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INFORM Digital Magazine

C NNECT Connecting you with Technology



C NNECT Connecting you with Technology

Connect, formerly known as North Coast Council, is leading the way to a A Strong Alliance schools and new vision for Information Technology Centerstoserving Serve our Members other educational entities in Ohio.

ESC ofofNortheast The new governing Board of Directors, the Educational Service Centers Cuyahoga, Ohio Lorain

Providing andtheleadership thatCouncil, enableshave localaccepted schools,the ownership, ESC of Lorain County and and Medina support County and Ohio Schools responsibility liability of Connect in order toand provide exemplaryto service to member agencies, governments, communities achieve their districts. ESC of Medina County objectives through innovative and cost-effective

Ohio Schools Council Connect governing entities to expand services and respond quickly to district needs. Connect members will no wrong have greaterIncreased access to strength a more diverse range ofservice expertise and shared There servicesis through thedoor • Unwavering to enter when you need partnership of these owner agencies. Reduced costs • Effective & Efficient Information service! Technology • Greatest educational experience As a true regional shared-service shared technologyoperation solutions., Connect will build on the capacity of the four

There are many benefits to Connect being led by trusted service agencies such as the possible for your students

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









May 16 1:00PM-3:00PM STRS Advance Training Connect West-Elyria

May 15 9:00AM-11:00AM Progressbook SI Elementary Scheduling Connect East-Valley View

May 16 8:30AM-3:30PM FYE Training with PSST Connect East-Valley View

May 23 1:00PM-3:00PM STRS Advance Training Connect East-Valley View

May 17 10:00AM-3:00PM Scheduling Lab Connect West-Elyria


May 30 9:00AM-11:00AM USPS Fiscal Year End Meeting Connect West-Elyria

May 22 10:00AM-Noon Progressbook End of Year Meeting with Software Answers Connect East-Valley View

May 30 Noon-2:00PM USAS Fiscal Year End Meeting Connect West-Elyria May 31 9:00AM-11:00AM USPS Fiscal Year End Meeting Connect East-Valley View May 31 Noon-2:00PM USAS Fiscal Year End Meeting Connect East-Valley View June 6 1:00PM-3:00PM USPS Staff EMIS Meeting Connect West-Elyria

May 25 9:00AM-11:00AM Progressbook SI Elementary Scheduling Connect East-Valley View May 30 10:00AM-3:00PM Scheduling Lab Connect East-Valley View

May 18 1:30PM-3:30PM Tech Advisory Connect East-Valley View

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

June 8 9:00AM-Noon PowerSchool Open Discussion - With EOY Work Session Connect West-Elyria

June 7 1:00PM-3:00PM USPS Staff EMIS Meeting Connect East-Valley View




CAROLYN LUVISON Carolyn Luvison is a Support Specialist/ Student Services for Connect. She has been with Connect since July 2017.

I am excited to be part of CONNECT and the Student Services team. Having been a CONNECT customer for many years, it’s very interesting now to be on the other side of support and work with many different districts. I look forward to using what I know from my district experience so I can provide truly insightful and tuned-in support to our customers. - Carolyn Luvison

Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Miami University. Most recently, Carolyn was Assistant to the Treasurer at Brunswick City Schools where she was primarily responsible for Cash Flow reporting and State & Federal Grants. Prior to that Carolyn worked at BrecksvilleBroadview Heights City Schools for 15 years in both Student Systems and EMIS positions where she provided support and training for ProgressBook Suite. Carolyn lives in Broadview Heights with her husband Greg and dog Maggie. She enjoys traveling, especially to Chicago to visit her children, biking, gardening, yoga and cooking.

Carolyn brings a positive energy to the student team and fits in well with the group. Her past experience with student information systems allowed her to effectively assist with start-of-school operations and report card building during one of the busiest times of the year. She is enthusiastic about learning more and helping our customers! - Matt Zenobi, Lead Support Specialist and Systems Analyst, Student Services You can reach Carolyn at: Phone: Email: Address:


