Device Management at St. Theresa School


FROM: Ken Westgate, Tech Coach

DATE: 07/28/19  Revised in February of 2022


Fellow staff members, I am providing this information to you in order to reduce the damage and equipment loss to our inventory of mobile computing devices and other digital devices in the school. The information below is not a complete list of all digital devices available in the school but covers the essential tools that you will be using throughout the school year.


  1. All battery operated equipment should only be charged when the battery reaches 10% or below. This will preserve battery life and maintain equipment use. Students in Middle School are to check their battery life after each use and plug in those devices whose battery has reached 10% or less. Teachers are to check all student devices in grades. Devices that have not reached the 10% level should not be plugged in to be charged. This goes for teacher laptops as well. Teachers are to check their battery levels throughout the day and charge only when the laptop reaches the 10% level. Laptops should not be plugged in all day long.
  2. When removing a device from the charging station or plugging it back in, the plugs should be handled very carefully, and no excessive force should be used to plug a device in or remove a plug from the device.
  3. All devices should be returned to their specific locations in the charging stations and devices should not be place back on shelves where they do not belong.
  4. Charging stations are to be kept locked when devices are not in use during the school day and are to be locked at night before the teacher leaves.
  5. NOTE: The cleaning instructions below should only be carried out when the equipment is turned off. It should never be done when the equipment is turned on.
  6. All screens should be cleaned after each use. Using a disinfectant wipe is recommended especially during COVID and flu season. Outside of flu season a regular cleaning wipe without Clorox can be used. In place of wipes a soft cloth and a spray of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water can be used instead. The spray should be sprayed on the cloth not on the device screen.
  7. Keyboards on all devices should be wiped down with a disinfectant wipe after each use during COVID and flu season. Outside of flu season the keyboards should be wiped down with a regular non-Clorox wipe or the vinegar and water mixture and soft cloth mentioned above.
    1. NOTE:  During the COVID Pandemic we have provided a variety of specialized cleaning and disinfecting equipment, including UV-C devices in each of the charging stations, and specialized air filtration devices in the classrooms.  Students will use masks and will hand sanitize before and after device use.
  8. Headsets and/or ear-buds should be cleaned with a disinfectant wipe after each use throughout the year.
  9. Headsets and ear-buds and speakers need to be carefully plugged in and removed carefully so as not to break off the pin connectors of the jacks in the audio sockets of the devices.
  10. All device cases should be cleaned once a week using the same procedures for screens and keyboards mentioned above.
  11. No eating or drinking should be done when a mobile device is out on a teachers or students desk. All devices should be placed back in the charging stations when beverages or snacks are being served in the classroom or when students are allowed to eat or drink in the classroom. No eating or drinking at any wired computer station in the classroom.
  12. All wired computer systems are to be cleaned once weekly using the procedures already mentioned. A good dust cloth can be used to clean the cases of the monitor and the CPU case, as well as any attached printers.  Since we are only using wired computer systems in the Secretaries Office and in the Old Principal’s office, which now serves as a Conference room this cleaning should be done by the staff secretary and the PreK program director unless the school technology coach is present in the school. 
  13. Sweeping up all dust around the computer and printer stations should be done weekly. Dust is the enemy of all digital devices since it collects and produces static electricity which can damage the digital components.  The school maintenance staff should be trained in properly cleaning around all digital technology.
  14. Document camera lenses and/ where appropriate, bulb areas should be cleaned using the water and vinegar procedure mentioned previously but only when the equipment is off.
  15. Interactive Digital Display Screens, Flat Screen TV, or Digital Notice Boards – Interactive Digital Display Screens need to be cleaned as if they were a screen on a Mobile Computing Device. They need to be cleaned after each use. Flat Screen TV’s should be cleaned using the Screen Cleaning procedures previously mentioned once a week. The Digital Display Notice Boards should be cleaned once a week as well using the same procedures.
  16. Power cords and power charging units need to be inspected weekly for any possible exposed wiring or any overheating of the charging units. Any potential issues of this nature need to be reported immediately since the pose a fire hazard to the school. These items should be unplugged immediately.
  17. All wiring and cabling associated with the wired computer systems or other mobile devices should be inspected weekly for any potential damage so that this may be reported and repairs or replacements can be made quickly.
