You are welcome to contact Illuminate directly

As we are more than halfway through our first year of implementation, we have progressed beyond solving organizational issues and can now focus on making DnA/ISI work better for you, the individual user. As such, do not hesitate to contact the Illuminate Help Desk via or other methods listed in the Control Panel’s help center. You no longer have to create a help desk ticket at

Upcoming changes in March

The tech teams will be adding memory to the 2009-2011 “clamshell” MacBooks, to improve performance. This will take about 10 minutes per laptop, possibly as much as 3 hours to complete for a classroom set of 15. Please coordinate with your site technician to make sure the upgrade can happen with a minimum of disruption to instruction.

We are working on creating an emergency failure backup server for certain critical infrastructure services, such as DHCP and DNS.

The report cards are being redesigned to add the Work Habits and Citizenship marks.

We continue to implement additional Amazon Web Services, including migrating away from Network Solutions DNS services, adding S3 buckets for data storage and emergency backups of critical servers. We expect to migrate all YPICS domains to AWS Route 53 by the end of summer. There will likely be a week-long period during July when external web services, such as school sites and teacher sites, may be briefly unavailable.

We continue to prepare for state testing in May. Our experience supporting the February benchmark testing will help us identify issues to solve prior to state testing.

The help desk has been servicing approximately twice the ticket load from last year, and the team has been working hard to address tickets within 24 hours, and solve them as soon as possible.

Ideas and Ah-Ha!s from IEUC17

On February 20th, seven YPICS team members went down to San Diego to attend the annual Illuminate Education User Conference, in order to explore how we can extend our use of the Illuminate ISI & DnA tools in our second year of implementation. The team focused on office processes such as attendance, custom reporting, transcripts and CALPADS, as well as implementing RTSS / RTI documentation.

Here are some takeaways:

  • Student Data Privacy
    • Need check our compliance with the various state and federal laws, which are numerous and overlapping
    • Instill in our culture more clearly defined privacy practices, especially when dealing with 3rd party vendors and external publishing mediums
    • We need to become ferpa sherpas!
  • System Admin Tips and Tricks
    • More custom reporting!
    • Create a report, mark it as a favorite, push out as a district favorite or as a tile
    • CMD+K shortcut in Illuminate
    • Use Bulletins/Banner Blasts to augment our communication
    • Develop backend access for additional flexibility in reporting (super duper secret stuff)
    • Need to create a recurring method of communicating tips, tricks and useful processes to staff
  • Master Scheduling
  • Custom Reporting
  • Cool Stuff
    • Activate is now Illuminate Resources, included
    • Lightning Grader now has a fill in section for scanning answer sheets, allowing for custom response to be graded online, same as quick assessments.
    • Free and Reduced Lunch forms generator to ease the burden on parents to complete the applications
    • There is now an IE Educator App which can be used to “catch a student doing something right” by taking a picture and the app will send it to the guardians automatically (iOS only, will be added to staff issued iOS devices)

There may have also been some team building activities…

If you have a question about the material listed or want to see if there was some specific material covered at the conference that you want listed here, please let me know.

OK to upgrade to OS X Sierra

Our tech team has identified the SFA software issue that was holding back the upgrade to OS X Sierra. The SFA software we use was not developed for use in the Apple App Store, and as such doesn’t have the digital security ID to bypass the Security & Privacy Gatekeeper setting.  Once you have upgraded to Sierra, make certain you change the “Allow Apps Downloaded From: setting to “Anywhere.”

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Planned changes in February

This month is all about testing readiness, making sure the NWEA Maps and CAAASPP browsers are working. Our tech team has worked out a solution for setting the keyboard shortcuts so the testing browser won’t close by conflict with Spaces & Mission Control. This solution has tested successfully at BCHS and will be deployed to the middle schools by the end of this week.

Next week, please make sure all of the laptops are restarted so the keyboard shortcut policy takes effect.

The student websites appear to be handling the load. The password change tool is in effect and makes changing student passwords simple and quick.

We are developing an app which is essentially a collection of YPICS specific shortcuts. It is available for preview at, please feel free to try it out.

We are currently collecting data on how we use print services, specifically copies and classroom prints. At the end of February, we will take a look and see what our print usage patterns are and how we can control costs.

Have a great February, and a successful and uneventful benchmark test!

Updating Flash & Chrome

We are currently deploying Chrome version 56.0.2924.87 and Adobe Flash version via mobile device management. If your computer doesn’t have these versions, please restart it and make sure your computer is connected to the internet. Over the next 15 minutes the software will be downloaded and updated.