216-520-6900 x5231 5700 West Canal Road Valley View, OH 44125



This year, Independence High School students are participating in a 1-to-1 Chromebook initiative for the first time. As technology continues to evolve and teachers embrace the free, nearly unlimited resources that are available via the Internet, it is important that schools continue to support teacher growth. A part of the district’s 1-to-1 initiative is a strong belief in supporting teachers with local technology integration experts. Five Independence Local Schools’ teachers are participating in a cohort model of professional development this school year. Stephanie DeMichele, an educational consultant and instructional technology coach from the Educational Service Center (ESC) of Northeast Ohio, is meeting with teachers face-to-face as well as supporting the teachers virtually as they integrate technology into their teaching. The cohort will meet for a total of six half-day sessions this year. Teachers have been working to identify areas of concern with integrating technology, best practices for meaningful technology integration, and how teaching with

technology empowers students while changing the dynamic of both the instructor and learner. The teachers in the cohort have been able to share successes, lean on each other through roadblocks, and gain a greater appreciation for how different courses implement technology differently. “Our goal is to foster the growth of professional learning networks, like this technology cohort, that share a passion for education, a similar skill set, and a vision for technology integration in their classrooms, said Mike Pennington, Director of Curriculum and Technology Integration, Independence Local Schools. “We see this as just the beginning to a new way of expanding the ways our teachers can learn and grow from each other to ultimately benefit our students.” Members of the Independence High Schools’ technology cohort network include Laura Janosek, media specialist; Donna Krusinski, science teacher; Scott Maretka, science teacher; Chris Paulus, math teacher; and Eric Wells, science teacher.



An Update From . . .


By Julia Rozsnyai, Lead Fiscal Support Specialist, Connect

State Software Redesign for Accounting and Payroll ...And They’re Off! The production version of the USAS/USPS Redesign was released on January 11th, 2018. The version number for Classic USAS is 6.1 and Classic USPS is 4.2. Since the Redesign is an upgrade of the Classic system, the first production release version number for USAS-R is 7.0 and USPS-R is 5.0. The first wave production sites are comprised of three ITCs and eight school districts. The first wave period is between January 2018 and June 2018, meaning each first wave site can begin production operations at any time during the six-month window. Production operations involve each site attaining a Pre-Production Certification, which requires them to perform dual processing in both Classic and the Redesign for at least one clean payroll and one month’s financial processing. The certification ensures that district personnel clearly understand the new system, have the associated business processes in place, and have validated that no data or software exceptions exist. What does it look like? • Grid Format: Customizable with ability to pull reports from the grid • Reports export directly to PDF, Excel, HTML: - Canned Reports: More complex with many choice options - Template Reports: Less complex, easily customizable - Custom Report Generator: Write your own report or customize a template report Implementation Considerations / Key Processes • Data Migration: No Data Conversion or Cleansing Required. You can migrate your district anytime during the month “between payrolls.” • User Training: Two to Three Days • Precertification authorization: Dual entry for


at least one payroll and one month end is suggested. Overall Project Status • Connect is amongst those ITCs that have requested demo instances • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is ongoing • Two-Month Pilot Program is complete • Project is operating under the guidance of the Fiscal Redesign Oversight Committee (FROC) • Additional requirements have been defined for Accounts Receivable and Equipment Inventory • Accounts Receivable build project has begun • Project updates are being issued to District Treasurers, and also through OASBO and SSDT Newsletters SSDT Timeline

• Pilot Program: Completed • Adjustments: September 2017 through January 2018 (Fix, correct, update, modify, enhance) • First Wave Began January - June 2018: 3 ITCs and 8 Districts: Some of the first wave districts started their dual-processing period the beginning of February with additional districts starting in March. The SSDT has made continuous improvements and enhancements based on first wave feedback.

Connect Timeline

At the May 2nd advisory meeting, treasurers provided input regarding the Connect implementation wave they envision joining. Connect is in the process of reviewing that information and will use it to plan and establish a migration schedule. On March 15, the Fiscal Rewrite Oversight Committee (FROC) met to discuss the status of the state software rewrite. During the meeting, the committee received a status report on how the initial pilots are doing. Around that time, there were two ITCs Live (in production) on the software. Several patches had been made in order to meet district needs. The pilot districts were running their payroll parallel in USPS Classic and USPS-Redesign from January-March. OME-RESA reports their districts starting processing payrolls in the Live USPS-R starting with their 3/20/2018 pay.

• Second Wave July 2018 - December 2018: Includes additional ITCs and up to 40 Districts • Waves Three Through Eight: Every Six Months; includes any remaining ITCs and up to 84 Districts per wave • Currently-Planned Classic Decommissioning: End of CY2021

The pilot ITCs and districts shared the need to run parallels, balance the databases, participate in initial training, and follow-up with additional training focused on reports. Connect staff training will occur during May 2018, including one day each for accounting, payroll, and technical information. Based on that initial timeline for training, we foresee Wave 1 training starting in October, running one month parallel, and going LIVE around November. We are very excited to see that the rewrite is moving forward and look forward to helping you through the migration process so that you can benefit from the new and much improved design!




