Network and security update

The startup of the school year has brought several technology challenges. The I.S. team is working to mitigate the issues short term and eliminate them long term. Here's an update on where we are:

Network speed

Did you know? On an average school day, up to 90,000 devices connect to our network?With the return of students and staff, network performance has been slower than usual due to the large amount of updates, downloads and files syncing that is occurring on thousands of devices concurrently. The district has increased our internet bandwidth to 18 gigabytes, which is currently the maximum capacity available. We expanded our firewall capacity to accommodate the additional bandwidth. In the near term, we are working with Cox to further increase our bandwidth. Longer term, we will be moving our internet service to a new platform that will remove the capacity constraints we currently have.

Admin rights

Removing local rights to download software has limited the access to various software products for individuals. We are adding highly requested software to the Software Center as quickly as possible. Please check the center regularly to see if we have added the software you need. Some recent additions include:

  • Boardmaker Studio and Addendums
  • Logger Pro 3
  • Google Earth Pro

We are processing unique software requests daily. Our priority continues to be titles needed for instructional purpose. Delays are usually due to licensing and ownership issues. Please email swportal@mpsaz.org if you would like an update on your request. In the interim, try using a browser-based version of the software, if available.

Fonts

Fonts are a challenge, especially at the elementary level. Some fonts that were used previously are marked for personal use only or were purchased by individual employees, preventing us from making them available in the Software Center. Our research has yet to identify an appropriate enterprise-level font package we can license for general use, but we are still trying to find the best solution. For individual requests, we are limiting our focus right now to academically needed fonts. Microsoft and Google offer a wide variety of fonts that may be an immediate solution with some need to update your document format.

Access to safe, reliable technology and network services is the cornerstone of our mission in Mesa Public Schools. Thank you for working with us to make that a reality.

 

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