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INFORM Digital Magazine

C NNECT Connecting you with Technology




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


Welcome to the Winter 2017 edition of “INFORM”—Connect’s digital magazine. I hope that you were able to enjoy time with family and friends during the Holiday season. January marks the beginning of the new year, the halfway point in the school year, and this year the go-live point for our Tyler Munis financial software project.

January 2017. Two of our pilot sites are also live on payroll with the other two going live over the next few months. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our Wave 1 participants, Connect’s staff members, and the Tyler project team for their hard work. We are preparing for Wave 2. It is exciting to see the pieces come together on this project.

In this issue, I am very pleased to introduce you to Josh Pease in our Library Systems department. We are also spotlighting one of our members, Fairview Park City Schools, which is also a Munis pilot site. In addition, we have some tips as well as a few picks by Connect staff members.

Connect continues to strive to be your one stop shop for all of your technology needs.

Our Wave 1 Munis Pilot sites are all live on Tyler financials as of

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 February 14 8:30AM - 4:30PM Munis - Post-Live Training on Bank Recon, etc (ALL districts) Connect East - Valley View

Student February 8 9:00AM - 12:00PM PowerSchool Discussion Connect West - Elyria February 8 1:00PM - 3:30PM Bridging the Gap - EMIS Attendance Connect West - Elyria

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

March 8 1:00PM - 3:30PM Bridging the Gap - EMIS Gifted/Acceleration Connect West - Elyria

May 4 9:00AM - 12:00PM StudentInformation Elementary Scheduling Connect East - Valley View

March 15 9:00AM - 12:00PM StudentInformation Discussion Connect East - Valley View

May 10 9:00AM - 12:00PM PowerSchool Discussion Connect West - Elyria

March 21 9:00AM - 1:00PM StudentInformation Course Requests and Public Admin for Middle School Connect East - Valley View

May 10 9:00AM - 11:30AM ProgressBook Suite End of Year Meeting Connect East - Valley View

March 22 9:00AM - 1:00PM StudentInformation Batch Scheduling for High School Connect East - Valley View

February 22 9:00AM - 12:00PM StudentInformation Discussion Connect East - Valley View

March 23 9:00AM - 1:00PM StudentInformation Batch Scheduling for Middle School Connect East - Valley View

February 23 9:00AM - 1:00PM StudentInformation Batch Scheduling for High School Connect East - Valley View

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

March 8 9:00AM - 12:00PM PowerSchool Discussion Connect West - Elyria

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

May 10 1:00PM - 3:30PM StudentInformation Discussion Connect East - Valley View

Library February 1 9:00AM - 12:00PM Book Repair Workshop Connect East - Valley View March 8 8:30AM - 3:30PM Library Liaison Meeting Connect East - Valley View

March 16 8:30AM - 3:30PM Cataloging II Connect East - Valley View April 4 8:30AM - 3:30PM Database Clean-up Connect East - Valley View April 20 8:30AM - 3:30PM Open Lab Connect East - Valley View May 9 8:30AM - 3:30PM Library Liaison Meeting Connect East - Valley View

Technology February 3 1:30PM - 3:30PM Tech Advisory Meeting Connect East - Valley View May 19 1:30PM - 3:30PM Tech Advisory Meeting Tentative - North Olmsted Public Library





Josh Pease is a Support Specialist/ Library Services for Connect. He has been with Connect since August 2016. As a Library Support specialist, Josh assists Connect clients with the daily operation of their library media centers, provides regular database maintenance, and offers solutions for software usage problems within the Sirsi Dynix library software.

My time at Connect has not only allowed me to meet many interesting people, but has given me a much bigger platform with which to be a proponent of libraries. Now I can showcase the love I have for such a great institution on a larger stage, and for that I am very grateful. - Josh Pease

He also provides both in-house and customized individual on-site training for the Sirsi Dynix library software along with the electronic resources provided through INFOhio. Prior to working at Connect, Josh worked at Cleveland Public Library, Cuyahoga County Library, and the Bedford City School District as a School Librarian/Media Specialist. Josh lives in Newburgh Hts and enjoys reading, riding bikes, wrenching on bikes, and cooking.

