August 2019


Welcome Back!

Technology Replacement Levy

In February, Auburn School District will ask voters to approve a replacement for our 2014 Technology Levy. The previous levy provides our district with — amongst other resources— 1:1 Chromebooks for staff and students, improved Wi-Fi infrastructure, a replacement cycle for all staff and student computers, and front entry security systems. In anticipation of a 2020 replacement levy, the Technology Levy Ad hoc Committee would like ASD staff to provide their input on goals and priorities for spending. The survey will close Friday, September 13.

Click the button below to access the survey. Thank you for your valuable input!

What's New?

YouTube Restricted Mode

In response to teacher and family feedback, Auburn School District has implemented YouTube Restricted Mode for all students. This means that students may find certain topics or videos blocked from searches and that some videos are unavailable to view due to their content. This is an extra layer of safety provided to keep our students safe and focused online.

If any videos are incorrectly blocked, staff members can unblock them for students by following the directions on this website.

PC Login Change

Security on Auburn School District Windows PCs (desktops and laptops) has been enhanced to remove the username of the last user who used the computer.

Staff need to type their username each morning to log on to the computer (e.g. jsmith) and then your password. This change reflects industry best practice and helps keep staff and student data more secure.

Google Classroom Change

Last year, Google introduced a new version of Classroom that provides additional features, including a Classwork page to organize assignments and questions by grouping them into modules and units.

Until now, teachers had the option to revert classes back to the previous version of Classroom. As of September 4, 2019, instructors will no longer have the option to revert back to the previous version of Classroom.

Additionally, all classes still using the previous version will be automatically converted to the new version of Classroom on September 4, 2019.


Parent Technology Agreement Forms

Due to changes with Google's Terms of Service, all parents have been prompted to sign a Technology Agreement form. This form is available on Skyward Family Access and provides consent for students to use Google Additional Services (such as Maps, Chrome Web Store, and YouTube) and any ASD-approved tool that requires permission for under-13s or under-18s.

To help families with this process, DOT has launched a new Data Security for Parents page that outlines the various tools for which they are providing consent, along with information on Chromebooks and VR devices.

For teachers, this means that you are no longer individually responsible for collecting permission for district approved individual apps or sites — this is now done centrally through Skyward! Remember, all software that collects student data should be reviewed with the evaluation results posted on the Data Security page on the Instructional Technology Website.

Digital Citizenship and Communication

Remind - Available to All Teachers!

Many ASD staff are using Remind to communicate with students and families. Over a million messages were sent by Auburn staff last year! To provide further features and streamline communication for families, we are now providing Remind to all district staff.

Thanks to Clever integration, there is little setup for teachers as classes are already rostered when teachers first log in using Google! A Remind link is provided on Symbaloo.

Our district will send out initial notifications to families September 3rd and interested teachers can begin communicating when they are ready. More instructions and resources can be found on the ASD Remind page.

Digital Communications Guidelines and Policies

In June, the Auburn School District board adopted new policies and procedures on social media.

To help staff make sense of these and offer further guidance for keeping themselves safe and within the bounds of the law, see Auburn SD's new Digital Communication Guidelines document.

All staff are assigned to complete a SafeSchools “Social Media and Digital Communication for All Staff” module this fall. The SafeSchools notice was sent via email on August 20 to all ASD. Principals may choose to arrange for a common time to review during individual building time.

Important Reminders

Schoolwires Teacher Pages

In October, teacher pages in Schoolwires will no longer be supported. The few staff who were maintaining these pages are encouraged to move to Google Sites to provide a more modern, flexible solution for their homepage.

This change only applies to teacher pages. All other areas of Schoolwires will remain in place.

If you would like help with moving your site, or would like to explore what other options are available for family communication, please contact your ITSS or Instructional Technology TOSA.


Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

As we refresh ourselves for the new school year, it is also a good opportunity to review the district Acceptable Use Procedures for electronic resources.

This applies equally to students and staff, and contains some guidance that you may have forgotten or of which you had been previously unaware.

Windows 7 End-of-Life

Given the transition to 1:1 computing for students grades 2-12, the standard classroom will now include one staff PC that may be located at the discretion of the teacher.

The Tech & Innovation team will be working with buildings this fall to remove legacy Windows 7 student computers from classrooms. As of January 2020, Microsoft will no longer support WIndows 7, making this change imperative. (Staff PCs running Windows 7 will be updated or replaced.)

Losing a second PC in the classroom (the student machine) may call for some adjustments in teaching setup. The new teacher Chromebook 360 Touch, in conjunction with Google Cast for Education, provides the new recommended method of classroom presentation. Otherwise, the teacher PC may be relocated for use with projection. If you require assistance with the change, please contact your ITSS or Instructional Technology TOSA, Jen Classen or Michael Fitzgerald.

Source: Wikipedia, Used with permission from Microsoft

Additional Information

This document was sent to principals, BTC/TSSs, ITSSs, and office managers. It contains much the same information as this page, plus some extra technical details for those who are interested.