Tech Updates at The Bend

September 2019 (Part 1)

New Warning Message on Emails Beginning 9/9/19

Starting today we will be including a banner message on every external email that employees receive. This will let the receiver know when an email is from an email account outside of the school district. The message will be visible in preview mode, or once it is opened, and will be located in the header of each outside email. It will look like this:

Big picture

Why are we applying this feature?

  • With an increase in phishing scams and spoofing, the banner will remind users that it is important to not open links or attachments from a sender they do not know.
  • Sometimes users receive emails that appear to be from someone they know, but it is actually not from them. For example, we have had employees receive messages that appeared to be from a principal, Dr. Barlow, or our finance department. But, the email is actually spoofing a Mountain Brook email address. The banner will alert employees when an email is from an outside server, so this should serve as a warning that the email is not legitimate.
  • With the increase of ransomware attacks, we want to find an additional way to alert employees of possible spoofing and phishing scams. This message serves as a reminder to be careful and only click on links and attachments that are known to be safe.

What email messages will have the banner?

  • All external emails received except email from Google student accounts will be considered internal.
  • All email received via Blackboard Messenger. For example, when we send an email from the district using MBS Enews as the email account we often use the Blackboard messaging system. Since Blackboard is an external email service, these emails will have the banner displayed.
  • We will not be including this message on email messages leaving our school system. It will just be visible when Mountain Brook Employees receive a message from outside of the Mountain Brook Schools system.


Homeroom teachers, specials teachers, and P.E. teachers all have classes set up in SeeSaw. (I am currently working to get Enrichment and Pre-K added.) The setup may look different from each area, so please read through this carefully for ALL groups...

K-6 Homeroom Teachers-- have one SeeSaw class with all of their students enrolled

Specials Teachers (K-5)-- have one SeeSaw class per homeroom that visits them; this means

homeroom teachers need not add specials techers as co-teachers

Specials teacher (grade 6)--have one SeeSaw class for the group of sixth grade students they teach this nine-weeks; I will add new classes each nine-weeks as the rosters change

Physical Education Teachers-- have one SeeSaw class per grade level

Click the button below to learn more about really cool SeeSaw PD opportunities; they offer "PD in Your PJs" where you can sign up for online sessions that work in YOUR scheudule, OR you can watch on-demand videos tailored for your grade level.

In-house support for SeeSaw is on the horizon, but this is a more immediate support for those of you who have asked.

Classroom Microphones

Only use rechargeable batteries with the microphones in your classrooms. Several have reported regular batteries leaking or corroding the charging bases. I have 8 rechargeable batteries available on a first-come-first-served basis and can order more as well as a charging base for the batteries once the purchasing window re-opens. If you are currently using regular batteries, please remove them immediately.

Helpful Links

ViewSonic Manual

This can be helpful when you want to know how to quickly do something on the board--most of what teachers might need starts after page 15; a quick ctrl+F search can help you quickly find what you're looking for.

Voicemail Set Up Instructions

Be sure you've set up voicemail on the phone in your room.

Set Up Parent Outlook Contact Groups

Optional, but recommended; you may also set up a group for your grade level or other groups of people you regularly email together.

Update Your Website

Excellent list of how-to's borrowed from MBJH's tech page


Manage student chromebooks; this wonderful tutorial is courtesy of CES's technology page