OSD wireless update

Close up of laptop and wireless mouse

Below is a message from Dave Baird in the Technology Department:

Dear Staff,

We made some changes over the summer in our wireless infrastructure and, despite our best intentions, we failed to get the word out regarding what was changed. Here is a brief synopsis of our current WiFi networks and their intended function:

  • OSD-Public – This network has no password requirements and has internet only access filtered at the most basic elementary school student level. Because it is wide open it is inherently insecure, and we found many users switching to this network, intentionally or not, and then experiencing problems connecting to other district resources. This network is intended for use by the general public and is now only available before and after school hours at each building.

  • OSD-WiFi – This network is set up for non-district owned devices used by staff and students. This network requires a login, making it much more secure. Staff and students should use their district username and password when joining this network. Access to  the appropriate district resources is then allowed based on the user’s group memberships (Staff, Student, Admin, Tech, etc.)

  • NOSD-Devices – A network for devices (iPads, tablets, e-readers, etc) owned by the district. This network is restricted to known hardware MAC addresses.  Any device added to this network whose MAC address is not on the known list will not be allowed use the network.

  • OSD-WiFi-Chrome – Wireless network restricted to district-owned Chromebooks.

  • OSD-Chromebook – A deprecated network used by Chromebooks that haven’t received an updated configuration to switch to OSD-WiFi-Chrome. This will go away at the end of the year.

  • OSD_2012 – This network is for district-owned laptops. Any device that users need to login to in order to use. We are starting to see other devices connecting to this network and will soon be implementing an access list similar to the one for NOSD-devices.

These networks all have specific intended uses and rules in place. Using devices on networks other than their intended one can cause unexpected results and the inability to reach desired resources. While we are striving to make joining the right network as easy and automatic as possible, it is important to be aware of which network is appropriate in each case, and to make sure devices are on the proper network when in use to avoid these problems.

End-of-year computer procedures

Desk with laptop computer and other office tools

The following end-of-year computer procedures are provided by the district Technology Department.

Textbooks are turned in, chairs and desks line the hallways, your bulletin boards are bare, and you are waving goodbye to your students as the buses pull away. But what about your laptop and computer carts?  

Returning to your school next year?

You may take your laptop home with you for the summer or arrange with the Technology HelpDesk to store it. If you take it home with you, you are agreeing to abide by the OSD Acceptable Use Policy and are financially responsible for its care and security. Leave your document camera, classroom microphone, and related cords and remotes together in a classroom drawer or cupboard.

Changing schools within the district?

If you are moving to another school in the Olympia School District, you will take your laptop with you, along with its charging cord, dongle, and other computer peripherals. You may take your laptop home with you for the summer or arrange with the HelpDesk to store it. Leave your document camera, classroom microphone, and related cords and remotes together in a classroom drawer or cupboard.

Retiring or moving to another district?

If you are not returning to the Olympia School District, please call the HelpDesk x6172 to arrange return of your laptop, along with charging cord, dongle, and any other computer peripherals. Leave your document camera, classroom microphone, and related cords and remotes together in a classroom drawer or cupboard.

What about the computer carts and desktops in my classroom?

Fully charge and then unplug COWs and Chromebook carts. Lock carts and store them for the summer in a locked room. OSD techs will plug in the carts in late August, but you should also check that the device charges before passing them out for student use.

OSD techs will disassemble lab and library desktops. Place classroom machines on countertops or leave in place, with cords and keyboards available.

Announcing Schoology for OSD

The following is a message from the OSD Instructional Technology Department

Graphic Announcing Schoology for OSD Available Spring 2017Earlier this year, a group of OSD teachers piloted Schoology, a learning management system (LMS). Since September these teachers have engaged in planning, delivering and assessing instruction in Schoology. They enthusiastically recommended adoption of Schoology.

As a result, the Olympia School District has entered into a three-year contract with the Schoology LMS for all OSD staff and students in grades 3-12. Funds for the purchase came from the Technology Levy, which included a line item for the adoption of an LMS.

We think it comes at a perfect time as we have increasing numbers of devices for students and a need for secure, organized systems for content and curriculum. It is anticipated that many staff will prefer to transfer much of their Web content to Schoology this spring as it is specifically designed to house course materials for students. Schoology may also be used to share information with specific employee groups, house professional development courses and provide another tool for communication.

If you would like to know more about Schoology, please see this linked announcement. As always, if you have more questions, we welcome your call or email.

Tech Tip: Be aware of Google Drive Phishing Scam

This week’s Tech Tip, submitted by Chief Information Officer Marc Elliott, addresses how to recognize a Google Drive Phishing Scam.

In the ongoing saga of different types of phishing scams, the most recent to be aware of is a serious one as it leverages Google Drive against the victim, and we are a Google district. It tries to fool the victim into accessing a fake online document to gain access to the individual’s email account.

In this phishing scam, the victim will receive an email with a link to a document (not an attachment) that looks like it’s in Google Drive/Microsoft OneDrive/Dropbox/etc. More than likely, the email will come from a legitimate sender (someone you know) as their account has already been compromised. The idea being that you would automatically trust this sender, and any links or attachments the email might contain.

