname.lastname@example.org” and student accounts are “ email@example.com”. Please refer to the Google Domain Switch page for more information.
Student email accounts for Google Classroom
Student email addresses in Synergy and TeacherVUE are now set to the PPS email address, and their personal email addresses are in a new field. This enables broader communication with students through Google Classroom, and use of O365 for high school students.
Student Password Resets
Student passwords were reset to the default as of August 5, except for Rosa Parks. Please refer to the Student Accounts page for more information.
PPS Email While Abroad
Due to security concerns and to protect confidential data, PPS email is now accessible from outside of the country only with a VPN account. Employees can request VPN accounts by submitting an Account form.
New Teacher Chromebooks
All classroom teachers who are .5 FTE or greater will receive a new Chromebook next month. They are HP 14" touch-screen, and will be assigned to each teacher to keep through any PPS school moves. School contacts can expect to receive additional information by 9/2 and delivery of Chromebooks for teachers after 9/15.
New Visitor/Volunteer Check-in System
Equipment for the new Visitor/Volunteer Management sign-in system (Raptor) will be installed for the new school year. Training will be provided at the Secretaries Back-to-School workshop, and more information will be available soon.
Mailman List Updates
The “Mailman” list-serve tool has been updated to version 3.0, and the lists now use the @pps.net domain. If you use Mailman lists, or would like to start, please review the Mailman List Serve|PT1029 course in Pepper.
PaperCut Print Management
New printing capabilities, including mobile printing, will be available later this fall through the PaperCut print management software. Scheduling for each school’s onsite technician visit and implementation will begin in October.
Windows 10 Updates
Windows computers must be updated to Windows 10 before January, 2020 as Microsoft will no longer provide security patches and fixes for Windows 7 after January 14, 2020. If your school’s computers have not yet all been updated, our technicians will be continuing work on the updates this fall.
PPS accounts for all new employees are automatically created once the employee is added to the HR system and assigned an employee ID number.
Account changes for employees changing positions also take effect once the change is reflected in the HR system.
A PPS account provides access to the PPS Staff page and district services and resources, including Office 365 email and calendar, GSuite for Education, Pepper, Employee Self Service, Staff Directory, and WiFi. Additionally, teachers automatically receive access to the Synergy student information system.
All employees are required to read and follow the PPS Acceptable Use Policy for use of the PPS IT network and systems, which is available online here.
Some applications such as the Dashboard, SchoolMessenger, PPSWeb, and certain access within PeopleSoft and Synergy require a form and additional steps which may include training prerequisites. Account forms for these applications are available on our website.
Contractor accounts expire at the end of the contract term and a new Account form will need to be submitted for contract renewals.
Employees and students can manage their own passwords once they have set up their security questions in the PPS Password Manager. All staff should take a few minutes to set up their questions, and instructions are available here.
PPS student accounts are automatically created once the student is enrolled in Synergy, and provide access to GSuite for Education, StudentVUE, Destiny library system, and other services. All student passwords are reset to the appropriate default password for their grade level in August, except for Rosa Parks students due to their calendar. Students in grades 9 through 12 also receive an Office 365 account. Please visit the student accounts web page here for additional information.
The Service Desk is the initial point of entry for service requests, and is available daily from 7 am to 5 pm. Please visit the Service Desk website for more information, including about using the Support portal to submit requests, look up information, and check on the status of any of your open service tickets.
Please check out the Service catalog to learn more about the many services available to PPS staff and students.
The Service Desk uses a distributed model to better serve our schools. Service requests are initially handled by a central call center and resolved remotely when possible. If the issue cannot be resolved remotely, the request is escalated for on-site support.
Service Desk teams have visited every classroom over the summer to help assure school technology readiness before the opening of school.
Classroom phone voicemail
Teachers can set up their voicemail boxes for their classroom phones without waiting for OTIS to process room changes. Please review this information for instructions on the process.
Each classroom and staff location has an assigned VoIP phone. If any phone changes are needed, please inform the School Secretary so a request can be submitted using the Phone Change Manager tool. Do not move any phones without OTIS assistance.
Pepper Professional Learning Platform
All employees use Pepper to complete their annual mandatory compliance training and access their completion certificates and transcripts. More information is available here.
PPS has two wireless networks, and both have content filtering.
pps-wifi - this network is to be used by PPS staff only. Students who are on district devices such as mobile labs and classroom technology that are preconfigured for this network can also use this network. This network uses WPA2-PSK security and the password is not to be published or shared with students or guests.
pps-wifi-guest - This network is to be used by students, families, volunteers, guests, and program staff on personal devices. Users connecting to the pps-wifi-guest network simply need to select this network, they do not have to complete any other steps to have basic internet access.
Please visit the Staff website for the pps-wifi password and more information.
Only PPS-installed wireless access points (WAPs) are allowed in PPS schools and buildings. Personal wireless access points, 4/5G hotspots, or other connection devices can result in a significant interruption to network service, and potentially compromise the security of student and personal data. OTIS will treat these devices as potentially harmful and take action to limit or prevent their use on our network.
IT Maintenance Schedule
PPS IT systems will be down for periodic regular maintenance throughout the year, generally on one weekend per month. You can review the 2019-20 maintenance schedule here.