An Update From . . .

FISCAL SERVICES By Sadie Fellure, Lead Support Specialist, Tyler Munis Services

EQUIPMENT INVENTORY SUBSYSTEM (EIS) Here are some helpful reminders for districts that utilize EIS to track capital assets: 1. Monitor the pending file and add/delete items as necessary to avoid a cleanup at FYE. 2. There are multiple settings for the pending file and EIS flag that you can review and adjust in USACON to make tracking new assets easier. 3. The “split lot” feature is a useful tool for adding multiple items from the same PO quickly. 4. Furniture and equipment often change locations as staff members change rooms over the summer. Be sure to track an item’s change in location in EIS. 5. EISCHG is a program that allows for mass changes to cleanup various codes in EIS (categories, locations, functions, etc.). These are just a few of the helpful features in EIS. Please contact the fiscal team if you need more information on these features or anything else in EIS. You can also visit www.ohconnect. org/fiscal/documentation for more information on EIS procedures.




STUDENT SERVICES New Special Education Forms for 20182019

ODE and the Office of Exceptional Children have been updating several required and optional special education forms since December 2017. The new forms will be required for school’s use beginning this Fall for the 2018-2019 school year. Many Progressbook SpS and IEP Anywhere users have been inquiring when the new forms will be available. Software Answers and SameGoal have been working diligently to produce these updated Ohio forms and expect to have them available to all districts by this summer. Below is a list of the updated forms (as of mid-April): • PR-02 Parent Invitation • PR-05 Parent Consent for Evaluation • PR-06 Evaluation Team Report (ETR) • ETR School Age Planning • ETR Preschool Planning • PR-07 Individualized Education Program (IEP) • PR-09 Services Plan • OP-04 Agreement to Waive Reevaluation • OP-6A Progress Report • OP-6B Transition Progress Report – *New

2018-2019 School Year Initialization

Progressbook StudentInformation schools must remember to request school year initialization for the 2018-2019 school year. Connect student services performs the SYI on behalf of its schools. Many schools still need to send us their 2018-2019 school calendars with term start & end dates and non-attending days. To request SYI, please send us an email at PowerSchool districts will have their end of year process scheduled with Connect this summer. End of year processing and student promotion & enrollment into 2018-2019 will occur this July. New students for 2018-2019 can be pre-registered at this time using their future enrollment date.


By Matt Zenobi, Lead Support Specialist & Systems Analyst, Connect

PowerSchool Potential Stored Grades Errors

Permanently Store Grades, Average Final Grades, imported grade files, and manual grade entry. With so many ways to enter and edit historical grade data, it’s critical to ensure the data is correct and consistent. Course configuration and grading scales also affect how courses and grades count towards cumulative GPA, earned credit, and if the grades appears on the transcript. There are various historical grade record fields to consider and it’s not difficult to make a data entry mistake. Connect has created a report for high schools to help catch these mistakes so they can be corrected. The Potential Stored Grades Errors report was first introduced to the PowerSchool advisory committee in March 2017. The report has recently been tailored to each individual high school’s unique list of credit types for earned high school credit. The report can be run from the Start Page>System Reports>sqlReports tab>Grades and Grading>Potential Stored Grades Errors.

Progressbook Gradebook New Assignment Marks Screen

The 17.2.0 release of ProgressBook Gradebook included an updated Assignment Marks screen for teacher gradebooks. The new screen has several new features for grading the assignment. Rightclick inside of a grading cell in the grid to: • Fill an entire column with the mark that is in the current cell • Fill the row with the mark in the current cell for any Custom 2 assignments • Fill all rows with the marks in the rows of the current column for Custom 2 assignments • Clear marks for entire columns or rows • Mark assignments as missing, late or excluded

The new screen features an auto-save function that is triggered by scoring the assignment. In addition, teachers are able to apply filters to this screen and view an individual student or their own student groups. For students who enroll into a course section after the first day of the course term, teachers now have the ability to assign any past assignments to that new student by clicking the Assign to Student link. If you would like to try out this new feature, click on the Try New Assignment Marks link in the top-right corner of the Assignment Marks screen. The new version will become your default screen anytime you create a new assignment, save, and select the Marks tab - or when you click on an assignment from your class dashboard page. You can return to the classic screen by clicking the Use Classic Assignment Marks link at the top-right of the Assignment Marks screen.


