Welcome back to another year at The Original Valley! We hope that your summer has refreshed you for another year of educating our community. While you were away, there were some changes that occurred and we want to make you aware of them. Below you will find some things that you may want/need to know as you begin the school year. This post is organized into two themes: Building Changes and Instructional Technology. The post is long but contains important information. Therefore, I have added bullet points to help you more easily find what you might be looking for.
There are a number of new staff members this year at Waubonsie Valley. We will get to know them more through the “Warriors You Should Know” posts, but until then, here are our newest Tribe members:
- Jessica Conterras (Nurse)
- Sierra Dimonte (Social Studies)
- Ryne Gill (Student Services)
- Jennifer Golminas (Science)
- Nicholas Grijalva (Media)
- Alex Hurst (TEE)
- Michelle Kohs (English)
- Jennifer Nebor (Science)
- Kevin Roth (Student Services)
- Stephen Spinelli (Math)
- Meghan Thomas (FACS)
- Grant Tillotson (Science)
- Mary Wright (Social Worker)
Be sure to give them a nice Warrior welcome when you see them around the building and make it a point to introduce yourself.
You probably already know that the building was shut down for 3 weeks this summer for asbestos abatement. This was due to new tile being installed. You can see the new tile throughout many areas of the building.
Matt Ristow created two new seating benches dedicated to a former Waubonsie Valley family. You can
find them near the front of the building near the Senior patio.
To promote our Warrior Values, the Warrior Way, improve school culture, and help locate rooms throughout the building you will see new signs, quotes, and bulletin boards around WV.
A big thanks to Don Dvorak for making the vinyl signs.
New Changes in the LMC
The collaboration rooms have been enclosed with glass walls and a sliding glass door, as was planned when the rooms were originally created. In addition, the LMC has received “new” furniture. Some of the furniture items are new while others were received from other buildings in the district. The tables and chairs that were formerly in the LMC have been moved into the new ARC space which replaces the former MITS lab.
College and Career Center Change
The College and Career Center is back in cafeteria once again. The space is perfect for students to meet with college and armed forces recruiters as well as to get assistance with college and scholarship applications.
Office Visitor Reception Makeover
The front office received a makeover this summer making it more inviting for visitors. I think you will agree that the new layout is more sensible and less confusing for those visiting Waubonsie Valley.
Instructional Technology changes:
The district has connected Google Classroom to our Student Information System. You can learn more about this important update in the District Little SIS-Google Classroom FAQ Document
There are some additional FAQs located here.
You must accept the invitations in Google Classroom in order for students to appear in your rosters. Please note that it can take 24 hours for your students to appear in your roster after you accept your invitation. Classrooms will adjust on a nightly basis to reflect any changes in scheduling or enrollment.
In addition to these changes from the district, Google has vastly improved Classroom this summer. Highlights include organization of the stream and classwork, the ability to create quizzes directly in Google Classroom, and improved feedback and grading options. Get all the details in these posts, Optimizing Google Classroom for the way you work and 9 Updates for Google Classroom.
There are more changes in the works for later this fall, including the ability to give Google Forms quizzes in a secure browser. Stay tuned for more information.
Everyone has premium access to Flipgrid thanks to Microsoft purchasing Flipgrid over the summer. There have been some updates to the Flipgrid interface, so please refer to our Flipgrid Tips and Resources Document.
Noteworthy Update: When you create a grid, you will have three community options: (1) My Classroom or School, (2) Student ID #List, and (3) PLC’s and Public Grids. If you choose My Classroom or School, it will ask for our school’s email domain. You need to use the following two domains: k12.ipsd.org and ipsd.org. If you plan to utilize the PLC and Public Grid option, all participants must be 16+ years.
Here are detailed instructions for adding the k12.ipsd.org domain.
Everyone has premium access to Pear Deck. If you use Google Slides or Powerpoint in class, you can start using Pear Deck immediately with very little preparation. Learn more about Pear Deck with our Pear Deck Tips and Resources Document. There are some new incredible Critical Thinking Slides now available.
All classes have been loaded into Mastery Manager. Classes will continue to be updated nightly to match eSchool.
As part of the yearly rollover, all tests in Mastery Manager created before August have been archived in the system. Archived tests are still accessible, they were just removed from your 2018-19 assessment list. *Remember to duplicate tests from previous years in order to reuse them!
Previously, passwords needed to be changed on District computers every 60 days. After a thorough review of best practices, security guidelines from the National Institute for Standards and Technology, IPSD passwords will now expire after 6 months. While you can opt to reset more frequently, we encourage you to continue selecting secure passwords to ensure the protection of District and student data.
Also, starting Thursday, August 16, at 7:00am, the Google sign-in process for all District users will use the District user name and password. You will no longer need/have a separate password for accessing your Google account.
Adobe Creative Suite
Indian Prairie’s new agreement with Adobe offers the full suite of Creative Cloud software on District-owned computers. This also includes home use for students and District employees. When using Adobe products (Acrobat, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, etc) you may be prompted to sign in using your district email address and password. Besides using the products on your district issued laptop, you may also now install Adobe Creative Suite on your home computer.
Free Microsoft Office Home Use
Students and District employees are eligible for Office 365 Education, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote at no cost. You can get more information about this here.
I know that this is a lot of changes to the beginning of the year, so if you have any questions, please contact Chris Skrzypchak at extension 3645, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by my office in the LMC.