  18. Any device plugs that feel very warm when they are unplugged or are showing signs of possible melting should be reported immediately and the devices unplugged.
  19. The need for printer supplies should be reported as soon as possible. Budget restrictions may result in some supplies being substantially delayed or not available at all. Alternative measures will be provided if that is the case.  All staff will be trained in proper printer ink and toner cartridge replacement techniques.
  20. For teachers using projectors in their classrooms, the school maintenance staff, and the technology coach will clean these devices once month. If you are noticing significant dust build up on the lens prior to the monthly cleaning let us know and we will clean the lenses more frequently.
  21. Teachers, please keep all projector, digital pointer, air conditioner and other remote controls securely in your desks at all times. We have had some of these walk off and want to be sure we are not having to replace these because some are very difficult to replace. Please let me know as soon as possible when these devices need batteries. If you notice any corrosion on the device let me know right away because that could be caused by faulty batteries or the device getting wet for some reason.  If batteries are needed for any of these devices, please notify myself or the Program director as soon as possible.  Some batteries are retained in the secretary’s office.  
  1. If using WEBcams or other digital camera devices in the school you will need to make sure the lenses on these devices are cleaned. Some also use standard carbon batteries so please check to make sure the device is operational and does not need battery replacement before using the device. Some of these devices use rechargeable batteries and you will need to make sure the battery has been charged and that the charger is available for use. All of these devices use some form of USB or mini HDMI cables to connect to a computer for downloading images or for connecting to a computer for WEBinars. Check these cables carefully for any signs of wear before plugging them in to your computer.   Some of these devices will also require special software to be loaded onto your laptop for the device to be used. I will install the software as needed and show you how to update that software when updates are available.
  2. External DVD, CD, and Video Tape Players – Several classrooms have one or more of these devices. These devices need to be dusted on a regular basis. Dust severely retards the effectiveness of the electromagnetic player heads on these devices. Please check the media you are using before you insert it for any scratches or other defects. If a disk is only mildly scratched you can use a damp soft cloth and some standard toothpaste to remove minor scratches to a DVD or CD. You should not attempt this with a video tape. Any finger smudges can be removed with a soft cloth and the vinegar and water mixture mentioned previously. Check to make sure the remote controls for these devices are with these players and make sure the batteries are working in the device. Also check to make sure you are not seeing any signs of wear or overheating with the power cords that come with these devices. Many of these devices are now quite a few years old and most of our Video Tape Units are totally obsolete at this time. Unfortunately we still have a significant number of Videos in the school library that are used for instruction. As Library funding becomes available we hope to be able to replace many of these with DVD versions of these materials. As you are all aware streaming services are replacing CDs and DVDs while Vinyl records are making a comeback. We have one vinyl record player in the school at this time. As for the use of Streaming Services, since many require subscriptions you will need to talk with the school principal as to whether the school wishes to purchase a subscription to those services. With more and more content, both music and video being shifted over to these services and with our school no longer having free cable TV service as part of our eRATE Internet Services contract this may be an important investment for the future. In order for the school to have the Cable TV service our school’s cable network would have to be completely rewired. We tried using the digital cable converters but they didn’t work because the cable wiring in the school is so old that the digital signal can not be effectively carried over the cable even with the converted boxes and the converter boxes required continual rebooting with each use if the TV were turned off for any reason.
  3. We have a few DVD Writers available in the school that were designed to handle making CD’s and DVDs in multiple copies rather than just one at a time like you can on some of our laptops; however, you also need to be aware that most newer laptops are not being made any longer with DVD drives with the continuing shift to streaming media.
