Cabinet Clean Up

Welcome back and happy new year!

We have been busy over the break working on things that we cannot normally work on…namely our physical data connections.

Wonder whats going on in that before-and-after pic?  Lets geek out for a sec!  The internet (coming from the District Office) comes into the MDF (main distribution frame) or ‘core’ router in the Office.  The network is then split into internal fiber that goes to one of several IDF (or intermediate distribution frame) cabinets scattered across campus, one of these is what you are looking at above.  All of the computer data ports in your rooms go into cables that end up in these cabinets, terminated into female ports organized in rows on panels, known as patch-panels (the black panels in the photos above).  These are then connected to the switches by a short data cable sometimes referred to as a jumper.

Ever had a port in your room that doesn’t work?  This is likely because the corresponding patch-panel port has not been connected to a switch port (see the before photo above, notice all the empty ports?).  This could be for a number of reasons, most often it is because either the switch is already full, or there simply weren’t enough jumper cables available during implementation.  We have been busy at both sites working to both ensure that all ports are connected to a switch port and ensure that the cabinets are organized and clean.  The above before-and-after is the Arcata High School Library Lab IDF, we plan to have all cabinets looking like this before 2019.

Feeling Wired

The fiber leg between the Office and the Auto Shop at MHS has been repaired!  With the new 12-strand fiber we were able to light 3 pairs to provide direct fiber connections to 3 outlying buildings: the South Gym, Building Trades and the Snack Bar in the Football Field.  Previously these had been daisy-chained from one building to another.  While it certainly works, the fault tolerance is relatively low as a problem on any leg could have brought down the whole chain…now a single point of failure will only bring down one segment.  Furthermore, there is increased bandwidth to each building as they do not need to all pass through the same cable to get to the main hub.

This is one of the many infrastructure improvements that will be done over the next few years.  Next up will be the Science network drop at AHS!

Welcome Back!

Welcome back!

I am sure you are all rested are ready for the end of the semester.  Over the break we did some infrastructure clean-up and Chromebook cart rollouts!  Some of the particularly bad cabinets at MHS saw a complete rewiring.  And, more excitingly, both AHS and MHS are now opperating with a new cart of Chromebooks.  We look forward to monitoring the successes and failures of these devices as we determine the best fit for our district.

We hope you had a fantastic break and look forward to closing out the calendar year with you and our students.  Thank you for your support as we continue to implement upgrades and new technologies into our schools.


CETPA 2017 is happening!  This year there has been a great turn out and our team will be implementing some of the ideology and strategies gleaned from neighboring districts and specialist in the EdTech field.  We are very excited to bring home some new technologies and ideas to help us prepare for the inevitable shift to digital curricula and cloud based learning services.  The cloud is coming, and we will be ready for it.

November Tech Committee Meeting

Our last District Tech Committee meeting on Thursday, November 9th was a productive one.  Several hot topics were discussed and there were some great conversations around those topics.  We decided as a committee to begin reducing filter restrictions and promoting digital learning relative to digital citizenship.  This is and will be be an ongoing goal and the filter changes will be implemented slowly and effectively.  Our district has already done a fantastic job of implementing this type of training and we would like to support and expand those endeavors.  The first round of filtering lifts will include news sites that have comment sections.  I would like to thank our wonderful staff and administration for agreeing to meet and discuss these difficult and polarizing topics and come to an agreement for the benefit of our students and district.  I look forward to many more productive meetings.


By far our most common issue with student laptops is broken/missing keys.  These requests account for about 20% of all the technology requests we get.  These types of repairs are very time consuming and back-stock intensive; furthermore, once a key has been broken off it will never be quite like new again.  Please ensure that your students are treating our devices with respect, and (most importantly) hold those that choose not to be respectful accountable.  For ideas on how to do this effectively please reach out to us or your colleagues as there are several simple steps that can be taken to drastically reduce these types of damages and abuse.  Thank you for your cooperation!

Wireless Refresh

Our WiFi is getting antiquated.  Several of our Access Points (the units that our devices connect to for wireless internet) have long passed their ‘End of Life’.  The good news is that the wiring is all done for an Access Point in every classroom, so all we need to do is get some new APs.  We are pleased to inform you that we will be deploying some new Aruba Access Points into high-use areas for testing.  The AHS Library, MHS Field and select classrooms will be getting these new Access Points for testing purposes.  If all goes well, we will be looking into a complete district upgrade to support our expanding wireless network.