West Linn High School changes server and email system to Google Docs

Beginning in the fall, West Linn High School students and staff will begin using Gmail as the email platform and Google Docs storage system. This will be a big change from the current systems, which are the Novell Server for email, and the K and H drives for storage.

After permission slips are turned in, a school email account created through Gmail and a Google Apps account, will be made for each student. The email addresses for each student and staff member will stay the same as they are now, so as to not create confusion.

“Angie Hammond [Technology Department Chair and Information Technology Specialist] and I have been wishing for this to happen to the high school for a number of years,” Dr. Stacy Erickson, school librarian, said, “There will be an opportunity to use Google Classroom also, which will help teachers and students communicate.”

It is anticipated that the change will help communication and interaction between teachers and students, inside and outside of the classroom. Erickson suspects that many students and teachers are already familiar with the user-friendly Google Drive, so the transition will be smooth.

“I think that the school switching to Google Docs is a great idea. I always prefer it to the H drive,” Mackenzie Bailey, freshman, said. Bailey also thinks that other students and staff will appreciate the switch to Google Drive.

“One of the critical pieces is that our email system needed updating,” Erickson said. According to Erickson, this was a big reason to start using Google Drive. We have been using the current system for a number of years, and she has been pushing for a change for a while.

“Curtis Nelson, the Information Technology Director for our school district, is on board to make this happen for our students and teachers,” Erickson said. English teachers have also contributed to the change by collecting permission slips from each student. Permission slips must be turned in before accounts can be created, according to Erickson.

Though Google Docs will be available for all students and staff, but the H drive is not going away so that students and staff will still be able to access documents from it in the future.

“I think that both the teachers and students are really going to like using the new system,” Erickson said. Erickson anticipates a warm welcome to the new, possibly simplified and more user-friendly system.

Each student must turn in a permission slip that they and their parent/guardian signed in order to have an account created for them in the 2015-16 school year.