The ADM Technology blog has been a quiet place for the last few months, but rest assured that it hasn’t been a quiet time in the department. I’ll post more detailed information in later posts, but here are some updates on what we’ve been up to:
New District Administration Center
The ADM Schools central offices – including the technology department – have moved to a new building! Central administration, including technology and buildings & grounds, have moved to 215 North 11th Street in Adel. This renovated facility was formerly a 6th/7th middle school, and is also the site of the original Adel High School. We’re very excited about the professional development resources available for the district (including some fun integrated technology), and especially about our new technology digs. We’re still moving in, and I’ll post more pictures and an in-depth update later.
Data Center Move
In addition to moving our offices to the new district administration center, we also moved our data center to the new facility. This time-intensive process required extension of our inter-building fiber service to the new facility, construction of the new data center infrastructure, physical moves of servers, and reconfiguration of our VLAN structure to support the move.
Phones, Phones, Phones
The new administration center required an overhaul of the analog phone service to the building as well as implementation of a VoIP solution to serve the building. Along similar lines, we also extended VoIP service at our Adel Elementary and DeSoto Intermediate sites, with some of that work still underway.
Next Generation Technology
Our next generation technology work is well underway, and I’ve spend the past couple of days organizing a visit schedule for visits to other districts to look at implemented deployment models. An update on our committee work will be posted soon.
Web Application Development
In an effort to modernize many of our internal workflows and the registration process for families, we’ve begun to more aggressively implement internal web applications that allow for fully-digital processes. Some of the systems developed recently include a document management system (based on SharePoint), an online application and review system for our Teacher Leadership and Compensation positions, an online kindergarten census form, and a web-based lunch ordering system. This is exciting work that improves efficiency and saves time and money (for the district as well as for our community), and we’ve got several more digital conversions in the planning stages.
Newsletter Template Development
Work to develop a newsletter template for a professional, district-level newsletter communication has been largely completed. Next up is the process of working on content for a first release, which is targeted for this spring.
Digital Fax Conversion
We’re working to consolidate our fax lines to one physical location (if possible; it may be two) so that we can digitize our district fax receipt/sending processes via a fax server. While it seems like faxes should have been dead years ago, many of the organizations that the district must communicate with still require fax transmissions. This conversion will allow us to streamline distribution of received faxes to appropriate employees, eliminate our need for physical fax machines and associated supplies, and will save time when transmitting faxes.
Security Camera System Research
One of the components included in a bond referendum that our district’s voters approved last year was security improvements district-wide, and one of the important security improvements that we’re looking to pursue is security camera installations. The cameras would be located in common areas (hallways, gymnasiums, cafeterias, parking lots, etc.). The technology department is currently developing an RFP for this project.
A Couple of Personal Notes
While this isn’t related to the department, my wife and I welcomed a new daughter – Nuria Lise – in September. Keeping up with Miriam and Nuria has been a challenge for these past four months, but I think all four of us are having a blast. In addition to the new addition to our family, I’ve wrapped up my PhD coursework at The University of Iowa, and am looking forward to comprehensive exams in February and the beginning of the dissertation process. Suffice it to say that it’s been a busy winter in our household.