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FALL 2016

INFORM Digital Magazine

C NNECT Connecting you with Technology



A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Welcome to the Fall 2016 edition of “INFORM”—Connect’s digital magazine. I trust that you and your family were able to take advantage of all that Northeast Ohio has to offer during the summer months.

5700 West Canal Road Valley View, OH 44125 216.520.6900 1885 Lake Avenue Elyria, OH 44035 440.324.3185


In this issue, we provide updates on our work during the summer and helpful information for the new school year. There is new functionality available in our student software, a tip offered by our Fiscal Department, and information on free online safety curriculum through INFOhio. Please check out the “Staff Picks” for some things to do in Northeast Ohio, as well as the “Ask Connect!” section for answers to questions submitted by our members.

Our Wave 1 Munis Pilot sites continue to chart the course for others to follow. This would not be possible without their dedication. We are preparing for parallel testing, and planning for Wave 2 with all of the lessons learned in mind. It is exciting to see the pieces come together on this project. Connect continues to strive to be your one stop shop for all of your technology needs. If you have ideas on future stories that you would like us to cover in this magazine, feel free to contact any of our Connect staff or me. - John Mitchell, Executive Director, Connect


Munis October 4 - 6 8:30AM - 4:00PM Payroll Parallel 1 Connect West - Elyria October 25 and 26 8:30AM - 4:00PM Payroll Parallel 2 Connect East - Valley View October 27 8:30AM - 4:00PM Go-Live Planning Connect East - Valley View November 8 8:30AM - 4:00PM General Ledger Advanced Open Lab Connect West - Elyria November 9 8:30AM - 4:00PM Grant and Project Accounting Open Lab Connect West - Elyria November 10 8:30AM - 4:00PM Budget Open Lab Connect West - Elyria

For a full listing of all upcoming events at both Connect East (Valley View) and Connect West (Elyria), please visit

November 15 and 17 8:30AM - 4:00PM Parallel 3/Open Labs Connect East - Valley View

October 19 9:00AM - 12:00PM StudentInformation Discussion Connect East - Valley View

November 16 8:30AM - 4:00PM Parallel 3/Open Labs Connect East - Valley View

November 9 9:00AM - 12:00PM PowerSchool Discussion Connect West - Elyria

November 29 8:30AM - 4:00PM Purchasing User Acceptance Testing Connect East - Valley View

November 9 9:00AM - 12:00PM StudentInformation Discussion Connect East - Valley View

November 30 8:30AM - 4:00PM Accounts Payable User Acceptance Testing Connect East - Valley View

Student September 21 9:00AM - 12:00PM StudentInformation Discussion Connect East - Valley View

December 14 9:00AM - 12:00PM PowerSchool Discussion Connect West - Elyria December 15 9:00AM - 1:00PM StudentInformation Course Requests and Public Admin for H.S. Connect East - Valley View

Library October 18 8:30AM - 3:30PM Reports - Overview Connect East - Valley View November 1 8:30AM - 3:30PM Cataloging I Connect East - Valley View November 10 8:30AM - 3:30PM Open Lab Connect East - Valley View December 6 8:30AM - 3:30PM Library Liaison Meeting Connect East - Valley View

December 15 1:00PM - 3:30PM Information Discussion Connect East - Valley View

October 12 9:00AM - 12:00PM PowerSchool Discussion Connect West - Elyria





Linda Moore is an Administrative Assistant for Connect. She has been with Connect since 1995.

“I love my job at Connect and working with all districts and schools. E-Rate is a challenge for everyone but working together gets the job done!” - Linda Moore

Linda works with E-Rate for all districts and schools that would include contracts and submitting invoicing to USAC for their money, does billing for services pertaining to E-Rate, keeps the west office organized, and organizes meetings and trainings. Prior to working at Connect, Linda worked in Amherst Ex. Village and before that was a sub in Amherst and Firelands. Linda lives in Amherst, Ohio with her husband Dave and has two grown children. In her free time, she enjoys boating and coaching softball and is the President of the Lorain-Medina Ohio Girls Softball Organization.

