All About E-mail Groups

How you ended up on a distribution list and what to do next.

Account Automation

Not too long ago we sent out some news about our new account automation system. It helps us with handling the creation of new accounts and changes to existing accounts. It allows for better management of passwords and a more reliable process for keeping account information consistent in multiple places.

Recent Events

Recently, while working with the vendor to refine the rules used by the system to place staff into particular e-mail distribution groups, they inadvertently started applying those rules to all staff. The good thing is that the rules placed staff into groups as designed. The bad thing is that we did not have a chance to let everyone know ahead of time what was happening and what to expect.

Distribution Group Logic

The way our human resources system works, any job you do exists as a job assignment for the purposes of payroll. Every job assignment is tied to a location. Every location that our automated system sees for you causes you to be placed into the staff e-mail group for that building.

What Could Go Wrong?

If you have a single job assignment, or everything you do is based out of the same building, then chances are nothing has changed with respect to your e-mail distribution groups and we have not heard from you.

If you have job assignments at other buildings, then you would have been added to e-mail groups for those buildings. For example, a teacher at East Junior High who coaches at the High School is suddenly getting e-mail from the High School.

"I never did anything at that school, or haven't lately."

It's possible that Human Resources still has an older payroll assignment in the system for you with no end date. Or, it may be a correct assignment with the wrong building. In that scenario, please contact HR to have them check the records in Infinite Campus and make corrections as needed. A couple common examples:

  • Taught summer school: Those should all be cleaned up now; the summer school assignments did not have end dates.
  • Teach at West or East but getting e-mail from other junior high: There seems to be some older assignments that came over from our last database conversion that have the wrong location, particularly for the junior highs. It never affected payroll so it wasn't noticed.

"Yes, I have assignments at that school, but I don't want the e-mails."

We will continue to tweak the rules to remove unnecessary additions to school e-mail groups. However, let's assume that for many assignments (such as coaching, co-curricular, and so on) that you'll remain attached to an e-mail group. The next step is to create an e-mail rule to route those messages to your deleted folder. This just takes a few minutes, following the steps shown below.

Creating a Rule in Office 365 (Webmail)

The most reliable place to create a rule is in the webmail version of Outlook, also known as Office 365. This applies the rule to all devices (otherwise a rule created on a MacBook may not always be applied, so if you have school e-mail on a phone you could still end up getting unwanted messages).

Step 1

Right click on a message from a sender (such as a distribution list) that you no longer want to receive.
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Step 2

If you want to remove messages sent to a group (Distro_DO_Building in the example below), then leave that item and click the X next to other items in the list to remove them.

You may also want to rename the rule to something descriptive and logical (such as Delete e-mail from High School).

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Cleaned up rule.
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Step 3

Next, go to the drop down menu under the text "Do all of the following".

Select Move, copy, or delete.

Next, select Delete the message.

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Step 4

Click OK. That's it, you're done.
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Editing existing rules

You may need to occasionally edit or remove a rule. These steps walk you through how to find where all of the rules are saved.

Step 1

After logging into Webmail, find the gear icon.

Click it and scroll down.

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Step 2

Near the bottom, under the heading "Your app settings", click Mail.
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Step 3

Redirect your attention to the left side of the screen.

Under the "Mail" heading, find and click on Inbox and sweep rules.

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Step 4

To edit a rule, click it once to highlight it, then click the pencil icon to edit.

When you are done editing, click OK.

If you just want to turn off a rule, uncheck the box next to it and click Save.

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If you want to report this issue or are looking for assistance or clarification, please enter a help desk ticket with the request type Tech > Account - Password - Login Issues > Rapid Identity.

Q & A

Q. What is with “Distro_”?

A. Technology manages groups that control email (Distribution) and file access (Security). The groups cannot have the same name and are not easy to distinguish in most cases. To resolve this issue Technology has adopted a best practice of prefixing groups with their type (Distribution = Distro | Security = Sec). Between now and next year all existing groups will be converted to this naming convention.

Q. “I am <X NonCertified Position> and no longer in the Certified group”

A. As we work through the account automation logic, e-mail groups have been aligned with their title. Certified group is for certified staff, non-certified is non-certified. This allows for reliable distribution of content for those targeted bargaining/union groups. In the past, there was not a reliable distribution due to mix between certified and non-certified groups. Emails that need to go to certified plus targeted non-certified will require use of certified group and then carbon copying (Cc:) those additional staff.