Josh has been a great addition to our library team and has a very positive personality. He has great initiative and jumped right in to start learning and providing support from day one. - Keith DeLury, Director You can reach Josh at: Phone: Email: Address:


216-520-6900 x5276 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



Fairview Park City Schools


Learning is Personal in Fairview Park

By Amanda Lloyd, Communications and Marketing Coordinator

Think back to when you were in middle school. You may have fond memories (or maybe some not-so-fond memories) of what you learned during those formidable years. But did you have a personalized path that outlined your goals and objectives for the entire year and empowered you to be a self-directed learner, working at your own pace, and sometimes branching off to deeper learning projects? The students at Fairview Park City Schools do, and it’s what they like to call the “Fairview Advantage.” At the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, Fairview Park City Schools was selected as one of about 100 school districts across the country (and one of only two from the state of Ohio) to implement Summit Personalized Learning, a program that provides teachers with the resources they need to bring personalized learning into their classrooms. The technology backbone of Summit’s approach is the online tool, which was developed by teachers from Summit Public Schools in the San Francisco Bay area with technical assistance from Facebook engineers, and helps students track progress towards their short and long-term goals, learn content at their own pace and reflect on their learning with teacher mentors. It also allows teachers to customize instruction to meet their students’ individual needs and interests and supports stronger relationships between teachers and students. The district was uniquely poised to apply for the program because of its vision for student-focused,


personalized learning. And with a strategy in place to ensure that the school district’s offerings, tools, and instruction methods work together to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for each child to be successful, the platform was a perfect fit for the district’s strategic Fairview Advantage framework. “One of the core goals of our strategic plan, based on community survey data, is learning – specifically personalized learning. The Learning Action Planning Team built in a lot of strategies surrounding personalized learning, and this is the tool that will deliver it,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Wagner. The district began implementing the program and the digital platform beginning in the 201617 school year and teachers and staff have noticed big changes. “Students are showing a deeper understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses,” said Matt Dunlap, the district’s Technology Coordinator. “They are taking more ownership of their learning, and are better equipped to reflect on and discuss their progress.” The platform not only provides the ways and means for students to be intensely focused in their education initiatives, but involves parents as well. Parents can see the entire curriculum, feedback from teachers, and their child’s progress by simply logging into their own dashboard.

The Summit Personalized Learning program is the only comprehensive curriculum and assessment platform in the nation. The curriculum is developed and managed by teachers and, through generous foundation funding, made available free for broader use in public schools. Content, assessment tools (rubrics, tests, projects, and more) are constantly vetted by Stanford University. And because teachers create and curate an organic, living curriculum, “they are deeply invested in implementing all elements and phases with fidelity. Teachers are especially enthusiastic about building those habits and skills that work across content areas and are required to excel in school and beyond,” said Wightman. “It is very exciting to be a part of this national community of practice,” said Director of Teaching and Learning Melanie Wightman. “The opportunity to access this tool at no cost to the district is incredible. There have been millions of dollars invested in design and development in this platform and Fairview is very fortunate to be able to be a leader in implementing this program in our schools and our community.” With the onboarding of this platform, the district has also realigned classroom space and staff to accommodate the continued implementation of personalized technology (each student in grades K-12 have their own device).

communicate via a shared Google Doc to inform their colleagues on the subject matter, quizzes, and deadlines their students are preparing for. The student-run Tech Team provides ongoing tech support for their peers, along with several dedicated staff technicians that are housed in the Innovation Center. In the Innovation Center, students have access to equipment and resources to produce professional content, such as a weekly student news video, podcasts, products with the laser cutter or 3-D printer, creating music with digital mix boards, videos using a green screen studio, and more. Two high school students recently produced a winning video for the Ohio School Boards Association “Stand Up for Public Schools” contest. The first-place video was filmed and produced in the Innovation Center and won a monetary prize to purchase additional equipment for the digital media program. Fairview Park City Schools continues to utilize technology for learning and implement it to its full potential as the district remains focused on delivering exceptional services and academic programs that challenge the mind and instill the joy of learning and responsible citizenship in its students, staff, and community.