Digital Citizenship Curriculum
The Office of Technology & Information Services and Library Services have collaborated to recommend curriculum for teaching digital citizenship concepts. This instruction is aligned with the Oregon Library Standards, Common Core Standards, and ISTE Student Standards. See the PPS Digital Citizenship Curriculum for K-12 lessons.
As always, please see the IT Purchasing page and guidelines for what equipment can be purchased for new staff.
Please contact the Service Desk if any classroom no longer has the Tech Bundle that was originally assigned, or for assistance in locating or repairing this equipment.
Equipment Check-in Procedures
School staff who checked out their laptop/Chromebook over the summer will need to check the device back in upon returning to school. Should staff move between schools during the summer, this equipment must be returned to the school it was originally assigned. The form for the Check In / Check Out process can be found here.
School Web Pages
Please review and update your building's "School News & Announcements", "Message from the Principal", and "Staff Contact" pages to ensure they are relevant for the 2019-2020 school year. Parents are already searching the PPS website for School Supply Lists, so please be sure those are posted.
Each school must have a secretary or other designated person responsible to keep the school website up to date. If you are a new secretary/admin, or have changed locations, submit a ticket to https://support.pps.net to get access.
G Suite for Education
Please see all Fall 2019 updates on the G Suite for Education webpage. Updates include information about the following: G Suite Training, Teacher Center, Level 1 Certified Educator Exam, Classroom, Sites, VR Tour Creator, Chrome extensions, Google Cast for Education.
Google Classroom and Synergy Sync
Previously, a communication was sent out stating that PPS had enabled the Google Classroom integration in Synergy. Unfortunately, a bug has been discovered in Synergy that prevents rostering from occurring into Google Classroom. This means that PPS will be disabling the sync from Synergy and returning to the prior state. If you wish to use Google Classroom, please speak with your school secretary and your Google Classroom will be created and rostered automatically. This is identical to the process used in previous years.
Education Technology Learning Opportunities
Unless otherwise directed, all registration for District professional learning opportunities happens through Pepper. Using this site, you can browse and access the latest offerings through online training, as well as traditional instructor-led classes. If you are interested in scheduling technology learning during your school staff time, please contact Melissa Lim, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-916-3030.
For the beginning of the new school year, each individual school shall manage the redistribution of badges for students. Badges that are no longer needed can be voided ( link to directions) and you can print out badges for new students ( link to directions). If you need extra badge holders and lanyards for new students they may be left over from the original distribution to your building. Check the Clever webpage for more information.
All employees can log in to Employee Self-Service to view and update certain HR and Payroll information. Please visit this page for more information.
Staff and teachers can access the Synergy student information system, teacher Grade Book, and Special Education module at http://synergy.pps.net using their PPS username and password.
Parents and students can access Synergy information using ParentVUE and StudentVUE, and teachers and administrators also can use the TeacherVUE and AdminVUE apps.
For more information about Synergy, please visit the Synergy Resources page to access quick reference guides and other helpful resources.
District Cell Phones
Employees can request a District-issued cell phone or hotspot for professional use. More information on how to request a cell phone and policies around cellular services can be found here. If at any time there are questions about how to fill out the form or policies around cellular services, please email email@example.com.
If you currently have a District-issued cell phone and no longer wish to use it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can cancel the line.
Administrator Cell Phones
The budget for School Administrator cell phones and stipends is managed centrally by OTIS. Please email email@example.com if you are not yet receiving this service.
School Technology Resources
The PPS “School Technology Resource Team” ( STRT) provides oversight in the receipt, refurbishment, repurposing, prioritization, and deployment of donated and reclaimed technology equipment. This includes instructional, student, staff, classroom, and computer lab technology assets. Please contact the Service Desk to report non-functioning equipment and to request updates to computer labs and other school technology.
Pickup and recycling of obsolete computer equipment can be requested here. If you are unsure whether older equipment is still usable, please contact the Service Desk.
Computer Equipment Donation Process
As the new year begins, schools may receive computer equipment donations, including through DonorsChoose or other sources. Visit the donation website to review the donation process. Please note that there are important steps that must be completed prior to accepting a donation and some equipment may not be accepted.
Equipment Theft or Damage Reporting
Damaged, lost, or stolen PPS devices, regardless of how they were purchased, must be reported using the Property Damage or Theft Loss Report to the IT, Risk Management, and Security Services departments. There is very limited central funding available for damaged technology this year, so parts for repairs will need to purchased by the schools. Due to a reduction in staffing, some repairs may take longer than previously.
Please review these procedures for a link to the online report and information about loaner devices and the replacement of stolen or damaged equipment.
Mobile devices including laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads should be stored in a locked cart or another secure area. To prevent loss or theft of mobile equipment, please follow these safety practices:
Lock up mobile lab carts and cases when they are not in use. Computers that have not been used for several weeks may need time to update before use, so be sure they have been updated prior to conducting state testing.
Move mobile lab carts or cases to an alarmed or interior room at the end of the school day.
Secure individual laptops in a locking drawer, closet, or cupboard.
Pull window shades (where available) in ground-level classrooms before leaving for the day.
If you have a District mobile device or a personal device with District data on it, please take every precaution to prevent theft or loss. It is your responsibility to keep District property and data safe. Please review the District Acceptable Use Policy for Staff and Students.