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Office of the Chief Technology Officer


Technology Purchasing and Support

Procurement and Support of Technology Products

When purchasing computer-related hardware, software, and network technology for your school
or office, prior approval, coordination, and collaboration with staff in the Office of the Chief
Technology Officer (OCTO) is required. OCTO staff has established comprehensive processes
for previewing and testing software for proper operation on current Montgomery County Public
Schools (MCPS) systems. Additionally, OCTO has established partnerships with vendors to
facilitate optimum pricing and licensing of software, hardware, and peripheral devices.
Coordinating purchases with our staff will ensure the proper integration, operation, and support
of the district’s technology systems; save valuable time; maximize the use of financial resources;
make certain that purchases are appropriate for the intended use; and facilitate accurate inventory
management and reporting.

OCTO staff provides support for all devices currently available through the approved technology
purchase process. A complete list of approved devices is available on the MCPS staff Web page
in the Getting Technology Products section under the Technology heading. As a reminder, users
are restricted from connecting unauthorized devices to MCPS systems without prior approval.
Devices not on the approved technology purchase list will not be supported by MCPS..

Contact: Mr. Bobby Bettinger, IT systems specialist (ITSS), at 240-632-7714 or at

Robert_A_Bettinger@mcpsmd.org; or Mr. Paul McCabe, ITSS, at 240-632-7715 or

Principals’ Tablet Computers

Tablet computers are part of each school’s inventory and transferred to the incoming principal.
ITSSs should ensure that tablets are re-imaged; additional software is added, as necessary; and
connection with the school’s network has been established. A technology consultant will
schedule and provide training when requested.

School Technology Support

Principals should meet as soon as possible with their ITSS or their assigned ITSS to verify that
all computers, servers, backup systems, and network applications are in proper working order.
Additionally, principals should verify that all school staff are able to log onto the school
network, Outlook, and the school private folder (where the ITSS is designated the moderator).
This is important for cafeteria and health room personnel as well. Problems requiring assistance
from second level support should be reported to the Help Desk at 301-517-5800.

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You may want to require a first day of duty self-test for staff members to ensure they have access
to the necessary applications needed to perform their job. Problems with applications such as:
myMCPS, Online Administrative Student Information System (OASIS), attendance, Professional
Development Online (PDO), grade book, or other applications should be reported to the Help
Desk at 301-517-5800 or at HelpDesk@mcpsmd.org.

The ITSS should verify that all students have been assigned user names and passwords to access
the MCPS network and have in place a plan to test that the user names and passwords are valid.
Additionally, confirm that your ITSS has a process in place for the following:
1. Providing regulations and guidelines for use of MCPS e-mail and Internet to all staff
2. Reviewing security procedures
3. Safeguarding computers
4. Familiarizing staff with the Help Desk Web site, as well as procedures for contacting the
Help Desk

Summer Assignment of Media Services Technicians

School-based 12-month media services technicians are assigned to the Division of Technology
Innovation from the end of June through early August. Principals are notified of this assignment
in January each year. Those media services technicians who plan to request leave during their
assignment to this office should submit their leave requests to Mr. Steve Silvious, Room 41,
Carver Educational Services Center, by the deadline established in January.

These technicians will be assigned to a variety of systemwide projects including summer staff
development activities, summer school, and the installation of computers as part of the
Technology Modernization Program. Their assignment to the Division of Technology
Innovation during the summer is essential to the success of these important initiatives.

Contact: Ms. Melissa Woods, director, Division of Technology Innovation, at 240-632-6980 or


Emergency Communications

Emergency Call System Testing

MCPS has placed an emergency mobile telephone in the main office area of each school. This
device provides two-way calling in the event of an emergency; staff can use the device when
other means of communication are not working or are unavailable.

To ensure that this system works as expected, a weekly test is performed in collaboration with
the Public Information Office. A simultaneous emergency test call is made to all of the
phones every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. An e-mail message announcing the test is sent at 4:00 p.m.
the day before (Monday). To comply with the test, staff is required to e-mail
nextelbroadcast@mcpsmd.org or respond to the test message that the test was successfully
received or that the test message was not received by 10:15 a.m.

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On the third Tuesday of every month, a test of the Connect-ED automated notification system is
performed. The Connect-ED system is used as a means to send a test call to MCPS emergency
phone numbers. There is no action needed as a matter of follow-up to this test. This information
is provided so you are aware of all of the elements of the emergency communication testing.

For each test, an e-mail is sent out on the Monday prior to the test reminding everyone of the
testing to be completed and what to do after the test time has passed.


