October Update

The technology team had a rough start to the year. We received and deployed more than 200 MacAirs and 16 refurbished MacBook Pros for student use, as well as 21 new MacBook Pros for staff use. We also implemented a new wifi authentication protocol for the staff network, and reimaged all 1100 student machines to work with the directory service, which required all students to set a password and log in with their student accounts, retiring the generic bccs & morcs local accounts. We also deployed new Chromebooks for incoming high school students. Personnel changes at BCCS interrupted this process, as well as delays in receiving the new equipment, so all school sites started the year playing catch up. In addition, all iMacs and MacBookPros with less than 4GBs of memory were physically upgraded to support the modern Mac operating systems. Unfortunately, this process took several weeks and we were playing catch up once instruction started, which led to a lack of confidence in student hardware readiness. At this point, the technicians are in the process of verifying that all 1100 student machines are individually correctly configured. They have completed about 75% of this process and expect to complete the project by the end of October. We also had a network configuration issue that caused significant latency at MORCS and BCCHS, which was resolved. Finally, during the reimaging of all student machines we missed the reinstallation of certain software such as Chrome and Flash, which we are in the process of redeploying.

The technicians will continue to leverage slack to confirm that each user that their help desk tickets have resolved to the user’s satisfaction. If you submit a ticket and it is resolved without the technician contacting you directly, or the solution did not solve the problem, please send me a slack direct message at @charvey and I will follow up.

In October we will focus on the following:

  • purchasing sundry supplies such as projector bulbs and laptop chargers.
  • piloting a solution for classroom sound systems using bluetooth speakers.
  • testing the new CAASPP browser for deployment
  • LanSchool deployment for all teachers for the OS X 10.x machines (not for iPads or Chromebooks)
  • onboarding process and training for the new site technicians
  • mobile device management training
  • Amazon web services disaster recovery and management training
  • iPad project for student home use at MORCS
  • ensuring all lab rooms are configured with the correct design software.

I apologize for the delay in getting the classrooms ready for instruction; we simply bit off more than we could chew, and have had to scramble to catch up. We will work to make sure that we are better prepared for next year’s first day of school. I appreciate all the hard work and patience that you have displayed and I am proud to be a part of the YPICS team. Your dedication to our students is appreciated. I am also proud of the hard work and resilience that the site technicians have shown in trying to get the classrooms ready for instruction. We will do better.