Welcome to the Kent School District Information Technology Department webpage. Who is IT? We’re the ones who get IT done. You may know us by our work installing and supporting SmartBoards, laptops, District email, wireless internet, document cameras, eLearning, Skyward, StaffLink, and so much more. Behind the scenes, we’re keeping the financial and human resources, library, food service, student information, and countless other systems up and running. Basically, if it plugs into a wall (and doesn’t make food), we’ve got our hands in it. Our motto is “Whatever IT takes.” That means providing students and staff with innovative, cutting-edge tools in a stable and reliable environment and superior support to keep it all running smoothly.
We are here to help. For questions or support, please call x7030.
Click here to view the Information Technology department's organizational chart.
Welcome Back! A lot has happened over the summer. The Information Technology team has been working hard and would like to share some exciting new things so you know what to expect as you start this school year. Please take a moment to watch the video above or read the message below. I would recommend watching the video. Our students and staff have done a great job with it!
I’d also like to take a minute to recognize the IT staff and IT student interns for their work on these projects. It has been one of the busier summers in recent years. IT staff and students have worked every weekend since the beginning of July to make sure that these projects are completed on time for the start of school.
Thank you and have a great first day!
Chief Information &
Automated Operations Officer
Reimaging & Refreshing Computers
This summer, we reimaged approximately 16,000 computers with Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, and a handful of other software packages and helpful new features. At first these changes may look and feel new and scary, but you’ll quickly see how they make our work easier, more efficient, and more secure.
Another exciting element of the new image is a feature called Direct Access. Now, when you take your District issued laptop home or even to a conference in Washington DC, you’ll no longer have to use VPN to access your district files or Outlook. Your laptop will connect automatically, just as though you were sitting in your classroom – so much easier!
Providing Even Better Technical Support
This year we’re introducing the soon to be famous green cable. Before, when students and staff called the CSC, our representatives were occasionally unable to see or remotely access laptops–making troubleshooting difficult and ineffective. Now, when laptop users call the CSC, they can connect to the green cable in their classroom, enabling users to share their computer thus giving the CSC staff the ability to see and potentially solve their technical issue right then and there.
These green cables will be helpful as we distribute 2,100 one-to-one laptops for the first time to all 9th graders. We prepared those laptops this summer and we also refreshed 1,000 desktops and 1,600 laptops throughout the district. We’re also excited to announce our district’s student to computer ratio at every school is now lower than ever before!
Enabling Greater Connectivity
With more laptops at all grade levels, the volume and demand on the wireless connection will be greater. To accommodate this demand, our network engineers designed an expanded wireless system. This summer our student interns installed 160 new wireless access points at the secondary level and replaced 570 access points at the elementary level –all to help guarantee quick connectivity for each and every student. Did you know that the district’s wireless network is one of the most advanced in the country?!
STAR Laptop Grant Program
So what happens to some of our old, outdated equipment and computers that are too slow for instructional use and no longer cost effective to keep running? We have a great program called STAR where families qualifying for free and reduced lunch can apply to receive a computer for home. For FREE! This year, we’ll be offering laptops to our KSD families. Why laptops? Because we now have more laptops than desktops in the District and the laptops purchased five years ago are being refreshed because they cost more to repair and maintain than they do to replace.
Our generous community funds instructional technology through the voter-approved Technology Levy, so it only makes sense to give the technology back instead of sending it to a landfill! Before receiving these laptops, district volunteers will provide free training in multiple languages to prepare families for their new device. Tell your students and their families to look for the new laptop grant application in your schools’ office.
Now, you might be thinking, what good are those computers without internet access? Comcast has launched a new program called Internet Essentials that will offer qualifying families high speed Internet for just $9.95 a month. Providing computer access both at school and at home helps to narrow the digital divide and provides our students with the skills they need for their future. After all, technology is everywhere!
Increasing Safety and Security
Over the summer, IT helped plan and execute a district wide initiative to increase security for our staff and students and to increase efficiency of District operations. Previously, each KSD campus had a different ID badge. This inconsistency was confusing and ultimately hurt district security. Our new badges are color coded by campus, and now have an overall KSD design that is cohesive across the district.
It isn’t just a piece of plastic either. These new cards have a special chip that will soon allow you to access your building without a key. In the coming years, badges will also integrate with systems that control making copies, buying lunch, checking out books, and accessing sensitive computer files.
These are just a few of the projects highlighted in the video above! Have a great first day of school!