“Linda’s customer focus is evident in the way she supports everyone attending training in our Elyria facility. Her support of the federal E-Rate program has allowed Connect to successfully participate in the program and save area schools invaluable instructional dollars.” - John Mitchell

You can reach Linda at: Phone: Email: Address:


216-520-6900 x5169 5700 West Canal Road Valley View, OH 44125

MEETING ROOMS AVAILABLE Are you having a large meeting or retreat for your staff and need a room that can accommodate your group? Are you tired of meeting in a cafeteria or gym? Do you want to meet offsite so staff stay present and don’t disappear back to their office? Do you need an affordable solution?

Worried about contingency planning? If you are a Member district, facilities are available free of charge in the event of a disaster, local network outage, or other business disruption.

We may have a space for you!

To check the availability of a room please contact:

Connect has meeting rooms at both our East and West locations that are available for rent at reasonable rates that will fit your budget. Our facilities are open from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm with rental costs of $100 for a half day or $150 for a full day. At West, we can accommodate up to 32 people. At East, we can accommodate up to 56. See the table below for room details.

East Rooms – Diane Koski at diane.koski@ or 216-520-6900 ext. 5233 West Rooms – Linda Moore at linda.moore@ or 216-520-6900 ext. 5169

*Shared resources available at East facility for use in any East room upon request: • 1 Computer Microphone • 1 Polycom • 1 Whiteboard • 1 TV/VHS/DVD • 20 Laptops



North Royalton City Schools


Distance Learning: Helping Students Explore First Hand the World Around Them

Mike McGinnis, Director of Instructional Technology Ann Radefeld, Curriculum Facilitator North Royalton City Schools

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time” - T.S. Eliot. We as educators have always tried to give our students authentic exploration outside of the classroom. We all remember the excitement of the field trip to the zoo or the local museum to try to capture for a day what we learned from textbooks and from teachers. We have brought experts into our classrooms to guest lecture the “real life” application of what we teach in class. Now, we have opportunities to give students those experiences and beyond through the use of many different technologies.


The growth of technology has allowed us to break down the bricks and mortar walls of our traditional classrooms and help students explore firsthand the world around them. At North Royalton, we have used tools including Polycom, Skype, Hangouts, and Zoom to bring an already shrinking globe into our classrooms so that students can go places that the yellow field trip bus could never reach. We have students from Kindergarten to Advanced Placement taking advantage of these distance learning opportunities throughout the school year. For the last three years, we have had one of our kindergarten classes collaborate monthly via Skype with a kindergarten classroom in Bromsgrove, England. The students share with one another the differences in culture, holidays, weather and geography. The kids not only held face-toface conversations that emphasised language and communication, but parlayed that into collaborative projects in digital and non-digital formats.

Two years ago, the North Royalton Spanish IV class got a rare opportunity to learn an important part of Spanish culture as they connected with the Cleveland Institute of Music to learn to Salsa dance. The students were able to interact directly with the instructor as they cleared the desks out of the way and learned the meaning and the movement behind the traditional Spanish Dance. At North Royalton Middle School, a sixth grade science class developed a small group research project. During the month of May, students were tasked with the creation of an eBook to highlight one of the sixth grade science topics. A student survey was completed so that the teachers could place students in groups by interest. North Royalton students were allowed a flexible work environment and moved throughout their classroom and halls with Chromebooks working with their group members over 20 miles away at Brady Middle School in Orange. This group project was contrary to the group project in the past, when the students sat around together in their classroom with a couple of the students doing all of the work. Using Google Hangouts to communicate both face-to-face, as well as through messaging, and using shared Google Docs and Slides, students in both schools all had a role and were engaged in the exploration and discovery process. Students learned not only the standards required of the unit, but learned to work and communicate in a global environment. Through our participation with the North Ohio Technical Association (NOTA) we were able to offer our high school students Advanced Placement Calculus BC long before we had enough students to fill a traditional class. For three years, a handful of students were able to interact just like a traditional class with the AP Calc BC teacher at Stow High School using our Polycom equipment and a bridge provided through NOTA. Our students met daily with another classroom in Stow and were able to cover all of the necessary information to be successful on the AP exams. Due to the overwhelming success of that program, enrollment grew to the point that we could then offer that class using a North Royalton teacher.

