Garden City Public Schools recent move to Office 365 will provide users and the technology staff with benefits. Moving Microsoft Mail to the cloud will eliminate quotas on individual mail and give employees access to online storage. In addition, the implementation of cloud computing will reduce server and support requirements. Technology will evaluate other systems and determine the feasibility of moving them to the cloud.
Garden City Public Schools takes advantage of Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF). When a student is enrolled in the District's student information system (Skyward), their Active Directory account is created. In addition, their data is moved to the Transportation system (Versatrans), Library system (Follett) and Nutrition system (One Source). Using SIF saves employees’ time and improves data accuracy throughout our applications. During the next 3 years, the Technology Department will evaluate using SIF to transfer employee records from Skyward to other systems.
Student Data Storage
With the adoption of the 1:1 iPad initiative at Garden City High School, electronic digital storage for student work is critical to the success of the program. Using the iPads for the majority of learning activities requires that a seamless and efficient workflow exists. The Technology Department will provide the service and support for eBackpack, a digital storage solution that is integrated with Skyward.
To extend and expand the usage of information and collaboration tools in teaching and learning, the District will provide access and support to staff and students for virtual collaboration. We will explore technology tools and services to provide users the ability to create, write, research, and problem-solve.
Technology support will be provided to find and utilize varied types of online assessments that will provide information that improves instruction. The model for 21st century learning requires student performance be measured when there is still time to take action to improve. Technology-based assessments can deliver this functionality to drive continual improvement.
The Technology Department maintains a $10,000,000 equipment inventory. An asset tag is placed on each new piece of equipment and entered into the inventory system (WASP). Inventory is audited at the end of each school year to ensure equipment has not been lost.
With almost 6000 Windows machines, ensuring that the operating system and applications are current can be a time consuming task. In an effort to minimize disruption to the end user and workload of the 1st level support team, automating updates is a priority. Applications (Ninite along with Kaseya) are utilized that allow 3rd level support to push updates to machines.
It is recognized that teachers and staff need real-time access to assessment, demographic, and academic information. The district has invested in a data warehouse solution (MyDistrict360). Access to this data will enable users to make well informed decisions leading to improvements in student achievement and performance. In addition, the system should combine student data with financial information to allow users to perform data analysis on district spending.
Garden City Public Schools subscribes to Microsoft Volume Licensing Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES). This allows for the deployment of a myriad of Microsoft applications for desktops, servers, and in the cloud. The Technology Department moved all staff users to Office 365 which provides an avenue to take advantage of Office applications online such as OneDrive, OneNote, and Office Online. This move provides resources to allow access to users' electronic files for the continuation of productivity and learning outside of the school day. Student e-mail at Garden City High School will be moved to Microsoft from Gmail to take advantage of the same benefits.
As a district employee, Microsoft Office licenses are available to install on up to 5 personal devices through the volume licensing program. In addition, Dell offers employee's discounts on products. Additional advantages will be pursued for employee personal use.
In 2007, Garden City Public Schools moved its student, human resource, employee, parent and financial systems to Skyward. Working with only one platform affords users a single sign-on system along with providing consistent functionality. During the next 3 years, expanded implementation will be realize