- Palmer High School
Starting the year remotely means relying heavily on technology. When technology fails us, like it did earlier this week, it can be extremely frustrating. Over the summer, our technology team did lots of testing and preparation. Given the preparation, we expanded from deploying 5,000 student computers to 20,000 over the summer. In the process, we had to upgrade our Internet content filter on all D11 devices, helping to keep students safe online by blocking access to inappropriate sites.
The Internet content filter is at the root of almost all the issues we have been experiencing on D11 devices since the start of school. Every website a student, teacher, or staff member accesses through a D11 device has to go through the content filter and be approved before loading the webpage. As students logged in on Monday morning on their school-issued devices, it quickly became apparent the new content filter could not handle the load. The content filter was so backlogged with requests, it caused sites like Schoology, WebEx, and d11.org to load very slowly or not at all, causing error messages to be displayed.
This week, we have been working non-stop with our content filter vendor to determine how best to resolve these issues. Each day, new fixes have been applied and have provided improvement. We will continue to performance tune and tweak our environment until we get it right for every student.
With every new learning environment comes changes, challenges, and opportunities to learn together. We greatly appreciate the patience and understanding from our families as we navigate these hurdles. Moving forward, we know our students will be successful this year, learning that even the best technology isn’t without flaws, and teamwork helps provide resolutions to issues they will also encounter in the world that awaits them after high school. It is very important to keep the lines of communication open between our families and schools so we can assist you with any questions regarding remote learning. Please be sure your contact information is up-to-date in the Q Parent Portal so our communications reach you via our Loop notification system.