I.T. News and Bulletin

I.T. Information, Updates, Network Status, etc.


Password Reset Protocol

Due to a serious incident with email on Friday, March 3rd it was necessary to disable all district email system access and reset all users’ passwords so that the issue could be addressed. (See the email from Dr. Bergman regarding this incident.)
Site technicians and MCTs will be working closely with your school principals to address this issue and provide all district staff members with access first thing Monday, March 6th.  
In order to restore access to district Gmail and PowerSchool services, all SUSD staff members will need to take the following steps to reset your security credentials…
1. You will need to obtain your site specific temporary password from your school principal.  This will be shared with all staff members first thing on Monday, March 6th.
2. Once you have your site password, navigate to http://mypassword.susd12.org where you will be prompted to reenter your district username and temporary password.  
3. You should now be prompted to enter a new password which should restore access to district web services (including Gmail, Google Drive, PowerSchool, Sunnyside LEARN…etc).
When selecting a new password, please remember observing the following tips which will help to keep your personal information secure…
  • Choose a password that no one will easily guess or hack. Don’t use a word or phrase of special importance to you—like a birthday or family member. That’s the kind of information that can be discovered by someone doing a little digging.
  • Do not share passwords. This is an open invitation to your online accounts, and it’s often exploited to accomplish online identity theft.
  • Make sure your password is long. It should be at least eight-to-10 characters long, and longer passwords are even more secure.
  • Use at least one capital letter and one lowercase letter in your password. The capital and lowercase letters should not be grouped together. Mixing them up makes the password more difficult to predict.
  • Create a sentence or phrase as the basis for your password. This is a useful starting point for making a password that’s complex and difficult to guess while easy for you to remember.  This phrase should include a combination of capital letters, numbers and special characters.

We take the security of your personal confidential information very seriously. We are working with our legal counsel to determine what additional steps we may want or need to take. One of the steps that Superintendent Holmes has directed be taken is that the District acquire one year of identity theft protection from Identity Force Theft Protection for every SUSD employee whose information may have been exposed, at no cost to the employee.  The service will include ID monitoring, credit card application monitoring, one million dollars of protection and fully managed ID restoration services if necessary.

The Human Resources department will be providing additional information to employees on how to activate this service as soon as it is available.

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Amazon Web Servers Restored

Although Amazon still has not provided information on the cause of their massive server outage from yesterday, all services do appear to be back online as of 9 am (Wednesday 3/1/17).

Massive Amazon Cloud Service Outage Disrupts Sites

Major SUSD sites impacted by the service outage included Springboard, Illuminate, and Pearson.  If you continue to experience any issues related to these sites, please provide us with specific details via http://helpdesk.susd12.org

We apologize for any disruption in instructional time related to this outage and we will continue to work with our vendors to minimize these types of service issue in the future.

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Amazon Web Servers Down

Amazon’s web hosting services are utilized by thousands of large companies world-wide (including Twitter, Illuminate and Springboard) to store and deliver data.  That means that when Amazon’s servers goes down, a lot of things go down with them.

Currently, Amazon servers are reporting “high error rates” which may disrupt users ability to access and download various text and image files until they can get their services back up and running.

This outage should NOT impact any core functionality within our classroom services.  We apologize for any disruption this may cause and we will provide you with an update as soon as we have additional information.

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GenCyber Day

The NSF-NSA GenCyber Day is designed to introduce high school students to the academic and professional world of cybersecurity. Students will learn strategies, concepts and tools needed to defend against cyber attacks from experts in the field.

This FREE GenCyber event is being held on Thursday March 30, 2017 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm at the JW Marriott Starr Pass. 

It is being held in conjunction with the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) conference which is on Fri. March 31 – Sat. April 1, 2017 at the JW Marriott.

The MIS department at University of Arizona, Eller College and Tennessee Tech are coordinating and hosting the event.

We thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Security Agency (NSA) for their support of this event.

View the event brochure here.

Teachers and advisers interested in attending are encouraged to sign-up in advance at https://mis.eller.arizona.edu/gencyber-day

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Springboard Textbook Resources

Please be aware that if your front office elects to ADD a new ELA or English section to your schedule, you may need to  add the correct Springboard text for your students so that they can access their resources via the My Bookshelf link.

You can click on this link for a reminder on how to add books to your classes in Springboard.

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Springboard Password Error

Due to a user authentication error with Springboard, some students may be prompted to change their password when logging in via CLEVER.  Springboard engineers have acknowledged that this error is at their end and are currently working on a solution.

In the meantime, if students are prompted to reset their password (via the notification below) please have them enter their student matric number to insure that there is no loss of instructional time.

