Tech Report

Date: May 21st, 2013
To: Michael Green
From: Steve Rippl
Subject: Tech Dept. Executive Summary


The interactive whiteboard we were gifted lasted month went to Melissa Wager in the Primary School, she had used one during her time up at Yale and had asked about getting one down here a while back.  Apparently it’s been very well received by the students and we’re glad it’s found a good home.

Online MSP testing finished up without any more technical issues, it seems to have been the smoothest year so far from our perspective.  Of course this will soon be moot as the year after next (2014-15) we’ll be moving to new software again with the Smarter Balanced Assessments (the client side test component of this new software is based on the open source Firefox web browser), but software quality testing is already well underway across the nation so hopefully that will be an easy transition.  Our State has plans to push many more schools, including high schools, onto the new platform when it comes.

Camas School District is donating some more computers to us, both Dell 740 workstations and CTL thin-clients.  While I’ve been focusing more on staff computers the past couple of years we’ve almost completely replaced all the troubling slow single core machines for them.  Now however we have the looming deadline of April 2014 as the potential end of support for Windows XP and so we need to turn our attention to a bunch of student computers.  We have software that “freezes” machines, and so a lack of security updates isn’t an imperative to upgrade computers immediately, but it does focus our attention.  Apparently Camas will have several hundred thin-clients to donate in the coming year which will greatly help this effort (they are moving to a different, more proprietary thin-client technology and so are getting rid of their general purpose CTL machines - great for us!)

Finally, we’ve begun planning for the summer, collecting work orders from staff and listing possible (and necessary) server, workstation and software upgrades.  We’ll firm all that up in the next few weeks.