TECHNOLOGY SERVICES Connect continues to offer school districts a diverse selection of network services. Our network staff now has hands-on experience with Meraki Access points, Firewalls, and IP Cameras. We tested each of the products for over 60 days to determine the strengths and weaknesses in comparison to their Cisco counterparts. Connect promotes the use of Meraki products to our customers who want full control of the devices and at the same time have our network staff provide assistance when needed. Meraki is a great solution for those who want to be able to deploy hardware quickly and easily find network traffic patterns. The management interface for the entire Meraki product line is accessed from the Meraki web portal. This single interface allows you

By Jon Axe, Lead Network Analyst, Connect

to track a user from A to point Z in your Meraki network. Meraki offers an IP Security Camera that is becoming popular in school buildings. It is unique in that recordings are stored on an onboard SSD drive instead of a DVR. The onboard storage keeps the network traffic to a minimum. Meraki wants to help our schools save money and as a result they provided us with aggressive pricing. Please feel free to reach out to us if you want more information or pricing.

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





By Lori Slingerland, Library Support Specialist, Connect

SUPERCHARGE YOUR SEARCH - UTILIZE INFOHIO GUIDES Trying to locate a reliable resource on Citing Sources? Looking for free college and career readiness test prep? Perhaps you are looking for digital literacy resources or technology literacy. How about information on College Credit Plus? If so, look no further than INFOhio to locate reliable educational guides for students and educators that are only a click away 24/7! Each easy-to-navigate INFOhio guide is organized as a Livebinder. Each guide is different and depending on the subject matter may include webpages, pdfs, documents, images, videos, and more! For example, the INFOhio Citation Guide includes information on Citing Sources (MLA, APA, etc.), a tab on Avoiding Plagiarism, Evaluation Sources, and Copyright Resources, all arranged under individual tabs. This guide even includes a ‘Citation Tetris’ game to help students


cite their sources properly. In addition, there is an informational video, a graphic guide on Plagiarism, tutorials and many more reliable resources available in one convenient location. There are guides available for students, including: “INFOhio Citation Guide” and “Ready for College, Ready for Work, Ready for Success!” For educators, guides include: “BookFlix Best Practices”, “Digital Literacy”, a “Guide to INFOhio for School Counselors”, and “INFOhio MaKit” to learn how to develop your own makerspace, to name a few. Why run all over the internet to get what you need, just navigate to the INFOhio Guides where the information you need is available in one easy-to-use guide, just one click away at: http://

WANT TO BOOST STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT? YOU ALREADY POSSESS THE SOLUTION! If your school district could increase student achievement within your district, regardless of “student demographics, school funding levels, teacher-pupil ratios, or teacher qualifications,” wouldn’t you? What if the very solution resides within your school library? In a recent article in the Phi Delta Kappan, entitled “Why school librarians matter: What years of research tell us,” Keith Curry Lance and Debra E. Kachel provide a cogent argument for the inclusion of high-quality library programs and certified library staff within our schools and present findings that directly link those programs and professionals to student academic success. Backed by extensive research, Lance and Kachel use the data from more than 34 statewide studies to outline what savvy administrators and curriculum coordinators already know: “Students tend to thrive academically where library programs

provide ready access to free and subscriptionbased online resources alongside more traditional collection of books, periodicals, and audiovisual resources.” Interested in reading more of their findings and discovering how your school stacks up? Visit your school library (your librarian can access the article (available from the INFOhio digital resource, Ebscohost) or access the article by clicking here. Lance, Keith Curry and Debra E. Kachel, “Why School Librarians Matter. What Years of Research Tell Us.” Phi Delta Kappan, vol. 99, no.7, Apr. 2018, pp. 15-20 EBSCOhost, doi: 1177/0031721718767854.




If you believe you have a question that could help yourself and others, please submit it via email to info@ 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!



Is there a way to generate a report of patron obligations just for books students have been billed for because they are lost or assumed lost? and can that be limited by date?