Our elementary students have been able to explore all of the United States. Using the various connectivity means, the students have been able to explore the flora and fauna of Glacier Bay with an Alaskan State Park Ranger. They visited the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln in Illinois. Students met sled dogs in Denali National Park. Some explored the Bimini Shark Lab in the Bahamas. They learned more about the rainforest from experts at the Buffalo Zoo. A virtual trip to Maine gave insight to the wildlife of that area. A meteorologist from the National Weather service taught our students about the wonders of their science. Some students learned about George Washington’s early years in Delaware. Many of our second graders were able to learn about our presidents through a poetry lesson developed by Brad Tassell. Additionally, students were asked to develop their geography and detectives skills as they participated in many “Mystery Hangouts” throughout Ohio and the country. Classes connect via Google Hangouts and take turns asking geographic questions to try to figure out where the other class is located. Resources for these activities vary. Many are done through networks of like-minded educators and instructional technology coaches. They come from participation in organizations such as NOTA and NEOWIT. Others can be found through programs such as Center for Interactive Learning and through a variety of social media outlets, such as Google Plus Communities. John Steinbeck wrote, “Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.” We at North Royalton have found that we don’t always need movement to leave a lasting impression on our students long after our “virtual” trips have ceased.



An Update From . . .


By Deb Carroll, Lead Support Specialist, Connect

Fiscal-ly Fit Another school year begins with many of Connect’s districts experiencing changes in personnel and/or changes in responsibilities within the district. Please remember to submit your User Authorization forms in a timely manner. Connect would also like to remind districts to use the CHANGEPASS program to update passwords of users who may have forgotten their passwords over the summer.

Releases of the updated State Software. Preview Releases are not intended to be Production software but rather are used to introduce new functionality to users and ask for feedback on the functionality of those new features. Current or Classic State Software (USPS & USAS) as it is currently being referred is NOT being replaced at this time. There is currently no scheduled end-date for the Classic USAS & USPS.

Need to send fiscal reports/information to users who are not on the system or have a report emailed to yourself for use later? Use ereporto to put a report in PDF format and email that report to others such as board members, department heads, auditor’s office, ODE, treasurers in different districts or other fiscal support staff. Simply insert the email address in the ereporto process when prompted and the reports will be on their way to the intended recipient. Using the ereport option (without the o at the end) will convert the report to PDF format and send the report to your individual email address.

Connect’s Fiscal Team has a new member and is delighted to welcome Teresa Minerd to our Team. Teresa has district experience from Fairview Park, Berea and Rocky River. As most of you know, Sherri Gager joined Connect earlier this year to help complete the fiscal team. The fiscal team is here to provide excellent, experienced fiscal support to your districts. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any support issues you may have in payroll, budgetary, fixed assets, Kiosk or RAM .

As you are aware, Connect is in the process of working with four districts to implement the Tyler Fiscal Software, Munis. The Munis software will replace USAS, USPS, EIS, KIOSK & RAM. The Munis software also includes additional functionality of Human Resources that is fully integrated with the payroll system along with integrated Document Management system. The software implementation is going very well and on track to Go-Live January 1, 2017. Amherst, Fairview Park, Lakewood and Connect are our trailblazer Wave 1 districts. The Wave 1 districts are very dedicated and hard-working. Connect thanks the Wave 1 districts for paving the way for future Connect districts wanting to make the move to the fully integrated Munis software package. You may have heard the “buzz” about State Software (USAS & USPS) undergoing some major changes. The updated software is being referred to as USPS-R and USAS-R for Rewrite. The State Software Development Team ( SSDT) is in the process of introducing Preview


We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.


TECHNOLOGY SERVICES Connect Tech made some more major upgrades this summer. Similar to what we completed last winter in our West Data Center, we upgraded all of our VMware hosts in the East Data Center. This increased capacity will allow for growth both in customers and software features from the developers of our East hosted applications. On the network side, Connect staff has worked with our fiber providers to complete several upgrades based on changes requested during the last E-Rate cycle. In addition to this, we continue to migrate our connections with all of our providers to our 10G capable connection. We anticipate all of these migrations to be completed in the next couple of months.

