Back to in person learning
We're back to school this year. We did add a new virtual school this year. The Global E-Learning Academy. For anyone who still wants an at home experience, this is the choice for them. It has proved interesting to update our rostering options for everything.
We're still using Zoom and Meet a lot but there are some in-person meetings taking place as well. Looking forward to seeing some of the friendly neighborhood technicians at other locations again.
We're still replacing staff devices in groups. Hopefully we'll get that finished up this year.
The year of waiting
We ordered lots of equipment this summer and much of it has still not shipped. Chip shortages! Shipping Delays! Ships waiting to be unloaded. Hopefully we'll get the equipment in and everyone will still be excited. Lots of Promethean Smart TV's are expected around the end of the year.
Still loving our new Scale stack and plan to add Scale to our Central Office location. It just works! We used to have little strange issues with our previous virtualization platform. Scale has been rock solid. Just talked to Acronis and now the backups can restore full images to the stack without some of the steps normally required.
We are very close to 1:1 in K-12. We have always utilized Chromebook carts in the classrooms for student devices and the elementary decided to keep carts in K-2. 3rd - 12th handed out devices to all students...so we are having some growing pains ensuring the students bring them in charged and ready for instruction.
We updated several servers this summer. Security is always one of the reasons we try to replace critical infrastructure. Still have several to replace but making progress,
School ended very differently last year. Everyone was at home doing remote learning. We had to scramble to get everything out to students and show teachers how to use Meet and Zoom.
Overall I thought it went very well considering.. We gave out around 400 devices to students who didn't have enough computers at home. We did a lot of remote screen sharing to troubleshoot issues for students and staff. We did run into a previously unknown audio issue with our Lenovo Yoga staff devices. Hope to replace several of those this year.
We're still planning the opening of the 20-21 school year so we're not sure yet what we'll be doing. Wish us luck.
We swapped out our primary VMware stack and transitioned to Scale Computing. So far I'm loving it. Much faster than the 3-2-1 setup we had previously. Love the interface as well. I'm still learning but I'm impressed!
I was a big fan of Veeam for backups with VMWare so I still have my fingers crossed that they will get that working between them.
We have always utilized Chromebook carts in the classrooms for student devices. Since we may be going back to some form of full or partial remote learning this coming year, we don't have enough devices to have all the carts at school and hand out the 400 devices like we did at the end of last year. We are considering going 1:1 in 4th -12th grade. If we do this, the students will be required to have their device with them while at school and have them at home on remote learning days.
What would summer be without imaging? More and more Imaging.
We are ordering more Chromebooks this year. We love them and they are awesome! Adding more touch devices this year to round out our Pre-K - 2 devices.
More projects are in the works. Check back for more updates.
Website, Phones, Active Directory, etc...
We have a new website. www.elkincityschools.org will be the official site for Elkin City Schools. The site is still under construction. Please give us a couple of weeks to get it into better shape. Check back often as we will be making changes quickly to get more content loaded up.
The new phone system is up and operational. Yay! Everyone is on the same system now so the extensions have changed to 4 digit numbers. We are still working out some kinks. Please bear with us We may have more issues but we will work through them. We think you'll like the new system... once you learn how to use it and the features.
Moved EES to Active Directory:
Elkin Elementary has been moved over to Active Directory. We will be doing some initial training next week. It will be different for those at EES. Believe me, no one will miss Novell (Microfocus now) more than I (Britt). It's been in my life since Netware 2.x (1986). We will begin migrating the Central Office over very soon. After that time, we will be shutting our Novell servers down for good. We'll keep a backup of the virtual machines. Maybe I'll crank them up once in awhile to reminisce. For those of you who knew Novell... c'mon admit it... Salvage was amazing.
With the move to AD at EES, we have almost completed our Windows 10 migration. EHS/EMS were transitioned last year. We had several issues early on but they were solved and things started smoothing out.
Teamed up with Maintenance on Security Updates:
We've updated some security issues. Staff members will be getting more information on these very soon.
What would summer be without imaging? Fun perhaps?
We are ordering more Chromebooks this year. We love them and they are awesome! We will also continue to work with Neverware and their CloudReady project. It's amazing how easy it is to turn an older laptop/netbook into a functional Chromebook. If we could only get those old wireless chipsets up to 5Ghz.... Oh well...