The Teaching and Learning Center provides a more focused study hall environment for students from varying grades and classes to have one-on-one time with a teacher, who may also be their assigned mentor. Teachers



An Update From . . .


By Deb Carroll, Lead Support Specialist, Connect

During a CYE session this past December, a district asked: “Are we required to process VENHIRE?” The answer is YES! This program is used to report any employee who is hired by your district whether that job lasts for one day or one week. This could be an independent contractor or a seasonal employee. Federal and State law requires employers to report newly hired employees in Ohio to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center. The VENHIRE program should be run every two weeks OR twice a month. Here is a brief outline you can follow when processing: VENHIRE - When a vendor is initially added/entered: 1. Flag this new vendor as “Reportable for New Hire Reporting” 2. Enter payments if know and number of months contractor will be servicing the district 3. Include new hire SSN or FEIN numbers and birthdates if applicable Run your VENHIRE every two weeks or twice a month: 1. Run VENHIRE in projections option first – this will show you all your reportable vendors with YTD amounts greater than $2500 2. Review your VENHIRE Error report and make corrections if needed 3. Re-run your VENHIRE in “Actual” option 4. Submit this Actual report to as needed VHRESET - The Vendor Reset Option provides the ability to automatically reset the new hire flag on the vendors that have previously been reported. Once a vendor has been reported, the new hire flag is set to “R” for reported. This option should be run at calendar year-end and, will reset the flag back to “Y” indicating the vendor may need to be reported again, if they are paid at least $2,500.00 during the next calendar year. Please contact


us if you need additional assistance with the VENHIRE program. As we look forward to 2017, our Team will be hosting various training in the coming months. We will be offering Intermediate Payroll and Beginning/Refresher USAS sessions in March, as well as STRSAD Workshop/ Open Labs in early spring. Dates and times to be announced shortly. Connect’s Fiscal Department is pleased to welcome Susan Bement and Diane Quester to our team! Both bring a wealth of ITC experience which will truly enhance our fiscal state software support. We are extremely grateful for their added knowledge and skills. And finally, a very special thanks goes out to our Munis Wave 1 Districts and Connect Munis Team. The unprecedented time and energy each of you gave to the successful implementation of this project was phenomenal. Three cheers everyone! The Fiscal Team wishes you all a happy and healthy 2017!


TECHNOLOGY SERVICES Connect’s Technical Advisory Meeting is changing. We are attempting to bring more relevant topics and presentations to our meetings. We have elected Co-Chairs Dianna R. Foley, Ph.D. (Executive Director, Communications & Technology at Rocky River School District) and Joe Magrey (Technology Director at Olmsted Falls City Schools) to head up this group. They will be working with their peers and Connect staff to organize and develop agendas for the meetings. So if you haven’t been to a Tech Advisory Meeting, please join us at our next meeting on Feb 3, 2017. For more details visit It is also E-Rate time again. Please remember to file your form 470 for any new services that your school is planning for the coming year. If you are in a multiyear

By Connect Technology Services & Linda Moore

contract for any service, you do not need to file a new Form 470 for that service. Also remember, if you have not submitted Form 486 yet, make sure you do this as soon as possible. The “magic” number is 120 days from start of service or receipt of your FCDL. USAC will start deducting funds from your commitment if this form is not filed on time. We are excited to be wrapping up our final circuit moves. This project will set us up to better utilize our 10G circuit moving forward. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of those involved at the districts/schools for their support in making this a smooth and successful project. Your district/schools’ efforts are appreciated.

