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Technology Tools Spotlight - Provide Single Sign-on and User Management

The IT Department provides single sign-on (or in some cases unified login) and user management for most software products used within the District. User management is a requirement to comply with cyber security standards. The District is required to comply with cyber security standards to ensure that all users only have access to the confidential information needed to perform the user’s job and that no former employees have access to confidential information.

The major components of the District’s digital learning ecosystem are generally available on the CORE App Dashboard. Most of these resources are single sign-on--meaning that once you have logged into one resource, you should be automatically logged into any other single sign-on resource without entering your username and password a second time. Single sign-on should continue to function until a software application time-out has occurred (typically 15-20 minutes of inactivity). When using single sign-on applications on a shared device, it is important to fully quit the internet browser (not just the window but the internet browser application itself) between users. 

A few components of the digital learning ecosystem are not single sign-on. These typically use the uniform District username and password. However, the username and password must be used each time the user logs into the application. Examples of software applications using the uniform District username and password include Destiny and Focus. 

The District maintains a Digital Resource Menu with most software applications approved for use (note some non-student software may not be included). The Digital Resource Menu, which includes a separate listing of Student Data Resources, does contain information about how to access most approved software applications. The Digital Resource Menu also contains information about privacy and security which staff should follow--particularly when using a software application with students.

Staff data, entered into Skyward by HR staff, is automatically transferred from Skyward to Focus (in the case of most components of the digital learning ecosystem) to most other software applications. Typically, this transfer should occur in one day, but it may take up to two days depending on the schedule for the transfers. If data has not transferred within two days of the entry of the data into Skyward, IT staff should be contacted via Zendesk ticket submission.

Student data, entered into Focus by school staff, is automatically transferred from Focus to most other software applications. Typically, this transfer should occur within one day, but it may take up to two days depending on the schedule for the transfers. Data entered in a manner that does not follow processes as documented in the SIS Manual may not be transferred to the software application or accepted by the software application. It is important to address Focus Portal Alerts daily as these indicate instances where errors exist that may prevent data from being transferred or accepted. If data has not transferred within two days of the entry of the data into Focus, IT staff should be contacted via Zendesk ticket submission.

The Student Data Resources contains information about what data the IT Department shares with each vendor. Data is typically shared for the entire school, specific grade levels, or specific courses. However, data may be shared for a wider audience than the audience for whom the software application is purchased. Questions about the audience for whom a software application is purchased should always be directed to the data leader or subject matter expert for the software application. See the Student Data Resources for information about the departments providing data leadership or subject matter expertise for each software application.

The IT Department handles all security for Skyward through individual requests. No Skyward security is automated. Principals or District Department Heads must request any elevated Skyward access (anything beyond Employee Access) through a Zendesk ticket submission.

The IT Department handles most security for Focus through individual requests. Basic access (teacher for example) should be assigned automatically. Principals or District Department Heads must request any elevated Focus access through a Zendesk ticket submission.

Most other software application security is handled through the automated transfer of data from Skyward and/or Focus to the software application. Individual requests for elevating security within most software applications cannot be honored because they cannot be maintained through an automated process. When in doubt, Principals or District Department Heads may request elevated software application access through a Zendesk ticket submission. If an automated method may be used then the request may be honored. However, IT staff do not manually manage software application security because that practice does not meet cyber security standards.

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