Innovative Technology Services (ITS)Dr. Matt Kuhn
Chief Technology Officer - Innovative Technology Services
Empowering the TSD community to grow into the future with innovative technology today.
The ITS division's mission is to provide, support, and coordinate the best possible technology for productivity, learning, and school improvement.
ITS is responsible for planning, implementing, and supporting technology across the district including student devices, staff computers, instructional applications, business software, classroom projection systems, telecommunications, network infrastructure and more. The department also assists the Learning Services Department with improving instructional technology pedagogy in coordination with each school's leadership.
The ITS Help Desk is a Web-based service request system for staff members of the Thompson School District to enter and track their service requests for technology or software support. For technical support, call (970) 613-7777 or submit an ITS Help Desk Ticket.
ITS 2019 Summer Progress Update:
Latest Tech News
How Does Staff Get a New Computer?
Each Spring, an inventory survey is conducted to determine staff eligibility for the replacement cycle to replace about 1/5th of the staff fleet. The survey will determine who, at that time, has a computer older than 5 years old and is therefore eligible for replacement. This is a 80/20% arrangement for staff computer replacements where ITS pays 80% and the supervisor's budget pays 20%. For new or transferring staff, the process is a little different and is found at https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1HZsCwF1UhwzWOsywTduQkSvSnqR_052D1DHtcf181TE/edit.
Nationwide Congressional App Challenge
This is a great opportunity for Middle School and High School students to take part in the nationwide Congressional App Challenge and our App-a-thon which will take place at Google offices in Boulder on Saturday, October 12th, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Congressman Neguse will be at the App-a-thon in the afternoon to talk with students and learn about what they are doing. Tech-experts from Google will also be on hand all day to work with students and answer their questions. You will find the full flyer here. Students will have until October 31st to finish and submit their app to the Congressional App Challenge.
Student Data Breach Notification
Pearson is an educational software company from whom Thompson School District (TSD) purchased a variety of services and software licenses. Late last month, Pearson Clinical Assessment notified TSD and thousands of other school districts and universities that one of the company’s software products, AIMSweb 1.0, had been accessed by an unauthorized third party, resulting in unauthorized access of some TSD staff and student data stored by Pearson.
Pearson’s security incident announcement is available here: https://www.pearson.com/
corporate/news/media/news- announcements/2019/07/pearson- customer-notification.html. TSD used the Aimsweb 1.0 software tool to screen and monitor the reading and math skills of PreK–12 students, identify at-risk students, and assess individual and classroom growth. According to Pearson, the only data exposed included student or staff first and last names, date of birth, and in some cases, old email addresses that are not our current type, but may be forwarding to the newer type of email address. This data is directory information that most students and staff have consented to being public information and that can be disclosed without consent pursuant to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
According to Pearson’s notice, no other personal identifiable information of TSD students or staff was exposed. Importantly, account passwords were not affected. Further, Pearson’s notice states that it has no evidence that any of the exposed data has been misused. To confirm Pearson’s assertion, TSD Network Engineering conducted a basic search on the most commonly known dark web portals that traffic illicit data to see if any TSD student or staff data could be found, but there was no apparent evidence of any of this data on the internet at that time.
The company explained that the vulnerability has been fixed and to prevent the possibility of future security breaches, Pearson has retired the previous version of the software that was subjected to unauthorized access. It took some time for Pearson to discover the breach and an ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) inquiry has slowed the notification process. The data breach happened in November 2018 and Pearson was notified by the FBI in March, 2019. The FBI’s investigation is ongoing as the perpetrator is still unknown.
If you would like to know whether your staff or student data was affected by Pearson’s data security incident, then contact the ITS Help Desk at 970-613-7777. Pearson is offering complimentary credit monitoring services to qualified persons as a precautionary measure. If you are interested in these services, then contact Scott Overland by phone at (202) 909-4520 or email at Scott.Overland@pearson.com to see if you qualify to receive them. If you have specific questions for Pearson about this incident, you can contact the company at 866-883-3309 or email at email@example.com.