By Keith DeLury, Director, Connect

As a reminder, we recently sent out a request to the main technology contacts we have on record for your school. We requested that you update your emergency contacts for us so that we can clean and update the calling lists. We will be having our first Technical Advisory Meeting on September 30, 2016, at 1:30pm. We will again be working to elect the two chairpersons during this meeting. The chairs will set future dates and topics in collaboration with Connect staff. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Feel free to contact Connect’s technical services for more information on how Connect can help you.





By Lori Slingerland, Support Specialist, Connect

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! And it’s FREE! INFOhio offers Easy Tech’s Online Safety Curriculum FREE to all Ohio K-12 public and private schools for the 2016-17 school year, thanks to funding through the Ohio Department of Education. Easy Tech’s Online Safety curriculum exceeds CIPA and E-Rate Internet Safety Training Requirements and the curriculum utilizes a positive approach, built on current research to help students learn appropriate online behavior. The easy-to-implement solution, designed for grades 6-9, provides instruction for online safety, ethical use of digital resources, and cyber bullying. The self-registration, self-paced instructional model is ideal for districts with a BYOD or 1:1 programs.

It’s a snap to get started, as easy as 1, 2, 3! 1. Register with 2. Register for training (face-to-face, hands-on workshops are available in various locations around the state) 3. Sign-up for optional training available at’s training site Contact INFOhio Support if you have questions about registering or using the program.

The curriculum includes a Learning Management System for assessments and easy record keeping. Additionally, it includes many resources for both teachers and parents.

On September 1, library users learn how simple it is to circulate their materials using the Sirsi Workflows automation system under the instruction of Connect Library Services personnel.



STUDENT SERVICES By Marilyn Deyling, Lead Support Specialist, Connect BACK TO SCHOOL The 2016-2017 school year is underway! We have had several beginning of school in-services. If you were unable to attend them, the documentation is posted on our website at http://www.ohconnect. org/student/documentation. For StudentInformation, the Back to School checklist can be found under Help (?) within SI; click on Procedural and Step by Step Checklists. STUDENTINFORMATION NEW FEATURES WITH 16.0 RELEASE Attendance: Student Absences can now be added from the Daily Absence List page. Also, on the Student School Absences page, there is now a date range to make adding multiple absences much easier. Medical: new features and enhancements have been made to the medical module. There is also a new Student Medical Defaults page. Student View Profile: You now have the ability to have ’View/Print Student Schedule’ and ‘View/Print

Student Transcript’. These must be set up prior by going to the formatter submission pages, then clicking on Load Settings and giving it a name, uncheck private and check the box for ‘Available in “I Want to Menu.” REPORT CARD/INTERIM DATES FOR 2016-2017 Reminder: We plan our software/hardware installs around report card/interim windows. We are now collecting the needed dates for report card/interim reporting for 2016-2017: • Window open for teacher grade entry • Window close for teacher grade entry • Report cards/interims generated • Report cards/interims distributed Also, we would like for you to send us any important evening dates when parent/teacher conferences, open house, etc. take place. Please watch for all our upcoming trainings for 2016-2017. Wishing you a successful school year!



CURT VIGG: My favorite album right now is ‘Earth’ by Neil Young and The Promise of the Real.

JOSHUA PEASE: With the humidity finally dropping and Fall on its way, it is a great time to take your bicycle for a spin on the Cleveland Metroparks’ tow path. With more than 100 miles of trails to ride and explore, there are plenty of chances for you to show off your inner Olympian! Main/Recreation/Cycling-24.aspx LORI SLINGERLAND: And you thought that diet and exercise were the keys to longevity! Turns out that you can add reading books into that mix! Read the United Press International article here: Health_News/2016/08/08/StudyRead-more-books-live-a-longerlife/6491470663492/ Looking for a ‘good’ read? Try ‘When Books Went to War: The Stories that helped us win World War II’ written by Molly Guptill Manning.