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

How current is your technology lingo? These new words were officially added to the Oxford English and Merriam Webster dictionaries:

nomophobia clicktivism freemium Youtuber ICYMI





LIBRARY SERVICES Little Readers Deserve Little Libraries Although the holiday season has passed, the time for giving has not. We all know that reading is critical to success not only in school, but in all areas of life. Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of low income families do not own a single children’s book. Luckily, Kid’s Book Bank is looking to change that statistic and has one goal: “to foster improved literacy and a love of reading by providing free books to children in need.”[i] The Book Bank has distributed over 250,000 books to children in need since March 1, 2016. They distribute books through Little Free Libraries, preschool, afterschool and tutoring programs, as well as through agencies that teach and aid parents with reading with their children. These books not only contribute to the child’s academic success, but also and maybe most importantly,


By Joshua Pease, Support Specialist, Connect expose children to a world outside their own and put a spark to their imagination to dream and grow. School districts who have 65% of their students qualify for free lunches are eligible to receive books through the Kids’ Book Bank. To those districts that are more affluent and may not qualify can still be involved; they can host a book drive, with preschool through early readers being the titles the Book Bank are in most need of at this time. They can also host a Read-a-Thon to benefit the Book Bank by gathering donations, while at the same time promoting literacy amongst their own students. Please consider getting involved with this wonderful organization through either a monetary donation, or by volunteering some of your time. They always need individuals to help sort and box books. For more information you can visit their website at

On December 6, Connect’s Library Liaisons meeting was held in our Valley View offices. The morning included INFOhio updates, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) information, best practices for ISearch, an introduction of MobileCirc, and a presentation by Judy Payne of Cleveland Kid’s Book Bank.


STUDENT SERVICES By Marilyn Deyling, Lead Support Specialist, Connect With the latest release of StudentInformation, districts are now able to track and monitor a high school student’s progress toward meeting the new graduation requirements (Class of 2018 and Beyond). With the new system, staff will be able to view a summary of all subjects required for graduation and drill down to the details of the courses a student is taking or has taken. In addition, staff can record any student exemptions to indicate if a student has met a requirement for those areas that do not rely solely on course taken. At a glance,

staff will be able to monitor a student’s progress for End of Course Exam requirements and earning their graduation points. If a student has taken a class that requires an End of Course Exam, the Grad Points module will indicate the status of the tests taken/required for this area. It also pulls the data from the Special Education Exemption records to determine if a student was exempted from one of the exams and updates their progress accordingly. The module also provides information regarding ACT or SAT attempts for those students who may be able to meet requirements through this pathway.



JEFF RAKAR: If you never found time to go over the holidays or were worried about the crowds, check out Castle Noel in Medina any time of the year. It’s a cool place to visit!

JOSHUA PEASE: My favorite novel of the year was ‘The North Water’ by Ian McGuire, which has since been named one of The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2016 and has been longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. If you enjoyed the film “The Revenant” then you will enjoy this book, as the overall theme was very similar. The book delves into just how far one man will go in order to survive. I highly recommend it. STEVEN FOSTER:

This page makes you think you can cook anything in the kitchen quickly, and it will come out delicious. LORI SLINGERLAND: It is true, some of the best ‘hidden gems’ are right in your own backyard. If you like high quality leather bags and beautiful accessories, treat yourself to a visit to the FOUNT store. Located at 6706 Detroit Avenue in Historic Gordon Square you will find quality, fine leather products made right here in Cleveland! This lovely little jewel box of a shop also offers unique gift items such as jewelry, fine soap and lotions, candles, and ‘yummy’ Mast chocolate from Brooklyn! Visit their website at: Read their story, and help support a lovely local business!



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!



How can I remove Bookflix and other lower level INFOhio eBooks from appearing in my search results in ISearch for my upper level students?


After searching for your topic in ISearch, click the ‘Only Show Available’ tab under the Limit Search Results text. This will effectively remove all INFOhio eBooks, including Bookflix, but will not remove those from OverDrive or some other vendor.


How can I easily display all World Book eBooks in my ISearch results?


In order to easily display only World Book eBooks follow this two-step process; first limit your search from ‘Everything’ to ‘INFOhio eBooks’ using the drop down arrow to the left of the search bar. The second step is to change ‘All Fields’ to ‘Author’ under the second drop down box. Then you just need to search World Book and only World Book eBooks will display in your results.



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.

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5700 West Canal Road Valley View, OH 44125

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Connect's Inform Magazine - Winter 2017  

Inform is the digital magazine of Connect.

Connect's Inform Magazine - Winter 2017  

Inform is the digital magazine of Connect.

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