1:1 and other tech programs add a few additional to-dos to your end of year procedures. Especially when your programs are new, it’s easy to feel like you missed a step or forgot to do something important. Creating a list of everything you need to do to close out the year and get prepped for next year is key.
We recently reached out to Bob Gibson, the Director of Technology at Woodford County Schools in Kentucky who has his end of year procedures down to a science. Woodford is a (almost) 1:1 district of about 4,000 students that uses G Suite for Education. Gibson shared his wrap-up routine with us, and we hope it will help you go into the summer feeling confident you’ve done everything you need to do!
1. Reach out to graduating students
Towards the end of the year, the Technology Integration Specialists will reach out to the graduating class, explaining how to use Google Takeout to download all of their data and move it to a personal account if they’d like.
At Woodford, student accounts are suspended upon graduating, but they won’t be deleted for a year. This way, if students didn’t download their info in time, they can contact the school within a year to get anything they really need.
The same procedure is also used for teachers who leave the district.
2. Collect devices
Woodford has 1:2 iPads in grades K-2, 1:1 classroom sets of Chromebooks for grades 3-5 and 1:1 Chromebooks assigned to each student in 6-12. While the 7-12th grade students can take their devices home during the year, all devices must be turned in before summer vacation.
Gibson and his staff begin collecting devices a few weeks before school ends, during testing, so they know where everything is before school lets out. Each device is inspected, updated if needed, and placed on its corresponding grade shelf. Devices stay with the same student year-to-year for 7th through 12th graders (with new devices purchased in 10th grade), so the laptops will be moved to the next year’s shelf before devices are distributed in the fall.
3. Archive Hāpara
Woodford uses Hapara to gain visibility into student work in G Suite. Each summer, schools need to archive the current year’s data in order to prep for next year.
School ends in late May for Woodford County, and Gibson waits to run his Hapara archive until the end of June. Gibson makes sure to check in with teachers to see how they plan to use Hapara for summer school or summer projects before the archive begins, so they won’t lose access if they need it.
For more on archiving Hapara, view this support article.
4. Update OUs
The students and teachers loaded in G Suite are managed by Active Directory sync, so they are automatically kept up to date. However, Gibson does need to update student organizational units (OUs) to ensure everyone receives the Google Suite experience they need next school year.
Gibson puts students into OUs based on school, with a whole elementary school receiving one set of G Suite rules while the whole high school has its own settings. This simplifies the end of year procedures and process. Gibson just needs to move over folders of kids to their new grades and not change the OUs.
When students hit middle school, they are placed in an OU named for their graduating year. The entire high school has the same OU settings and students will not need to be moved again until graduation. When students graduate, their accounts are suspended and moved to an Alumni OU that is kept for one year.
5. Check Google Admin settings
Google changes the setup of its Admin settings often, making new settings available or changing the way settings work. Many of these settings default to “open”. Gibson recommends checking your Google Admin settings about every 3 months to see what’s changed and to check if the new defaults align with your districts’ needs. During your end of year process is one great time to do this.
Gibson also occasionally meets with other CIOs from his region to discuss things like Google Admin settings. Hearing which settings other districts use and why they use them can be helpful for determining your own setup.
6. Activate Hapara for next year
Gibson waits until the last couple of weeks before school starts to reload data into Hapara. When students are added into Hapara for the next year, they are automatically able to see their class folders. If you don’t want students to see their classes early, or think that classes might shuffle around a bit, you should wait a bit to load your Hapara data.
On the flipside, Gibson points out that it is easier to do Hapara trainings for teachers with students loaded, so they have real info to work with. You have to find the time to load data the makes the most sense for your district.
The exact procedures you follow each year will depend greatly on the specifics of your tech program and the needs of your teachers and students, but we hope this list serves as a great starting point!