DIANE KOSKI: Just had dinner at Pranzo Bistro in Willoughby and was delighted by the food. They had phenomenal housemade Pappardelle pasta. Really enjoyed the treat and it was worth the drive from the westside.

NOREEN LEHMANN: My whole family enjoys going to the farmer’s market at Howe Meadow (www.cvcountryside. org) in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There are usually musicians and the vendors change enough from week to week to keep it interesting. We make a day of it, stopping at Deep Lock Quarry in Peninsula for a hike (http:// and Szalay’s Market (http://szalaysfarm. com) on the way home.


If you believe you have a question that could help yourself and others, please submit it via email to and include ‘Ask Connect’ in the subject line. We will publish the most common and relevant questions along with an answer from your trusted Connect staff. Please don’t be shy about submitting a question; we will ask your permission before including your name. You provide the content topic and we’ll provide the information. We hope you will contribute!





When I log into Sirsi Workflows, I don’t see the configuration screen, the one where I enter the IP address and my port number. Can I get it back?

I am told our district still has errors in Staff reporting for Period L – Final Staff and Course Collection and don’t know where to look for the errors.



Providing you can log into Sirsi Workflows, you can easily retrieve the configuration screen by going to the toolbar in Sirsi Workflows and choosing Preference --> Configuration --> and placing a checkmark in the box marked ‘Show this window on next start-up’. If you can’t log into Sirsi Workflows, contact Connect Library Services for further assistance.



Why can’t I see updated data on a ProgressBook Suite page?


You may need to clear the cache in the web browser. If you are not sure how to clear the cache, please check the help center/section within your browser, reach out to your school’s tech support, or contact Connect.

When exploring errors in staff reporting there are several locations that can offer some guidance. On the Connect Home page under Fiscal/ Support, you will see EMIS Reports located on the left hand side of the page. Click on the EMIS Reports, select your district and enter your Reflections username and password. A listing of reports will appear. Select Period L reports (for Staff info) and look through the Period X reports which are General Reports. These two areas of EMIS reports should provide some insight to the errors you are receiving. The Data Collector itself is another area of information. Go to the Data Collector, select the Final Staff and Course Collection. Once you have selected the Staff Collection, you should be able to look at the REVIEW area (under Actions). Upon selecting the Review area, you will have the option to Generate Review Data. Generating this information will give you the option to “review” the data submitted by various categories, allowing you to see Valid and Invalid records. This will also help you to concentrate on the errors and start toward resolution of those errors.



Did you enjoy this issue of Connect’s INFORM? We w a n t t o h e a r f ro m y o u ! * What do our peers, colleagues, and customers need to know? * What would make their jobs easier? * What would keep them informed on interesting software/technology news? For our next INFORM news magazine, we would like to include a section for: Ask Connect! If you believe you have a question that could help yourself and others, please submit it via email to and include ‘Ask Connect’ in the subject l i n e . We w i l l p u b l i s h t h e m o s t c o m m o n a n d relevant questions along with an answer from your trusted Connect staff. Please don’t be shy about submitting a question; we will ask your permission before including your name.


C NNECT Connecting you with Technology

Connect, formerly known as North Coast Council, is leading the way to a new vision for Information Technology Centers serving schools and other educational entities in Ohio. The new governing Board of Directors, the Educational Service Centers of Cuyahoga, Lorain and Medina County and the Ohio Schools Council, have accepted the ownership, responsibility and liability of Connect in order to provide exemplary service to member districts.

As a true regional shared-service operation, Connect will build on the capacity of the four governing entities to expand services and respond quickly to district needs. Connect members will have greater access to a more diverse range of expertise and shared services through the partnership of these owner agencies.

There are many benefits to Connect being led by trusted service agencies such as the Educational Service Centers and Ohio Schools Council. Most importantly, Connect members will experience an increased strength and unwavering service that can reduce costs and make their information technology more effective and efficient, with the ultimate benefit of providing the greatest educational experience possible for students.

Stay Connected...


5700 West Canal Road Valley View, OH 44125

1885 Lake Avenue Elyria, OH 44035






Inform - Fall 2016  

Inform is the digital magazine of Connect

Inform - Fall 2016  

Inform is the digital magazine of Connect