Important Information for all Staff about new email accounts

For release: June 14, 2018

Addressing Privacy Issues:  This is an exciting time in our district’s technology update process. We have been working hard to make our systems more secure and to improve compliance with BC provincial privacy laws. One of the steps in that process is switching our e-mail from the Google platform to Office 365. The reason for this switch is that Microsoft has secured a server in Ottawa that allows us to keep all of our correspondence and files within Canada and therefore not subject to the U.S. Patriot Act.  

All SD64 staff will be provided a new email account with a domain at sd64.org before June 30, 2018.  During the coming school year and in the future, all professional exchanges between school district staff, as well as the storage or sharing of documents containing student performance or other information about students will be stored and shared in Microsoft’s Office 365 Suite or other compliant platform.  Google mail, drive and documents will no longer be an acceptable storage or sharing tool.  District calendars and systems will be converted to the Office 365 Suite. 

Moving Forward:  A huge thank you to the Fernwood staff for assisting in examining the Office 365 tools this spring.   Moving forward, our team of technicians and educators will be available to assist you to set up your devices with your new e-mail address, and to forward e-mails from your Gmail account to your new one (leaving a copy in your Gmail account archive.   In each of the next two weeks, an update will be emailed to your current email address responding to questions that you may have, including, “What do I do with my many documents and systems set up in the Google Suite?”     

Microsoft’s Office 365 is also know as “O 365”.  Features include: 

  • Can be used online to share and collaborate 
  • Can also be used offline to compose, edit and store 
  • Contains familiar apps such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook Mail and Calendar 
  • Has comparable tools to Google Suite such as One Drive that facilitates storing and sharing online 

You will find Microsoft Office 365 will be a robust tool to support learning that complies with BC’s stringent privacy laws. 

Next Week’s Update 

  • Responding to Frequently Asked Questions 
  • How to address useful documents and processes currently in the Google Suite  

Please address any questions you have to cnuyens@sd64.org with a Subject of “O365 Questions”. 

Change always has challenging aspects, and this will be no different.  Working through them together we can address the challenges and make adjustments as needed. 

Best regards as we wrap up our work with students for the 2017-18 school year .
 

Doug Livingston, Director of Instruction – Learning Services 

Security Update

With news of ransom ware late last week hitting big systems and corporations around the Globe, our team investigated the possible impact on our district and servers.

It’s been advised to our team from the Ministry to implement a series of updates on our servers around the district to ensure the latest vulnerabilities have been patched. Additionally, we’ve taken precautions to ensure our datacentre & school firewalls are also running the versions of Wildfire (built in anti virus) & security policies to protect against attacks like this.

As always, we encourage all users to regularly update their passwords for their personal accounts, email and online resources. Additionally, never click on links from senders you do not recognize. We encourage our staff to keep their antivirus updated – and to inform our tech team of any concerns they may have.

Thank you.