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TCDSB Policy Register
A.34 - Information and Communication Technology - Hardware and Software Standards
Date Approved:
Date of Review:
Dates of Amendment:
April 4,2012 - Board
Cross Reference:
Within the context of the Multi-Year Strategic Plan and our Christ-focused mission and vision, the Board provides teachers and students access to technology in the schools to create an engaging and innovative learning environment, promote a positive impact on student achievement, improve the quality of learning, and support students with special needs.  Administrative staff is provided access to technology to support administrative functions and improve organizational effectiveness.  In order to leverage investment in technology, professional learning opportunities are necessary to enhance the learning and teaching environment, to promote the effective use of technology in the classroom and to increase administrative efficiency.
ICT standards are established to ensure supportability and maintainability of the technology, compatibility, integration between technologies, security of the network, the systems and the information contained within and the selection of cost effective hardware, software and other technologies that are appropriate for use in the classroom to complement the curriculum and program delivery as well as support staff in the performance of their job responsibilities.
The Joint Technology Team is comprised of stakeholders representing schools, teachers, support staff, school administration, associations and curriculum and business departments of the Board.  The role of this team is to advise and review recommendations for technology initiatives.
The ICT Departments (Academic ICT, Technical Services, and Computer Services) are responsible for provisioning, supporting and maintaining the Board’s hardware and software computing infrastructure and providing professional learning opportunities on how to use the Board’s technology environment to meet the educational, school administrative and business requirements of the schools and departments.
The Curriculum and Special Services Departments are responsible for identifying opportunities within the curriculum that can be supported and benefit from the introduction and use of technology (hardware, software, and Internet resources), reviewing technology options and making recommendations and providing appropriate professional learning opportunities modelling the use of the technology.
Hardware technology includes but is not limited to computers, mobile devices, servers, storage, networking equipment, telephone equipment, printers, peripherals, display devices, etc. and the associated connection devices and cabling.
Software technology includes software installed as a local installation, client server application, web application or hosted application on an internal or external infrastructure platform.
The Board’s software requirements, that is the software use cases, includes but is not limited to students (classroom), teachers, special education (including student SEA claims), school administration, central administration staff and other users.
1.                  Hardware
(a)                The ICT departments in consultation and collaboration with the schools, curriculum, special services and business departments define the hardware requirements and specifications as part of the process to establish hardware technology standards for educational and administrative use.
(b)               The hardware technology standards must be supportable by the ICT departments and known to function properly in the Board’s technology environment to meet end-user requirements.
(c)                The hardware technology standards are established through a procurement process in accordance with the Purchasing policy as maintained by the Materials Management Department.
(d)               The acquisition and purchase of hardware technology for use in schools and departments must be in conformance with these defined hardware technology standards and the Purchasing policy.  This is applicable to all departments and schools regardless of funding sources including the use of school block funds, local agency funds or CSAC funds.
(e)                The ICT Departments will establish and as required periodically revise and update what hardware technology is considered supportable.  These hardware standards will be updated and published on a regular basis.  Hardware technology that is no longer under warranty, below the minimum configuration requirements and/or prohibitive to repair will not be supported and, in collaboration with the school or department, will be removed from the hardware inventory and deemed as obsolete.  Any hardware technology deemed as obsolete will follow the Disposal Policy as maintained by the Materials Management Department.
(f)                Only the established hardware technology standard will be supported by the ICT departments.  The only exception is where a custom hardware configuration is required to meet a specific educational or administrative need.  In this case the ICT Department must approve the hardware configuration and specify a support level which may be limited.  The acquisition of non-standard hardware technology will not be supported by the ICT departments.
(g)               Donated, used or refurbished computers will only be accepted if the computers meet the current minimum hardware configuration requirements and are received in working order with a properly licensed operating system.  The Board will not accept any computers which may negatively impact the ICT Departments’ remote computer management, computer system administration and automated software deployments and updates.  Any donated, used or refurbished computers must be reviewed and approved by the ICT departments before being received at the school or department location and may only be connected to the Board’s network using an approved computer software image installed by the ICT departments.  Any needed hardware repairs not covered under a warranty agreement will be funded by the school or department.
(h)               The ICT Departments, with assistance and collaboration from the schools, will maintain an inventory of the school hardware technology.
(i)                 All allocations of new computers or relocation and movement of existing computers from their assigned placement to another location must be done as a request to and in consultation with the Technical Services Department.  This is required to ensure the area where the computers are being located already have the necessary networking access (wired or wireless), electrical power and desk, table or counter space to properly accommodate the computers.  The Technical Services Department will advise if the request significantly impacts the building thereby requiring further consultation from the Facilities Department. All costs related to adequately provisioning the area with networking, electrical power, millwork or desks will be the responsibility of the school unless approved as part of a project initiative.
(j)                 The installation, configuration, modification, system administration, upgrade and maintenance of the Board’s hardware and software technology is restricted to authorized ICT Department staff or staff so designated and authorized by the ICT Departments.
(k)               The connecting of devices to the Board’s internal network (wired or wireless) is restricted to devices approved in the hardware technology standard or authorized by the ICT Departments.  Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) are permitted to connect to the Board’s Guest wireless (WiFi) network and remote access will be permitted through the Board’s VPN (Virtual Private Network).
2.                  Software
(a)                To meet the requirements of the various software use cases within the Board’s technology environment, a set of software that supports those users will be established as the software technology standard that is deployed as the computer software image on new and existing computer hardware. The software technology standard is developed in a collaborative process between the ICT Departments and the users to ensure the software meets the educational or administrative needs of the user, can integrate and function properly within the Board’s technology environment and is supportable.  Support includes providing technical support and opportunities for professional learning.
(b)               The ICT Departments are responsible for software technical support along with the initial deployment of the software and subsequent upgrades and updates to the software.  The Program Coordinators, central resource staff and the local school staff are responsible for providing “how to” software support and opportunities for professional learning with the objective to promote adoption and proper use of the software in the learning and teaching environment or for administrative functions.
(c)                The software technology standard is comprised of licensed software obtained through the Ministry of Education from OSAPAC (Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee), Board-level software license agreements and central license agreements established by the curriculum, special services and business departments. Only software that is legally licensed and included in the software technology standard may be installed on the Board’s standard computer hardware.
(d)               A school or department may locally license software specific to a site (site license) or set of computers within the site provided the software has been reviewed and authorized by the Software Review Team which includes the Program Coordinators and ICT departments.  This review will be based on applicability to the curriculum, meets educational or business needs and hardware and software compatibility that the software will properly function in the Board’s technology environment.  For locally licensed software, compliance to the licensing agreement, any costs for software licensing, software maintenance and upgrades, technical support and professional development is the responsibility of the local school or department.
(e)                Any discovery of software on Board-owned computers that is not legally licensed for use or has not been authorized by the ICT Departments and Software Review Team will be removed.  This includes software licensed for home use only through OSAPAC or other licensing agreements.