You will want to create an Overdue Desklist. Locate the template in Sirsi Workflows from the Reports and Notices wizard > INFOhio Tab > CIRC: Overdues and Notices Set the following parameters: User Options Tab: Active User Selection Tab: Library (your library), User profile or Grade Item Selection Tab: Select your library if you want to limit to items only from your library Output Options Tab: Report Type: Spreadsheet. Report Format: Plain Text General Options Tab: (these options should contain a checkmark): HIDE Inactive Transactions, HIDE Historical Transactions, Unpaid Bills Field Selection: Your choice When you generate the report, notice that if a student has a bill for a LOST item, it is also pulling any other obligation that patron has because that is the way the reports work. Since you can sort anyway you wish in the spreadsheet, sort by ‘Return Date’ because anything that has a designation of lost has a ‘LOST’ in the return date, then disregard/delete everything else. Once you only have the LOST items, sort again by Name to get your list.



One of our retired employees would like his severance to go into his annuity. The employee does not have any pays left. What should I do?


To do that, you must calculate the employee’s severance payout and add that amount to FUTPAY or CURPAY so it is included in your next payroll. After you have done that, you will go into the employee’s annuity DEDSCN (for State Software) and put the payout amount minus a penny in the “Amount/percent” field (make sure the “Fixed or Percent” field is “F” for fixed). So, if the severance payout was $1,000.00, you will put $999.99 in their annuity DEDSCN and then the employee will get a $.01 direct deposit. After you have done that, let the employee know so they don’t wonder why it is a penny short. State Software cannot handle the full amount if there is no other payment to the employee.




What is the easiest way to find IEP and ETR event dates & outcomes in PowerSchool?


First, select the students you would like to search from the start page either at a building or the district office. Then run one of two custom reports located under the Start Page>System Reports>sqlReports tab>Special Ed. Select either the Student ETR Report or the Student IEP Report. Select YES from the dropdown for ‘Run for the current selection’ and click Submit. This report returns any student in your selection that has an ETR or IEP event entered into PowerSchool with supporting details, including dates and outcome IDs. The columns can be sorted and filtered on-screen, or you may export the data as CSV, tab delimited text, or PDF.


In Progressbook StudentInformation (DASL), how can I tell if a building in my district has been initialized for the 2018-2019 school year? How can I see if students have been promoted and enrolled?


There are a few ways to check if your school is initialized. A quick way is to change your school year to 2018-2019 and make sure you’re at the building level – not the district. Navigate to Management > School Administration > Scheduling Administration > Master Calendar Summary. If your school is initialized, you’ll see calendar dates for next year listed on this screen. Setting up your calendar is our first step in initializing your schools for next year. If there are no dates and no records to display on this screen, the school has not been initialized for the year in context. If your school is initialized, there are several ways to see if students have been enrolled in next school year. One fast way to check is to simply enter an asterisk * in the find students search box and press enter. If no students are found, no students have been registered or bulk assigned into 2018-2019.



Is there a way to have my third party software system updated with the latest data from my Student Information System?


Most third party software systems have the ability to import data from various Student Information Systems. At Connect, we have hundreds of these nightly integration processes running to sync data between your third party software system and your Student Information System. If you would like additional details on getting a new software system implemented or looking to just update your existing system with up-to-date data, feel free to contact Connect’s tech department and we’ll investigate the functionality and options available for syncing your system.




PATIENCE MOODY RUSH: Are you ready for some football? Did you know it takes over 4,500 volunteers to host the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement events in Canton, Ohio? As the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Appreciation Party Chairman, I would like to invite you to participate in some of the amazing events and activities that are scheduled, starting in May and culminating in July and August. With over 17 different scheduled events, it is a chance to honor the heroes of the game, preserve its history, promote its values, and celebrate Excellence Everywhere! https://www.

The best bike shop in town is Beat Cycles located on 15608 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. Great people, great service, and always willing to help. Whether you have a $10k road warrior machine or a $25 garage sale special these guys will give your ride the tender loving care it deserves.


It is worth a special trip to step back in time, break your diet, and enjoy the kitchen-made goodies and historical ambience at Sweet Moses ( To add to the nostalgic fun, stop in a few doors down at the Superelectric Pinball Parlor (check the hours at http://

LORI SLINGERLAND: CRAZY for Coffee! Are you crazy for coffee and tired of the Starbucks routine? Want to support a local Cleveland coffee roaster? Look no further than Phoenix Coffee, with five locations throughout the city, you are sure to find one close to you (and you can’t beat a company with the motto “Roasting coffee in sunny Cleveland, Ohio since 1990.” See you there!


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



Inform Magazine - Spring 2018  

Inform is the digital magazine of Connect.

Inform Magazine - Spring 2018  

Inform is the digital magazine of Connect.