Virtual School Plan Activated

I’m sure many of you have questions about the virtual school plan. The plan has been activated in response to school closure mandated by the government due to precautions about the Wuhan corona virus. Please refer to the essential outline and links to further information below.

  • The full plan, FAQs, and two sample online lessons developed by Chelsea and Greg are available in this Virtual School Resources Canvas course.
  • In the current scenario, teachers deliver instruction asynchronously by creating online lessons in Canvas, one lesson per course every two days. Teachers need not teach live (synchronous) classes.
  • Teachers should be online in Teams for virtual office hours with students during the time when they would otherwise be teaching a class. For example, if you would normally teach blocks A, B and D then you need to be available online during those times.
  • A modified communications protocol is in effect. All faculty and staff should be online using Teams during virtual office hours. All students and teachers should install Teams by downloading the client from Additionally,
    • Teachers may communicate with students using e-mail and Canvas. To have a live video/text/audio chat session, use Teams.
    • Teachers may communicate with colleagues asynchronously via e-mail. To have a live video/text/audio chat session, use Teams.
  • Expect hiccups big and small, and reach out for help and questions when you need it!
    • Email or send a Teams message to Hanson, Aracelis or Matt for policy questions
    • Email or send a Teams message Matt and/or the Tech Ambassadors for “how do I use technology to teach?” questions. The Tech Ambassadors email address is
    • Email the IT helpdesk at for “my technology isn’t working” questions
    • Training on variety of online instruction topics will be available no later than Monday. The trainings will be given live via webinar and recordings will be posted online for your review.

Extra monitors and keyboards available

The IT department recently cleaned out our storeroom and we have some extra monitors and wireless bluetooth keyboards available for use in your office. These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and can be checked out to you for use at school indefinitely. Stop by the helpdesk before December 19 if you’re interested in one!

Don’t upgrade to latest MacOS Catalina

We’ve received multiple reports from students and staff who have upgraded their laptops to the latest Mac OS version, Catalina, that they experience unreliable WiFi connections on campus after the upgrade. For now, please do not upgrade your laptops to Catalina. Mac OS 10.14 Mojave is safe to upgrade.

Tech Tools Inventory

As you go into planning a lesson, do you always go back to the same strategies? Are you getting tired of using the same programs every week?  Or do you ever get stuck just wishing you had a new way to engage students? Whether you are stuck in a rut or just needing a refresher, check out our new Tech Tools Inventory to get some new ideas!

Various Tech Tools are organized into categories by how they might be used in class. Looking for a new way to do an Exit Ticket? Try Poll Everywhere, Mentimeter, or Go Formative! Looking for a new way for students to process information? Try Mindmeister or Padlet! Wondering how you can have students present information in a new way? Try using CoSpaces or FlipaClip. Your NCPA Tech Ambassadors are always adding new ideas to the Tech Tools Inventory, so check back later for some new ideas.

We want to hear from you! Do you have a Tech Tool you want to share? You can also add to the Padlet with your ideas! Also, contact a Tech Ambassador if it is something you would like to share on the EdTech Blog or in a Breakfast Slam.


NCPA has a Schoolwide Padlet Subscription

NCPA now has a subscription to Padlet. Padlet is an “interactive multimedia bulletin board.” Teachers can use it for icebreaker activities, to collect student ideas or responses to a prompt, and collate student questions. Under the free version, teachers could only create a limited number of boards, but with our paid subscription you can now create as many as you want!

To get started, visit Then, you’ll need to use the “Forgot Password?” link to set a new password for your account – Padlet will send an activation email to your school e-mail address.

Don’t Upgrade to Catalina Yet

The latest version of MacOS, Catalina, has been released. Your Macbook may prompt you to upgrade. We do NOT recommend upgrading to Catalina at this time, as it may cause compatibility issues with your software including your print driver. If you did already upgrade, though, visit the helpdesk if you experience any software or printing issues.

Video Production Services Available

If you need help producing a polished video for an internal or external audience, the IT department can now provide official assistance in video production. This can range from checking out equipment for do-it-yourself projects to full filming and editing services for school events.

Video projects typically require a minimum of two weeks’ advance notice in order to schedule filming; more lead time may be necessary when editing services are requested. Make a request by filling out this form from the staff portal.

Classroom Phones Installed: Get Help Faster

Classroom phones have been installed in all AQ1, AQ2 and AQ4 classrooms!

This means that when you’re having a problem with your projector at the beginning of class, or it’s raining and water starts leaking into your classroom, you can pick up a phone and call the IT or facilities helpdesks directly. You can also reach the nurse or counselors in the event of a medical or counseling emergency. Each phone has a contact list posted next to it with the numbers of every classroom and main hall office.

By January, performing arts and fine arts classrooms will also have phones installed.