Yorktown Update: September 9, 2011

Today, I met with Dr. Murphy, Dr. Khelfaoui, Mr. Proctor, Ms. Smith, and Ms. Teske, among a supporting cast of professionals. In addition to a lovely ceremony commemorating the tragedy of 9/11, we got a ton of information, and a lot of the answers to questions you’ve been asking. This is a big update, so here goes:

EasyGradePro Web Edition

Teachers will get a personalized email from IS on Monday, containing information on how to create your gradebook user name and password. It is imperative that you read that email thoroughly and follow the directions to activate your gradebook access correctly. Because I am not a teacher of record in my own classroom, I will not receive this email, nor will other administrators. Please be sure to be on the lookout for your EasyGradePro email, which will likely come from an address at Edline, the manufacturer of that application.

As an inconvenient wrinkle, when you create your user name with EasyGradePro Web… it doesn’t accept punctuation. (Boo.) Consider APSfirstnamelastname or something easy to remember.

Remember that Dana Smith’s team will be in A-372 at Yorktown on Tuesday, September 13, for one-on-one assistance. Plan to attend if you need help!


There was, in fact, a GroupWise outage. Mr. Proctor reported today that as of right now, that outage has been corrected, and GroupWise should once again be available for those who need access to old emails. It underscores the importance of why the switch to Exchange was necessary and timely.

KACE and Teachers Installing Software

About two weeks from now, according to Mr. Proctor, our ActiveDirectory teacher and administrator users will be able to log in to the KACE server. This means that using your new standardized APS Single-Sign-On (SSO) user name and password (the one with the dot), you’ll be able to go to a website address, see a list of instructional software, click it, and install it.

Student Accounts

All students now have accounts. A student’s user name is his or her ID number, and a student’s password is his or her six digit date of birth. These accounts will be used for a variety of services, including Google Apps (now live), Blackboard (now live), and the Wireless Network. Read below for details.

Wireless Network

The old color-coded networks are going dark. You should now be able to see the wireless networks APS and APS.Guest.

Wireless Access for Teachers

Teachers can access the APS wireless network on any device, personal or school-owned, using their standard APS user name and password. (User name: firstname.lastname / your password)

Wireless Access for Students

Students can access the APS wireless network on any device, personal or school-owned, using their standard APS user name and password. (User name: student ID number / Password: mmddyy six digit birth date)

Additionally, we will need to reconnect all school laptops to the hard-wired network one more time, so that the laptops can pick up a script that will help them automatically connect to a third and final network, APS.Computer, which will allow school-owned student laptops connect to the school network automatically. This final portion only applies to APS-owned instructional equipment.

Wireless Access for Guests

Any school guest can access the APS.Guest wireless network on any device, personal or school-owned, using the standard guest password. This will not be posted online for security’s sake, but the information will be made available to all staff via email, as well notices within the school.

Please note that all iPads used by multiple individuals (such as student-used school iPads) should use the APS.Guest network.

Student Cloud Storage

By the end of next week, we will be deploying cloud-based file storage for students through Blackboard. Students will use their standard Single Sign On user names and passwords. These files will, yes, be accessible from home as well.

Additionally, students will have APS network drive space available. These files will not be accessible from home. (That’s a long-term architectural goal that’s a long way off.)

Common Drive

The Z: drive is now available, and should be visible by both teachers and students who authenticate to the network using the above-described wireless method. I wouldn’t rely on it just yet, but if you can test it out and see if your students can see it, let me know so we can clarify any remaining issues.

Replacement Laptops

Dr. Khelfaoui hopes to have most of our still-outstanding computer needs solved by the end of October. Please be sure to let my office know if you are without access to a machine.

Parent Portal

This is huge news for Yorktown especially. This year, during the first marking period, a Parent Portal will be put in place that will allow community members to sign in to a system to see demographic information, student schedules, transcripts, interim progress reports, and final grades. Additionally, a direct link to the gradebook has been acquired and is being established, so that (most importantly of all!), users will be able to check grades through a website.

We are, as a result, not going to be producing grade reports through EasyGrade Pro as we have in the past. Thank. Goodness.

Please note that as part of the Parent Portal experience, users may see “amazon.com” at times in the URL as traffic is directed to various services. This is normal. We are using some Amazon cloud storage solutions to enhance the performance of the system.

Parent Accounts

Information Services is working over the next 18 months or so (targeted for the end of next school year) to have a Single Sign On (SSO) system in place for parents, much as we now have for teachers. We hope to have it automatically authenticate which parent has which child, custodially, so that services link automatically. This is a huge task and not quickly forthcoming, but it’s in the works. It’ll be a tremendous asset to us.

Access to APSNet, ERO, STARS

These systems are being rolled over to use ActiveDirectory, which is where your Single Sign On (SSO) user names and passwords are stored. Consequently, here’s the anticipated timeline for when you can access these systems with your new username and password:

  • APSNet: The week of September 12
  • STARS: The week of September 19
  • ERO and other smaller systems: The week of September 26

Lacking Access to S:, Z:, H:

Rights are being refreshed Monday, so this should clear up Tuesday.

If after Monday you still don’t have access to the S: drive, or if your rights appear misaligned (such as not seeing Yorktown but seeing a school you used to teach at), contact the Help Desk, and copy that information to me so I can forward it along.

S: and H: Drive Allocation Limits

So it turns out that 2TB of drive space you see on S: isn’t for us… it’s for the entire county. Consequently, we’ve been asked to reduce our S: drive use and dial all users back to 1GB as rapidly as possible. Allocation limits will be deployed soon, and we need to be ready for that. However, I am actively working with personnel at the Ed Center to discuss reasonable estimates for allocations, and what expansion is necessary to fulfill them.

If you have strong feelings about a reasonable default allocation for individuals, and for the S: drive for the school, please feel free to shoot me an email.

That’s All Folks!

Thank you for your continued support. We’ve got some terrific tools at our disposal and more on the way!