BlackBerry Devices

Every school has an assigned BlackBerry device that the principal is expected to carry. The
device works as both a mobile phone, as well as a mobile e-mail device. The BlackBerry will
automatically synchronize Outlook e-mail, contacts, and calendar. The assigned number and
device a principal receives likely will have been used prior to their new assignment.

BlackBerry devices communicate directly with MCPS mailboxes (Outlook/Exchange); therefore,

it is important that the information stored on these devices is secured and inaccessible to
unauthorized users if the device is lost or stolen. In addition to the risk of accidentally disclosing
confidential information, a lost or stolen device can be used to send unauthorized e-mail and text
messages. MCPS-provided BlackBerries are equipped with password features to prevent
unauthorized access to sensitive information. Once activated, you will be required to enter your
password each time the device is used. While each user may determine how long their device
remains unlocked before the locked feature is automatically activated, it is recommended that
this time be set for less than 15 minutes. Additionally, you may lock your BlackBerry at any
time by selecting (clicking) the lock icon at the main menu.

In the event your BlackBerry is lost or stolen, it is imperative that you report the loss
immediately to the telecommunications team. This enables the staff to send a command to the
lost device to erase all personal information and assign you a new device.

Contact: Ms. Rustana Minayar, IT services technical assistant, Telecommunications Team,

Department of Infrastructure and Operations, at Rustana_Minayar@mcpsmd.org or at

Summer Maintenance of Wireless Phones

A Nextel cellular phone has been provided for emergency use in each relocatable classroom at
your school as part of a joint program between OCTO and the Department of School Safety and
Security. In addition, two emergency phones are located in the administrative offices—one to
receive ―all call‖ emergency announcements and the other for emergency outgoing calls. In July
and August, OCTO staff will begin visiting each site to verify that all phones are working, have
adequate battery and charging capability, and have correct activations and numbers. OCTO staff
also will replace any missing components and adjust the number of phones to reflect the current
number of relocatable classrooms designated for your site during the coming school year. A

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staff member will contact the school prior to the visit. When staff has completed the review at
your school, they will provide a detailed copy of their work and any adjustments to the
inventory. Booklets and instructions on the emergency use of the phones are available if

To ensure the success of this program, please

 collect all emergency phones for relocatable classrooms and their complete kits;
 verify your inventory, including serial numbers, locations, and names of staff assigned
phones during the past year;
 place the verified inventory in an envelope marked ―Telecommunications, Wireless
Phones, Summer 2009;‖
 keep this envelope, the phones, and their kits in an administrative area that will be
accessible to OCTO staff when they sign in during the summer; and
 ensure administrative emergency phones are active and in place in the office.

Contact: Mr. Chuck McGee, supervisor, Telecommunications Team, Department of

Infrastructure and Operations, at 301-279-3580 or Chuck_McGee@mcpsmd.org.

Emergency Cellular Telephone Usage

OCTO and the Department of School Safety and Security initiated a program to place cellular
telephones in all MCPS relocatable classrooms to enhance the safety of our students and
teachers. These cellular telephones have been issued so staff can notify 911 or the appropriate
administrator concerning critical situations.

The Division of Technology Innovation has the responsibility for reviewing emergency cellular
telephone usage. A review of cellular telephone invoices will be conducted by staff in the Office
of the Chief Technology Officer, and invoices showing activity that is neither critical nor
emergency in nature will be sent to your school. Please be sure to periodically review the
guidelines for appropriate use of cellular telephones with staff.

Contact: Ms. Melissa Woods, director, Division of Technology Innovation, at 240-632-6980 or


National Do Not Call Registry

To limit solicitation and related nuisance calls, the National Do Not Call Registry was
established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) in an effort to eliminate the increasing number of unwanted and uninvited
telemarketing calls that many people receive throughout the United States. This service also
applies to mobile phones.

To have your mobile phone number added to the registry, log in to https://www.donotcall.gov
and click the ―Register Now‖ button. You will be prompted to enter the phone numbers you
want included in the registry and the e-mail address to which you would like a confirmation sent.
Once the form is submitted, you will receive an e-mail confirming the phone numbers you

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registered. Clicking the confirmation Web link provided in the e-mail will complete your

The FCC will not drop any telephone numbers from the registry based on a five-year expiration
period pending final Congressional or agency action to make the registration permanent. To
learn more about this registry, visit https://www.donotcall.gov/faq/faqdefault.aspx.

Contact: Mr. Chuck McGee, supervisor, Telecommunications Team, Department of

Infrastructure and Operations, at 301-279-3580 or Chuck_McGee@mcpsmd.org.

