WRDSB launches MyFiles & MyPassword

The memo will provide guidelines and processes regarding system distribution and use of:

There were four goals to consider when providing this new process:
  • Streamline and simplify password management using a single self service utility available anywhere, anytime
  • Streamline and simplify remote file access management using a single self service utility available anywhere, anytime
  • Provide the best customer service
  • Control costs in the area of password provision
The new process:
  • Is effective as of July 2, 2014
  • Allows users password control at https://mypassword.wrdsb.ca from anywhere at anytime. It  replaces the Password Kiosk and the Student Password Management utility
  • Allows user remote file access control at  https://myfiles.wrdsb.ca 
  • Streamlines service delivery for the ITS department
  • Still allows for teachers and In School Technicians to make password changes through the current use of SchoolConnect
  • Aligns with our forward thinking board strategic plan.

GAFE: Google Apps for Education

This is the WRDSB Portal for GAFE information. You may want to bookmark it, etc.
Here you will find login procedures for WRDSB Google Apps for Education (for teachers and students), and much more.
Of particular note is the fact that the GAFE login is slightly different when you are on a Chromebook.
Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is a suite of cloud based, collaborative applications for teaching and learning. Applications include (but are not limited to) Google Drive, Docs, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Forms, Gmail and Calendar.
All WRDSB teachers and students will have individual GAFE accounts. These are, or will be, available for use once your school has had the Active Directory upgrade to the Admin Domain. The upgrade in secondary schools is complete; elementary schools are in progress and will be complete by June of 2014.
To access your WRDSB GAFE account, go to http://google.wrdsb.ca and login using your PAL / School Connect username and password. For more information about GAFE accounts and other features, please visit the links to the left.

Do you email parents? Read Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation First!

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) came into effect on July 1, 2014.

In order to assist staff in complying with this legislation, a toolkit has been created at http://staff.wrdsb.ca/casl.

There is a page for administrators/supervisors, one for secretaries, one for teachers and one for all employees. All staff must review the pages which are appropriate for them, in order to ensure we are compliant with this legislation.

CASL prohibits the sending of any type of electronic message that is commercial in nature unless the recipient provides specific informed consent to receive these types of messages and the message contains certain elements prescribed in the legislation. A message is considered commercial if the end result of the message could result in a business transaction of some sort (e.g. student photographs, field trips, spiritwear sales, pizza day or other fundraising announcements, opportunities for vendors etc.), whether we send those messages directly or include them in electronic publications such as Board or school newsletters.

Email lists used last school year to send CEMs MUST NOT be used this year. Only individuals who have provided specific, informed, CASL-compliant consent may be sent electronic communications.

All student contacts who have provided their consent to receive electronic communications have had their email addresses loaded into the Trillium Student System. In order to ensure that only CASL-compliant email addresses are recorded, the ability for schools to modify the email field in Trillium has been removed. Contacts who subscribe/unsubscribe will be uploaded nightly into Trillium. We are currently creating a portal that individuals can use to subscribe/unsubscribe. This portal will be available soon. When the portal is available, the URL will be posted at staff.wrdsb.ca/casl.

The default email template in WaterWorks has been adjusted as well to include a CASL-compliant footer at the bottom of every message.

Alpha Textbooks Short Story Contest 2014

Alpha Textbooks short story contest is open to middle and high school students Ontario. This year, they are awarding two first prizes of an iPad mini, for middle and high school students: one for middle school entrants, the other for high school entrants. Honourable mentions will be given to students who come in second and third place. The contest will run September through October 2014. Judging will take place during the first two weeks of November and prizes will be awarded late November. http://www.alphashortstorycontest.com/#!about-the-contest/cotb

Interesting in judging? Call For Teachers – Alpha Short Story Contest 2014

Alpha Textbooks is currently looking for teachers who will help out as story judges. They will split up the stories so that the reading load is considerate of a teacher’s schedule. You will be asked to rank your favourite 3 stories from your list. The selected stories, by each judge, will make the shortlist, from which the winner will be collectively chosen. All stories will be submitted to you without the author’s name on the manuscript, to ensure fair judging. Stories will be 500-750 words, max. If you participate, they would like to promote your participation on the contest website. They are looking for five judges, whom they hope to thank with a small gift of store credit, to use on any products you wish.

For more information or to sign up, contact me, Cris Costa. Check out the contest website at www.alphashortstorycontest.com.

Trillium Lakelands Teacher Local, Waterloo Region Occasional Teacher Local win ETFO Member Service and Engagement Award

Waterloo Region OT Local President Nathan Core, Kathy Lucking, Kelly Merrifield, ETFO President Sam Hammond, Michael Shillolo, Trillium Lakelands Local President Steve Collier, Laura and Jeff Paquette

August 12, 2014

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has presented Trillium Lakelands Teacher Local and Waterloo Region Occasional Teacher Local with its 2014 Member Service and Engagement Award.

The award recognizes the excellence of up to two locals in serving members, keep members informed, and involve members in the local.

In 2013, members of the Trillium Lakelands Teacher Local demonstrated unprecedented union solidarity under the leadership of local president Steve Colliver. The local spent 10 days at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) when the Trillium Lakelands and Upper Canada district school boards objected to the continued withdrawal of teacher voluntary activities following enactment of Bill 115. The local’s regular updates and emails helped motivate over 250 of the local’s 730 members to attend protest rallies during the OLRB hearing. Earlier, well over a quarter of the local’s members protested the implementation of Bill 115 at rallies at local Member of Parliament offices. During these politically turbulent times, the local’s three released officers continued to meet individual member needs and oversee the work of the local’s seven committees.

In six years, the Waterloo Region Occasional Teachers’ Local has gone from an organization without an office to a local with a ‘home’ and a high degree of member participation. A high priority has been placed on ensuring member access to local President Nathan Core, executive members and the local’s resources. Along with an annual new members’ meeting, a monthly ‘staffroom Thursday’ is held at the office as well as a meet-and-greet at a local coffee shop. A half-time administrator is on hand at the office to assist members with mandatory Health and Safety training and other needs. Various committees offer a workshop or activity nearly every week. There is also a Membership Development Fund for members to apply for $125 grants towards courses or other professional activity.

“These two locals have found the key to motivating and engaging their members to be active participants and benefit from all that their union has to offer,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “They demonstrate that when ETFO members stand together, both politically and professionally, we are strong advocates for the teaching profession and a high-quality education system.”