When the victim attempts to access the online document, they are presented with a log-in screen that either looks like a Google Drive access screen, or a generic log-in screen for different types of cloud storage solutions. While they look legitimate, they are fake log-in screens designed to collect your username and password, thus providing the hacker access to your email to perpetuate the scam and open additional services in your name.



Awareness is important to recognize these more sophisticated forms of phishing attacks. First and foremost, determine if you are expecting a document from the person sending it to you. If not, exercise some caution before following the link and/or opening an attachment.

Second, if you follow the link to the document and end up at a sign-in page, before entering any credentials, look at the URL/address bar at the top of your browser. The address should indicate that the connection is secure (https) and that it clearly is going to the correct service (Google, Onedrive, etc).


Third, it’s almost a dead giveaway of a phishing scam when you see a  log-in screen that allows/encourages you to choose the email system provider. As with Google Drive, it’s specific that you should be using a Google account to log in, not your choice of email systems.

Remember, if you have any doubts about the authenticity of the email you have received, take a minute and contact the sender to verify. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure!


Tech Tip: Be aware of Taxpayer Advocacy Panel scam

This week’s Tech Tip, submitted by Chief Information Officer Marc Elliott, is the second in a series focusing on tax scams that become more rampant during tax season.

One of the more popular tax scams people are encountering this season is an evolution of the standard phishing (fraudulent/fake/impersonated email) scam. In this scam, people are receiving a spoofed (faked) email from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, indicating information about a refund the targeted person is to receive. The email is designed to appear official, representing the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, putting the recipient at ease. The email then asks for personal and financial information to process the refund, often through following a supplied Internet link.

Do not click any links in this type of message.

The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is a real, volunteer group that advises the Internal Revenue Service. It would never contact you to request any personal or financial information. Additionally, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel does not have access to any of your personal or financial information.

If you receive an email from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and suspect that it is a scam, report it by forwarding the email to phishing@irs.gov.

Tech Tip: Beware! It’s Tax Scam Season

This week’s Tech Tip, submitted by Chief Information Officer Marc Elliott, is the first in a series focusing on tax scams that become more rampant during tax season.

Spring is around the corner, meaning it’s that time again —Tax Scam Season! As many of us know, tax scams are ramping up in volume and sophistication, so please take a moment and learn about the scams the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning U.S. citizens about the most.

In this week’s blog post, I will focus on the  IRS Impersonation Telephone Scam.

In this scenario, taxpayers are targeted by scammers impersonating IRS agents attempting to collect on owed taxes. The scammers provide fake IRS badge numbers to appear official, fake their caller IDs to look like an IRS phone number and use aggressive tactics to scare their targets into compliance. Additionally, they often research their targets to learn as much publicly available personal information as possible to seem “official.”

The fake IRS agents tell the taxpayer that they owe the IRS money and that they must pay immediately under threat of arrest, jail time, deportation (immigrants are heavily targeted) and/or suspension of a business license. Most often they want the target to pay using a preloaded debit card or wire transfer.

Conversely, scammers will sometimes tell targets that they have an unclaimed refund. They try and talk the taxpayer into providing personal information to “claim” the refund. Such information could include: social security number, driver’s license number, birthdate, bank account and credit card numbers.

It is important to know that the IRS and its agents will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you receive a phone call like this and:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1 (800) 829-1040. IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1 (800) 366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.

February 11 is 3rd Annual OSD Technology Fair and Learn All About Kindergarten day

img_0046Mark your calendars for two annual events that will be held on Saturday, February 11 at Capital High School.

3rd Annual OSD Technology Fair 

The free event, which is open to all students, families and the community, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the high school Commons, 2707 Conger Ave. N.W. in Olympia.

School booths will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will showcase a variety of ways that students and teachers use digital tools to support the learning process.

Fair visitors are also invited to watch student technology challenge presentations from 1-3 p.m. Each school has an opportunity to enter a student team in a technology challenge to be revealed the morning of the Technology Fair. Teams will work collaboratively on the challenge from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and present to the audience in the afternoon.

Elementary school students will present their technology challenge from 1-2 p.m. Middle and high school students will present how they responded to their challenge from 2-3 p.m.

Learn All About Kindergarten

dsc_0114The Olympia School District will hold its annual “Learn All About Kindergarten” informational event starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 11 at Capital High School.

If you know of neighbors or friends who have a child entering kindergarten in the Olympia School District in fall 2017, please share this information with them and encourage them to attend this free event. Capital High School is located at 2707 Conger Ave. N.W. in Olympia.

The event begins at 10 a.m. in the high school theater with a welcome by Superintendent Dick Cvitanich. Families will then have until 11:30 a.m. to visit school booths set up in the high school gym and learn about a variety of topics related to kindergarten and school in general.

Among other things, families may learn about kindergarten program options, riding the bus, how to register for kindergarten and how to use the district’s Family Access student information system to stay updated on everything from grades to lunch accounts. The school district’s Transportation department will also have a school bus on site for parents to learn about bus safety and rules, and to see the inside of the bus.

A reminder that children should be 5 years old by August 31, 2017 to be eligible to start kindergarten in September 2017.

The event is geared for adults of incoming kindergartners in the Olympia School District. Childcare is not provided.