Technology Enhanced Assessments

Measures of Academic Progress—Reading (MAP-R)

The MAP-R is a computerized adaptive reading assessment that reflects the instructional level of
each student and measures growth over time. It can be administered as many as three times per
year; fall, winter, and spring. Trained proctors assist in delivering the assessment. Test proctors
in each school have been identified and trained. Teachers are encouraged to remain with the
proctor and class during the assessment. Schools follow these guidelines when administering the
 Elementary schools: fall, winter, and spring assessments are mandatory; Grades 3–5.
 Middle schools: fall and spring are mandatory; Grades 6–8. Winter is optional.
 High schools: fall, winter, and spring assessments are optional; Grades 9–10.

This assessment has been administered since winter 2004, and schools have well-established test
administration procedures. A yearly schedule of MAP-R events and timelines is sent to
principals, elementary school reading specialists, and ITSSs each fall. Reminders are sent before
the winter and spring assessment windows. Training is offered before each assessment window
for new proctors or those who need complete refreshment.

For further information about MAP-R, principals may contact their assigned technology

Achievement Series

Achievement Series is an assessment delivery and reporting application that was first piloted in
2005 as part of an algebra intervention program in all high schools and alternative programs.
Teachers in these intervention programs used Achievement Series to analyze student
performance on practice High School Assessments (HSAs).

In 2006, Achievement Series was implemented as part of the Technology for Curriculum
Mastery initiative designed to recapture instructional time through the use of new technologies.
Achievement Series was included in this initiative to address the following:
 Saving teachers time in scoring and reporting of assessments
 Providing timely, accurate, and detailed reports
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 Quickly adapting to meet the needs of students

The Achievement Series program has expanded to include final exams in English; Biology;
National, State, and Local Government; and formative assessments in Algebra, English 9 and 10,
and Mathematics and English in Grades 6–8. Mathematics and English assessments in Grades 6–
8 are scanned in Achievement Series and reported in Performance Matters and the Instructional
Management System (IMS).

Teachers and administrators have access to standards-based reporting at the classroom, school,
and district-levels including item analysis and detailed reports that can be used to meet the needs
of all students.

Login New principals may get their Achievement Series login information by calling
the MCPS Help Desk at 301 517-5800 or at HelpDesk@mcpsmd.org
Training School-assigned technology consultants are available to provide one-on-one
training to new principals, who also may contact Mr. Yakoubou Ousmanou,
Achievement Series project manager, or Mr. Ryan McNavage to arrange for
Website For more information and to access the training document, please
visit: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/elearning/as/
Contact For general information regarding the Achievement Series project or training,
please contact Mr. Yakoubou Ousmanou at Yakoubou_Ousmanou@mcpsmd.org

Kindergarten through Grade 2 Reading Assessments

PALM Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are used by kindergarten through Grade 2 teachers to
assess reading progress. It is important to ensure the proper care of the PALMs over the summer

Please read carefully the information outlined below to ensure that your school’s PALMs are
properly cared for throughout the summer and are available for summer training and next school
year. PALMs must be kept charged at all times to prevent loss of applications and data. When a
PALM loses its charge, all data including DIBELS and mCLASS Reading 3D applications are
lost. Uncharged PALMs require reconfiguration that delays their availability to teachers.

 Teachers transferring to another school: A teacher who transfers to another MCPS

location or who leaves the school system must leave his/her PALM at the school to which
it was originally assigned. (PALMs are assigned to school locations, not individuals.)

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 Teachers taking the PALM PDA home for the summer:
 Returning teachers should keep their PALMs with them over the summer and are
responsible for keeping the PALMs charged at all times.
 Returning teachers should confirm with appropriate school staff that they will be
keeping their PALMs over the summer.
 Schools must keep a record of those teachers who take PALMs home for the
summer months.

 Teachers who do not want to take the PALM PDA home for the summer: PALMs that
remain at the school during the summer should be kept charged and in a secure location.
PALMs should remain plugged into a power source throughout the summer. Extended
charging will not damage the device.

 Acquiring PALM PDAs for teachers new to the school: Schools with newly assigned
teachers should contact the Help Desk at 301-517-5800 to secure a properly configured

 Lost or stolen PALM PDAs

 Stolen, lost, or damaged PALMs should be reported directly to the Help Desk at
301-517-5800. The Help Desk should be contacted for assistance in obtaining
 Reasonable precautions against theft, damage, or loss should be exercised. MCPS
will replace PALMs at no cost to staff or school.

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