  4. Backup Drives and USB Flash Drives –  Teachers should have their own USB flash drives. For teachers we recommend USB Flash Drives of no less than 32 to  64 Gigabytes. The school’s external hard drives are used for backing up administrative systems and server content only at this time. If a teacher wishes to use an external hard drive for backup of their instructional content this will have to be purchased by the teacher. It is possible that a standard operating system backup drive may be made to provide quick re imaging of teacher laptops, but that won’t include any teacher created content and may not contain all of the applications a teacher might use. When using USB drives, please make sure you carefully insert and remove the drive from the mobile device. Please don’t try to force a USB drive into the port. The USB drive’s adapter must be the opposite of the Mobile Device’s port to be inserted correctly. More training will be done on this during the school year. Teachers  should only use USB drives that do not have special rubber representation of characters or animals on them. These don’t fit into most laptop ports and only standard shaped USB drives should be used with these devices.  All mobile and wired devices should be equipped with appropriate malware protection whether it is a school device or a personal device. Malware protection includes anti-virus software, other malware protection such as phishing scams, and intrusion detection. Malware protection that pro-actively scans all connected devices is recommended. All Malware protection software needs to be updated regularly, sometimes several times a week depending on the degree of malware attacks that are going on.  While we will do our best to avoid these problems, no single piece of malware protection is available to prevent all potential attacks. Having done specific training with the NSA on CyberSecurity I can tell you now that even the most diligent of Anti-Malware services simply can’t keep up with the volume and complexity of malware attacks that are occurring on a daily and weekly basis. This form of Cyber-Warfare is very real and very dangerous. Please do not respond to any adds that may pop up on your devices, and please don’t respond to any email or texts from parties you do not know personally. Please don’t be fooled by official looking emails. Under Federal Law, no organization, bank, or business credit department, may request personal information or account information unless you have made the contact with them first, without sending you a certified letter requesting that information. If you provide personal information for subscriptions to WEBsites please read the disclosure agreements carefully. If you are using school information, please make sure you have cleared this with the program director first so that he is aware that you are signing up for that service using your school information.
  5. The Mobile Media Cart in Friendship Hall. This unit was designed to provide media support for use by Specials Teachers, the Prep Program, and other faculty and approved Parish Groups. It contains an HDMI/VGA projector, a Sound System, remote control for the projector, and a laptop computer. The use of this cart must be approved by the principal and may be used only after proper training of those persons using the cart equipment prior to its use. No person not trained on this equipment may use it and any damage that occurs to any of the equipment is solely the responsibility of the person using the equipment. Replacement or repair cost will be borne by that person. Like all of the other equipment mentioned all of these devices need cleaning after each use using the procedures mentioned above, and the cart must be kept locked and stored properly when not in use.
  6. Friendship Hall Sound System – This system is extremely costly and was donated by a former student’s family. The microphones associated with this system and the setup of this equipment should only be handled by persons properly trained in its use. A secondary system will be installed this school year to supplement the primary system and allow for two channel use of the mobile microphone system. Again when this secondary system is installed, only persons properly trained in its use may use this equipment. The CD player and USB player with this sound system operates off of a separate controller and again proper training is required for the use of this system. During Flu Season the microphones should be properly cleaning with disinfecting wipes after each use. Before and after that they should be cleaned once a week with a standard wipe, but only when the equipment is properly turned off. Please report any problems with the sound system or Friendship Hall Speakers immediately so those problems can be attended to as quickly as possible.
  7. Server Room Equipment and Access – The server room contains some very specialized equipment and access is limited to persons with specific training in the use of that equipment. Since the server room is also adjacent to a staff office area efforts will be made to create a barrier between these two locations so that the office area is accessible and access to the server area is only open to persons with specific training in that equipment. 
  8. Telephone and Public Address Equipment in the school — All of the Telephone and Public Address systems in the school are the property of Avaya Communications and Verizon Communications. The handsets on all telephones should be cleaned with a disinfecting wipe after each use during flu season. Otherwise they should be cleaned weekly. No other cleaning or maintenance of this equipment should be done by school staff. If the equipment is not working the appropriate servicing organization will be contacted for assistance.  
  9. Internet Related Equipment – Modem, Router, Switches, Hubs, Access Points – The school does not own any of the Modem equipment in the school. All current modem equipment is owned by RCN Services our current Internet Service Provider. Since the modem is our primary connection to the Internet any specific problems with that equipment will be handled through Penteledata Services. The school owns the Routers, Managed Switches, all hubs, and access points in the school. All of this other equipment will be managed by the Tech Coach during the school year.  Our managed switches are all Gigabit switches and should be more than adequate for future Internet Services use.
  1. Security Systems – The school owns all of its own security system equipment. We do not have a service contract for this equipment so servicing this equipment is the responsibility of the school. Since this is specialized equipment a decision will need to be made regarding purchasing services from an outside contractor since no maintenance information was provided with the purchase of this equipment. Additional Security camera systems are being planned for the PreK areas and that equipment will be school owned from existing school inventory. That equipment will have to be maintained by the school.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: