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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Learn, Teach, Inspire Learning Conference- July 21,22, 23

Click the link below for details on the HCS summer learning conference- Learn, Teach, Inspire











Engage: Hoover City Virtual School

Coming August 2015 http://t.co/imcJK7pQzr

Engage: Hoover City Virtual School

20-May-2015 (HCS) - The expansion of Hoover City Schools’ commitment to the virtual classroom continues this fall with Engage: Hoover City Virtual School.
The six-course, two-teacher program will augment existing virtual experiences currently available to HCS students.  The program’s inception coincides with new legislation requiring Alabama school systems to expand virtual classrooms (SB72).
“The timing is spot-on.  The demand and the situational context is rising at the same time as our capacity to be able to do this in a quality way,” Dr. Ron Dodson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said.
Hoover City Schools has provided virtual courses for students in some capacity for approximately ten years. In the last three years, both high schools have offered local virtual or blended courses to students. Courses have ranged from credit advancement to credit recovery to general courses.  Chris Bell (Spain Park High School) and Barcley Gerndt (Hoover High School) will serve as the Engage teachers.  Bell and Gerndt will provide office hours for students on both campuses. The teachers were chosen for their background in online instruction, dedication to students and an innovative spirit.
“Over the last six months there has been a goal to move toward district-wide virtual courses. The goal was to find pockets of innovation and utilize those resources to benefit all Hoover students, rather than students at each high school,” Dr. Dodson said
U.S. History 11, Government, Economics, English 11, English 12 and ACT Prep will all be offered through Engage: Hoover City Virtual School.  In addition, virtual courses will continue to be offered through ACCESS, Dual Enrollment, Early College and various courses at each high school.  
Engage: Hoover City Virtual School complements Hoover City Schools' existing Engaged Learning Initiative (E.L.I.), the district’s 1:1 rollout.  For Chief Technology Officer Mr. Bryan Phillips, the two programs prove a natural fit.
“The idea of E.L.I. was to give our students access to learning 24/7 - so a virtual classroom is exactly where we see this going in the future. Our infrastructure and network are ready for this.  If I was a student in one of our high schools I would be ecstatic to be able to get some or all of my classwork done in a virtual setting,” Phillips said.
HCS curriculum leaders acknowledge that virtual learning will not replace “brick and mortar schools” altogether, nor will it solve capacity issues. Despite popular beliefs, most students like coming to school for the social benefits, school leaders say.
“One of the challenges virtual teachers face is engaging students in an environment void of body language and traditional student-teacher relationships,” HCS Technology Integration Coordinator, Mrs. Kelli Lane, said. “Providing professional development in the best practices of online instruction is a key element in the development of the virtual school.”
To that end, virtual teachers will participate in several learning opportunities this summer targeting best practices. Additionally, teachers will develop content and structures for the online classroom.
Dr. Dodson has seen the good and the bad when it comes to virtual learning. Some early adopters of the virtual experience discovered they unknowingly placed unreasonable workloads on the virtual students. Instructors themselves had difficulty balancing workloads necessary to execute digital learning. Those challenges have been addressed, Dodson says, and HCS stands ready to provide a first-class, virtual experience.
“This certainly will light a fire under people to start moving," Dr. Dodson said.  "We have been moving in this direction for quite a while. We have enough people that know how to do this to make it successful.”

Friday, May 22, 2015

Engage


Coming August 2015 http://t.co/imcJK7pQzr

Engage: Hoover City Virtual School

20-May-2015 (HCS) - The expansion of Hoover City Schools’ commitment to the virtual classroom continues this fall with Engage: Hoover City Virtual School.
The six-course, two-teacher program will augment existing virtual experiences currently available to HCS students.  The program’s inception coincides with new legislation requiring Alabama school systems to expand virtual classrooms (SB72).
“The timing is spot-on.  The demand and the situational context is rising at the same time as our capacity to be able to do this in a quality way,” Dr. Ron Dodson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said.
Hoover City Schools has provided virtual courses for students in some capacity for approximately ten years. In the last three years, both high schools have offered local virtual or blended courses to students. Courses have ranged from credit advancement to credit recovery to general courses.  Chris Bell (Spain Park High School) and Barcley Gerndt (Hoover High School) will serve as the Engage teachers.  Bell and Gerndt will provide office hours for students on both campuses. The teachers were chosen for their background in online instruction, dedication to students and an innovative spirit.
“Over the last six months there has been a goal to move toward district-wide virtual courses. The goal was to find pockets of innovation and utilize those resources to benefit all Hoover students, rather than students at each high school,” Dr. Dodson said
U.S. History 11, Government, Economics, English 11, English 12 and ACT Prep will all be offered through Engage: Hoover City Virtual School.  In addition, virtual courses will continue to be offered through ACCESS, Dual Enrollment, Early College and various courses at each high school.  
Engage: Hoover City Virtual School complements Hoover City Schools' existing Engaged Learning Initiative (E.L.I.), the district’s 1:1 rollout.  For Chief Technology Officer Mr. Bryan Phillips, the two programs prove a natural fit.
“The idea of E.L.I. was to give our students access to learning 24/7 - so a virtual classroom is exactly where we see this going in the future. Our infrastructure and network are ready for this.  If I was a student in one of our high schools I would be ecstatic to be able to get some or all of my classwork done in a virtual setting,” Phillips said.
HCS curriculum leaders acknowledge that virtual learning will not replace “brick and mortar schools” altogether, nor will it solve capacity issues. Despite popular beliefs, most students like coming to school for the social benefits, school leaders say.
“One of the challenges virtual teachers face is engaging students in an environment void of body language and traditional student-teacher relationships,” HCS Technology Integration Coordinator, Mrs. Kelli Lane, said. “Providing professional development in the best practices of online instruction is a key element in the development of the virtual school.”
To that end, virtual teachers will participate in several learning opportunities this summer targeting best practices. Additionally, teachers will develop content and structures for the online classroom.
Dr. Dodson has seen the good and the bad when it comes to virtual learning. Some early adopters of the virtual experience discovered they unknowingly placed unreasonable workloads on the virtual students. Instructors themselves had difficulty balancing workloads necessary to execute digital learning. Those challenges have been addressed, Dodson says, and HCS stands ready to provide a first-class, virtual experience.
“This certainly will light a fire under people to start moving," Dr. Dodson said.  "We have been moving in this direction for quite a while. We have enough people that know how to do this to make it successful.”

Friday, May 15, 2015

HCS ELI Expands the Classrooms- Shelby County Reporter Article

Link to Article

Chromebook Parent Night Grades 3-5 SUCCESS

Thank you to the parents that joined us last night to discuss preparing for the summer. Click the link below to see the presentation shared with parents. 

Parent Presentation






Exchange to Google Migration. MUST READ! UPDATE

We hope by today you have filtered through your email and gotten it down to exactly what you will need after the transition. If not those directions are below.

A few concerns have been voiced and I would like to address them.

  • Who else is using GAFE (Google Apps for Education) for their email?

  • Will I have two email addresses?
Yes, and no. You will have both addresses, but they will be accessible in one spot. Both your hoover.k12.al.us and hcs-students.net address will be available in the same location. www.gmail.com. Your primary email address will continue to be XXXX@hoover.k12.al.us
  • Will I still have access to Microsoft Office products? 
    YES, this migration does not impact your use of Office products on your Windows desktop/laptop. 
If you have any questions or concerns, please put those here. We have created a FAQ on www.hcseli.com.
bp

Friday, May 8, 2015

Underclassmen Turn in of devices

Parents and Students:
Please be aware of the following information- IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE DEVICE PROTECTION PLAN
  1. ALL students that DID NOT buy the device protection plan will have to turn in his/her device by May 29, 2015.
  2. After May 29, 2015, police reports will be filed for any unreturned devices.
  3. The technology staff will be present at both high schools during the week of exams for students to return their devices once exams are complete. Any students that do not return their devices the week of exams will have to bring them to the Old Berry location to return them the week of May 26-29th.
  4. ALL students must return their device and charger. The cost for a replacement chromebook charger is $40.00 and an iPad charger is $30.00. These fees will be added to the student’s my school fees account. We cannot accept on site payment.
  5. (current Sophomores and Juniors ONLY)Before returning your iPad, you must delete find my iPad and erase all content and settings. Instructions can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Rq8AyMp-W3da83L9OyFNAKt0SRN1k1onnAhBvOURzrY/edit?usp=sharing
  6. Any devices that cannot be wiped/reset are considered a total loss and therefore will be charged a total loss fee of $50.00. You must fill out this form and pay the $50.00 fee for your device to be considered not stolen. The form to fill out for lost/locked devices can be found here: https://docs.google.com/a/hcs-students.net/forms/d/1Dex1Rl-x7HBqUQ0T5KWDz-uUhfgTcyqy5rGxs37VCS8/viewform?usp=send_form
**We must have this form filled out and the fee paid by May 29, 2015.
***You must be logged in with hcs-students.net account to fill it out.
  1. When paying for technology fees, you must select IT Department instead of your school. The Technology Department can only accept online payments. We cannot accept cash or checks on site. More in depth My School Fees directions can be found on our website www.hcseli.com

Handout of devices for the new school year will begin the week before school starts. Those dates will be sent out as soon as they are available. All students grades 9-12 will receive a Dell Touchscreen Chromebook.

The Device Protection Plan for the 2015-2016 school year will be available on www.myschoolfees.com beginning August 1st.

If you have the device protection plan here is information you will need!
iPads to Chromebooks swap- (current Sophomores and Juniors ONLY)
Throughout the summer we will offer specific dates for those students who wish to exchange their ipad for a Dell touchscreen Chromebook. We will offer dates throughout the month of June at the Old Berry location. We will offer times at the school site as well during July. These dates will be sent out as soon as we are able to secure space in each facility to complete exchanges. Any students who have not turned their iPad in by August 10th must do so. This is the mandatory hand in date. Any iPads not turned in by August 10th will be considered stolen.

Repairs for Summer-
Summer repairs will be conducted at the Old Berry campus ONLY. Your device protection plan covers the device until the first day of school for 2 breaks at no charge. In the event you use those 2 breaks (or if you have used them throughout the school year), the charge will depend on the cost of the repair. The protection plan is purchased every school year.

Summer hours for repairs will be posted on our website www.hcseli.com
Our website also contains the service request form as well answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at hcseli@hoover.k12.al.us

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Privacy and HCS apps

After the post earlier tonight, I went back and looked at some of our privacy concerns and the way we use apps in Hoover. This site on the eli page will explain a lot of those details.

Why is my child’s Google Apps account her student ID number for Hoover City Schools? 
Hoover City Schools employs a “walled garden” approach to implement Google Apps for Education. Using student ID numbers as user IDs is consistent with existing privacy regulations. While Hoover City schools does use student ID numbers in different internal applications, the numbers are protected by a PIN (personal identification number) as in the case of lunch money or the students have no direct access to the system as in the case of the library system. When the school system's Technology Department reviewed Google Apps for Education, the issue of students being able to see the ID number of other students was found to be within acceptable security guidelines because Google Apps accounts are secured by a personal password. Teachers and staff members have been notified about acceptable and unacceptable uses of student ID numbers. 

What about Google Apps for Education privacy?
Hoover City Schools is responsible for protecting and safeguarding the confidentiality of student information. Hoover City Schools has contracted with Google to provide access to Google Apps for Education in a closed and secure environment for students and staff members. Google Apps is governed by a detailed privacy policy and security measures. Hoover City Schools has reviewed the privacy policy and security measures and believes they appropriately protect the privacy of users. Under the school system's terms of service agreement with Google, the company is obligated to comply with FERPA regulations. Additional information about Google Apps for Education security and privacy may be found at www.google.com/apps/intl/en/edu/privacy.html.

What assurances has Google given Hoover City Schools that it will not collect data on my student?
Hoover City Schools has a signed agreement with Google based on the terms of this agreement: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html. Please see Section 7. CCPS Google Apps for Education is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as FERPA, and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

Who has access to my child’s account?
The Google Apps agreement with Hoover City Schools contractually ensures that our students, faculty and staff members are the sole owners of their data. Google will only access content stored on Apps when a Hoover City Schools administrator grants Google explicit permission to do so. One example would be to investigate inappropriate use. 

Does my child retain copyright of his creations?
The same copyright rules apply to content in Google Apps for Education that apply to any other creation, provided the student is the sole owner. 

What protection will Hoover City Schools provide so that my child is not accessing inappropriate content on the web?
There are no advertisements used with Google Apps for Education. Google Apps for Education is an online collaboration tool that is accessed using a web browser and requires a login and password. Hoover City Schools also uses a CIPA-compliant web filter that blocks inappropriate categories. This filter is active on Chromebooks in school and  will be outside of school 2014-15 school year.

What information is "directory information"?
Hoover City Schools shares "directory information" with several vendors in the creation of accounts for our students. In concurance with FERPA,  Directory information means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. “Directory information” includes items such :
Name
State Number
Address
Email Address
Grade School
Gender
DOB

Where is Hoover City School's Data Governance Policy?
Hoover City Schools shares it's Data Governance Policy in this location.