Once authentication is back online, passwords will be reset to their normal Google credentials.

We apologize for this inconvenience and will provide additional updates as soon as they are available.

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AdBlocking Software Tips

As you may have noticed, our district utilizes Ad Block Plus for Chrome on all teachers and student Chrome accounts.  This extension is important as it not only helps to filter our potentially objectionable content, but it also greatly speeds up the load time for sites sites by saving bandwidth and cutting down on amount of content that page loads.

However, no adware solution is perfect and, on some rare occasions you may notice that the Ad Block Plus software may potentially be blocking needed content on the page or slowing down the time it takes for the page to load.  If you suspect this might be the case, please take the following quick steps…

  •  In the upper-right corner of your Chrome browser, click on the green customize button and select the ABP (AdBlock Plus) icon (see below)…

  • Uncheck the first option Enabled on this site to remove ABP from checking the content within the site.  This will turn off the ADP filter on that specific page.  It will NOT completely shut off ADP on all other sites.

  • You can also remove entire domains from the Ad Block site by clicking on the Options button along the bottom of the page and adding the site information under the WhiteList tab.

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Co-Teaching Sections in PowerSchool Gradebook

This is just a reminder for PowerSchool gradebook users who have co-teachers rostered to their sections.  Please be aware that if a co-teacher alters or changes an existing assignment (e.g. assignment title, due date…etc), the GradeBook will consider this a “modified” assignment and will delete student grade records associated with this assignment.

For this reason, assignment details (other than grade information) should be managed ONLY by the teacher of record within the gradebook.

For additional tips, FAQ’s and best practices, please check our our PowerTeacher Pro Support Page (linked here).

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Instructional Device Preview 2017-18

For the 2017-18 School Yearthe SUSD district bond committee has budgeted to replace our current teacher laptop devices (which have served us well for the last four years).

Although our current teacher instructional laptops (HP Elitebook and HP Revolve) are still very functional devices, purchasing new laptops will allow us to take advantages of many recent upgrades in hardware including improved processing capability, greater memory, higher screen resolution and improved battery life.

Because we have built a great deal of internal capacity in the areas of parts replacement, accidental damage protection, and technical certification, we will be sticking with laptops from the HP line.  However, since there are a variety of different options available, we would like to hear from you prior to making our final selection.

We Want Your Feedback

Starting next week, we will be providing all SUSD instructional staff with an opportunity to take an up-close and personal look at TWO of the models which we are considering purchasing for next year.  Laptop models will be on display (along with I.T. Support Staff who will be available to answer your questions) in the Sunnyside Governing Boardroom (2238 E Ginter Road) from 3:30 pm to 5 pm on the following days…

  • Tuesday, January 24th
  • Wednesday, January 25th
  • Friday, January 27th
  • Wednesday, February 1st
  • Thursday, February 2nd
  • Friday, February 3rd 

Posted below, you will find a variety resources which will help you to learn more about these devices.

You can see a full feature comparison between the two models listed below by clicking here.

Model #1:  HP Spectre x360

  • Screen: 13″ HD TouchScreen
  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Weight: 2.89 lbs
  • Retail Price: $1150.00

Click here to read more about the HP Spectre x360

Click here to read a product review for the HP Spectre x360

Model #2: HP Elitebook Folio 1040

  • Screen: 12″ HD Screen
  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs
  • Retail Price: $1249.00

Click here to read more about the HP Elitebook Folio 1040

Click here to read a product review for the HP Elitebook Folio 1040

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MyMathLab Error Message Fix

Recently, some students using MyMathLab have been getting the following error message when connecting to their account.

“We are sorry.  Your course did not load properly.”

This error appears to be caused by not having the Chrome operating system updated to the most recent version (55+ 64 bit).  If students receive this error, they should follow the steps below to correct the problem…

  1. From your Chrome browser, type in the URL chrome://help/
  2. Click on the button Check for and apply updates.  You will know that your device has updated when you get the message “Your Chromebook is up to date”

Once your browser is updated, clear your cache and cookies by following these directions.

  1. Type in the URL chrome://settings 
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Show advanced settings…
  3. Under Privacy click on the Content settings… button.
  4. Click on the All cookies and site data… button.
  5. Click on the Remove all button along the top of the page and then click on the Done button along the bottom-right corner of the page.

You should now be able to log in to the MyMathLab course without getting the error.  Students who continue to experience problems (particularly with the ProBook 4400 Series) should take their device to the LRC (site tech or MCT) and have the Neverware OS updated.   This will automatically update Chrome to the most recent version.

Thanks.

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