290B Parker Farm Road, Buxton, ME 04093
(207) 929-9149 (ph), (866) 459-5150 (fax)
Scott Nason - Director of Technology

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Laurie Delaney

Do you love using Epic! in your classroom? (Not sure what Epic! is? Click here to find out.) Do you want another reason to love it even more? Then join our BE Epic! Student Book Group. Each month, the elementary tech coaches will put together a collection of books in Epic! that you can assign to your students. Along with each book, we'll also provide a QR code that will link to a Padlet where your students can post their response to a question about the book. Elementary students across the district will have a blast reading in Epic! and using the corresponding Padlets to see how their peers are enjoying the books as well. Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity to hook in even your most reluctant readers. Your students will love the challenge of trying to read our whole collection in one month, and you'll love watching their reading engagement, stats, and achievements grow. Contact your tech coach if you'd like help participating in our BE Epic! Student Book Group. We'd be happy to assist and model the process for you and your students.

MSAD 6 Schools Closed. Central Office opens at 11AM 2/16/17

Due to the weather, all MSAD 6 Schools are closed and Central Office will open at 11AM today, Thursday, February 16, 2017.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Why can't my cell phone connect to the network?

As we start the new school year, it is probably a good time to talk about cell phone use during school. Some may find that their phone (or other personal devices) won’t connect to the SAD 6 wireless network and they wonder why. In most cases it is because that device has been blocked.

The SAD 6 Board of Directors has approved several policies relating to the use of personal electronic devices by both staff members and by students. You can find them on the district website. The primary purpose of these policies is to ensure that the district technology, including the network, is used “to support the educational mission of the schools”. In addition, the law requires that the district shield students from sites which promote violence, obscenity, or other subjects which may be harmful to minors.

The Technology Department is tasked to insure that all users and devices comply with the district policies. On a typical school day, the district has over 5000 devices (laptops, iPads, printers, telephones) using the network, and there may be another 1-2,000 personal devices. In order to fulfill these requirements, the district uses a device commonly referred to as a “firewall”. Not only does this specialized computer provide the ability to restrict access to specific sites or applications, it also protects the district network and devices from intrusions, viruses, malware, and other threats from outside our network. The firewall employs a list of websites and applications to filter from our network, such as Facebook, Tumblr, Minecraft, Skype, etc. The firewall also tracks all incoming and outgoing network traffic and generates reports to identify the most accessed (or blocked) sites, the devices using the most bandwidth, any outside threats, etc.

So how does this relate to your cell phone being blocked? Here are some simple rules that we use to single out a device from using the district network:
  • If a cell phone is listed among the top network users, it is blocked. Remember the network is there to facilitate the educational process.
  • If a device continuously attempts to access a blocked site (like Facebook), it is generating useless network traffic and it is blocked.
  • If a device is using some application intended to circumvent the firewall filtering, it is in violation of District policy and it is blocked.
  • If a device is being used to play games or listen to streaming music or video during the school day, it may be blocked.

Some might argue that there a very good educational uses for some of the sites that are blocked and they are correct. For example, Mr. Taylor at BEHS uses Skype to communicate with an inventor in Europe. Students can learn a lot from that kind of activity. However, when there are 1,200 Skype sessions going on at one time, most of them are students Skype’ing with each other and that is not an educational use. Because of that, Skype is blocked at BEHS and BEMS.

In summary, all staff and students should be familiar with the District policies regarding the use of personal electronic devices. The wireless network and the Internet access are provided to facilitate the educational mission of MSAD 6. If personal devices are seen as interfering with that mission, they may be blocked from future access to that network. At no time does it prevent you from using your device, it will just have to be via your cell carrier, and not the MSAD 6 network.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

MSAD 6 Schools and Central Office closed, Monday, 2/13/17

Due to the weather, all MSAD 6 Schools and Central Office will be closed Monday, February, 13, 2017.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Network Trivia

Bruce Rozett

As a way of helping Bonny Eagle users understand the size and scope of the network that they use every day, I thought I would share some network trivia.
·      The MSAD6 network spans fourteen sites… BEHS, BEMS,  six elementary schools, Alt Ed, Transportation, Technology/Adult Ed., and Central Office.  We also have equipment at two third-party sites that are just used to route network traffic around the district.

·       MSAD6 has almost 5,700 devices connected to the network.  This includes MacBook Airs, ChromeBooks, iPads, servers, telephones, printers, security cameras, door controls for security, and some miscellaneous desktops (like kitchens, custodians, and libraries).

·       On an average day almost 9,400 devices get an address and use the network.  

·       If we issue 9,400 address and have 5,700 district-owned devices, that means there are about 3,700 personal devices using the network, like your cellphones and iPods.

·       Our connection to the Internet, located at BEMS, is 70 times faster than your average household Internet connection.  You can think of your household connection is like a soda straw and the district connection is like a large fire hose.

·       On an average day, about 60% of the Internet traffics is used by BEHS and 25% by BEMS.  All the other buildings use the final 15%.

·       While the Internet is VERY large, it is also VERY fast.  If you do a Google search from a school, on average it takes 300 one-thousandths of one second for your message to get there.

·       That Google search is actually received and forwarded by about 20 devices between MSAD6 and the Google site.

So, the next time you think that the network is slow, remember that there are an awful lot of users and devices using it all at the same time.  And once your request leaves the MSAD6 network, it needs to make a lot of hops to get to the destination.  And once it leaves our network, we have no way to see or control what happens to your message.

MSAD 6 Schools and Central Office Closed - 2/9/17

Due to the weather, all MSAD 6 Schools and Central Office are closed today, February 9, 2017.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

MSAD 6 Schools Closed. Central Office opening at 11 AM

Due to inclement weather, all MSAD 6 Schools are closed and Central Office will be opening at 11 AM.   Have a safe day.