Data Governance

      This article published this week in Education Week, made me realize that I probably needed to put out a blog post on our Data Governance Policy and Procedures. And this article by ISTE gives you 9 big tips.  I will not bore you with details, just bullet points and links to the actual documents. 

Main Point. The need for such policy and procedures.- To protect our students and employees confidential data.

These procedures apply to all data that is stored electronically by the Hoover City school system.  These procedures are intended to protect information that is deemed confidential by law from unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure throughout its life cycle and to protect the integrity of the school system’s equipment and software, including providing an appropriate level of security over the equipment and software used to process, store and transmit such information.    The intent of these procedures is to implement the laws governing the confidentiality of the school system’s records.  Nothing in these procedures is intended to create or expand any entitlement to confidentiality of records beyond that which is established by law.  Furthermore, nothing herein should be deemed to create or expand any entitlement to copies of such records beyond what is established by law.  In general, Hoover City Schools reserves the right to adopt, revise, interpret, amend, repeal, suspend, or apply its policies and procedures according to its assessment of the needs and interests of the school system; subject only to such limitations on the exercise of such prerogatives as may be imposed by law.
FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
COPPA: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
SOPIPA: Student Online Personal Information Protection Act
PPRA: Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment

Think about this from each role in our system:
Student- A student needs to be aware of what information they share with anyone, both digitally and in written form. They must be educated on what this looks like.
Teacher- Teachers must protect the student data as if it were their own. Student data can range from notes, grade books, or cloud drives.
Administrators- Admins must be aware of the extreme amounts of data stored in our system. They must also have high expectations on controlling that data, and portray those expectations to all employees and students.
The district must work with each and every stake holder to insure that all data is clean, up to date and stored in the safest manner available. They must ensure that the data is easily accessible and available at all times. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me with them and I will work to answer them the best i can.
Bryan Phillips
CTO 
Hoover City Schools
bphillips@hoover.k12.al.us

Monday, May 4, 2015

Exchange to Google Migration

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Hoover City Schools will officially become a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school district and complete its migration from Microsoft Outlook services to Google for email, calendar, and contacts. This process will take place the first week of June. Below is a timeline we expect to follow closely. This is a huge operation and it will take several days to complete. Utilizing the resources we have contracted to help us, we have formulated this plan involving several different moving pieces. That being said, please be patient as we work through the plan. We will be available to help, and nothing will be lost. The current exchange email servers will still be in place. This is the most current information and anything that was stated before this was what we had expected up to that point. There are certain action items that we ask you to follow, and they are your responsibility to help make this a seamless transition. They are highlighted in Green.

All current information can be found at www.hcseli.com   


ON MAY 15, 2015.
Google should automatically migrate Email, Calendar and Contacts.

1.  Clean out your Exchange account in Outlook by May 15, 2015. Large accounts will take longer to migrate.
  • Delete any unnecessary emails.
  • Empty Deleted Items.
    • Right click on Deleted Items.
    • Empty Folder.

2. Bookmark any current Google Sites you have created.
  • Open Google Chrome on your computer.
  • Open each Google site and bookmark by clicking the star on the omnibar (web address bar).
  • Note: This step is needed to help you locate any sites created with hcs-students.net in the address following the migration. Additional instructions will given later.

3. Have you created a Google account with your @hoover.k12.al.us email address?
  • If you have previously created a personal Gmail account using your current hoover.k12.al.us, please fill out this form so we can give you an extra set of directions to help your migration.









On June 1

We will begin the migration/copying of the data. We will start by moving your last 45 days of email. That will take several days. Your last year of email will follow soon after. This process will take a little over two weeks to complete.



After June 1

To Check your Email (Off-campus)
  • Navigate to www.gmail.com
  • To log in
    • Enter your email address  XXXX@hoover.k12.al.us
    • Your default password will be Lastname+last four of social security number. (first letter of last name will be a capital letter)
Example: for John Smith= Smith1234
NOTE: You will be prompted to change this password the first time you are on campus and login to your Windows laptop/desktop.

To Check your Email (On-campus)
  • If you are on campus, login to your Windows desktop/laptop.Your default password will be Lastname+last four of social security number. (first letter of last name will be a capital letter)
Example: for John Smith= Smith1234
  • You should automatically a receive a prompt to change your password. This will also be your new Google password.
  • Navigate to www.gmail.com and log in using your XXXX@hoover.k12.al.us and the password you just created.

Over the next few weeks we will pass on more information as soon as we finalize the details. Including mobile devices and other more personal needs. If you have any questions or concerns, please put those here. We will create a FAQ on www.hcseli.com.