Start of School Technology Guide 2018-19
Please review this important information to help you prepare for a successful start to the new school year. For assistance in any of these areas, please contact the IT Service Desk at support.pps.net or 503-916-3375.
What’s New for 2018-19!
Classroom phone voicemail
Teachers can now set up their voicemail boxes for their classroom phones without waiting for the IT Department to process room changes. Please review this information for instructions on the new process.
Pepper Professional Learning Platform
The new PepperPD system replaces the Learning Campus for online learning and tracking of employee professional development. Employees now use Pepper to complete their annual mandatory compliance training and access their completion certificates, and more information is available here.
Non-binary Gender Option
As required by ODE, students and staff have a new gender option of “non-binary”, which is reflected on the Student Registration form for entry into Synergy.
Purchasing Educational Apps via Clever
Apps listed on the Clever webpage have been vetted by the departments of technology and curriculum and have a master contract with the district. If you want to purchase any of these applications for your school or classroom use, please follow the procurement instructions given under each application on the Clever webpage. Purchases can only be made with P-card.
Administrator Cell Phones
The IT Department budget for school administrator cell phones and stipends has been restored. Please refer to this information to request a cell phone or stipend.
As communicated in the June 26, 2018 Admin Connection, the IT Department budget for school administrator cell phones is no longer available, so each school will be responsible for their administrator cell phone cost effective July 1, 2018.
Please take a few minutes to fill out this form so we can transition the cost of your cellular plan to your school. Service will be suspended if no chartfield is provided by September 1.
If you no longer wish to use your District-issued cell phone, please email email@example.com so we can cancel your line.
Fiber Connectivity to High Schools
High schools fiber-optic network connections for Internet and centralized services will be upgraded over the coming school year to 10Gb/s service, as a result of a partnership with Multnomah Education Service District (MESD) and the Cascade Technology Alliance (CTA). This new connectivity provides increased bandwidth for continued growth in digital resources for our students.
- 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, Google Apps for Education, PepperPD, Employee Self Service within the PPS network, Staff Directory, and WiFi. Additionally, teachers automatically receive access to the Synergy student information system.
- PPS Google Apps for Education account names are slightly different from PPS account names. They are comprised of the PPS username followed by @apps4pps.net (instead of @pps.net). For example, if your email is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com you would use firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to sign in to Google Apps. Your password is the same as for your pps.net account.
- 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 here.
- Some applications such as the Administrator 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 can reset 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 the PPS network, Google Apps for Education, StudentVUE, Destiny library system, file storage and other services. All student passwords will be reset to the appropriate default password for their grade level during the weekend of August 17-19. (Rosa Parks student accounts were updated in July prior to their first day of school.) Students in grades 9 through 12 also receive an Office 365 account. Please visit the student accounts web page here for additional information.
The IT Service Desk is the initial point of entry for all IT-related service requests, and is available daily from 7 am to 4 pm. Please visit the Service Desk website for more information, including about using the IT Self-Service tool to submit requests, look up information, and check on the status of any open service tickets.
Please check out the IT Services 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 on-site support is needed, the request is routed to the team member for the area who is based at a high school location.
Service Desk teams have visited every school over the summer to help assure school technology readiness before the opening of school. Please be aware that the Service Desk has fewer staff available due to reduced funding for 2018-19 so response times may be longer.
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 to IT using the Phone Change Manager tool. Do not move any phones without IT assistance.
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 wireless access points (WAPs) installed by the PPS IT Department are allowed in PPS schools and buildings. Personal wireless access points, 4/5G hotspots, or other connection devices can result in significant interruption to network service, and potentially compromise security of student and personal data. The PPS IT Department will treat these devices as potentially harmful and take action to limit or prevent their use on our network.
Digital Citizenship Curriculum
The PPS IT Department 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.
Technology for New 2018-19 School Positions
Due to budget cuts, the PPS IT Department has a limited number of Chromebooks for new educator positions.
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 your classroom no longer has the Tech Bundle that was originally assigned by the IT Department, 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 2018-2019 school year. Each school needs to 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 2018 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.
Education Technology Learning Opportunities
Unless otherwise directed, all registration for District professional learning opportunities happens through PepperPD. 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 into 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.
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 2018-2019 maintenance schedule here.
Cellular Account Change Request Form
Employees with PPS cell phones can use this form to manage a number of changes to cellular service, including to:
- Change the user name assigned to a line.
- Change the chartfield where a line is billed.
- Suspend service for up to 90 days.
- Deactivate a line no longer used.
If at any time there are questions about how to fill out the form or policies around cellular services, please email to email@example.com.
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 IT 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, you can contact the IT 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 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 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 replacement of stolen or damaged equipment.
If you need to purchase computer hardware or software for your school, please refer to the IT Purchasing standards page.
If your school has any netbooks, Chromebooks, or iPads, these items should be stored in a locked cart or other secure area. To prevent loss or theft of mobile equipment, IT, Risk Management, and Security Services recommend the following safety practices:
- Lock up mobile lab carts and cases when they are not in use.
- 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.