Technology Director Report
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Date: September 18, 2017
Subject: Tech Dept Executive Summary
Well it was a busy summer for us as always! We had more Chromecarts going out, our remaining thin-client labs became Chromebox labs, and there were a host of staff machine upgrades, RAM upgrades and other seasonal room changes needed. We were fortunate to have some extra part-time help in the form of Andrew Johnson, a high school para, and coach, but frankly even with the extra pair of hands, August was still a difficult month for us. The annual combination of rooms being cleaned and/or refurbished combined with staff changes means every year we have a lot of rooms to cable back together in time for the start of school! We got there as we always do (thanks to the efforts of the guys), but a host of background updates we had planned for the summer (mostly software updates) didn’t get done and will need to be fitted in during the year.
We had electricians in during the summer running cabling for our new security cameras as well as ceiling drops for classroom wireless access points in the primary, intermediate and middle schools. We bought more access points at the end of the year with support from the Erate program, and now with this new cabling, we can start mounting them on ceilings to support the growing number of wireless clients we have. Managing (and growing) our wireless infrastructure and the approx. 1,500 devices on it has it’s challenges, but thankfully we’ve invested in good quality equipment, and we have staff with the technical capabilities to make it perform.
But the year is underway, and in large part, our teachers have had what they needed to get going successfully. We have plenty of helpdesk tickets coming in, but it’s mostly small stuff. It’ll be a little while still until all the new years changes have shaken out and our department can settle back into its usual pace.
On a personal note, I’m involved in teaching the new “Intro to Computer Science” class at the high school. There’s a small team of us, myself, Mike Lindsay and Jim Darden, a community volunteer. The course is organized by TEALS, a Microsoft philanthropies organization working to get computer science into schools. We attended some trainings over the summer, and they provide a syllabus and materials for us to present. I think it’s going very well, the students are all engaged and having fun with it!