Blocked Websites

Lately, we have a received a number of tickets about blocked websites. Please keep in mind that certain websites may not be blocked for teachers, but they are blocked for students. Prior to a lesson, please have a student attempt to go to a website to see if it is accessible to them. If it is blocked you can submit a tech ticket to request that it be unblocked. Keep in mind that we have different permissions for different grade levels. If you teach middle school, but have an elementary student at home, testing a site on their account may not be an accurate picture of access.

Related Notes:

  • YouTube videos must be approved before students will be able to view them
  • Google Sites from domain other than P-CCS are blocked for elementary students. If you submit a ticket well in advance, the tech department may be able to get a copy of the site to place in our own domain

Happy Thanksgiving and a Housekeeping Request

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving break! Before you leave Tuesday afternoon…

WOULD YOU PLEASE SECURE ALL VALUABLES in the classrooms and office spaces you inhabit. This includes laptops, document cameras, Apple TVs, remotes, and interactive pens.

Further, if it is equipment you handle, would you please make sure all iPads and Chromebooks are in their carts and those CARTS ARE LOCKED and plugged in before leaving.

Finally, would you please also POWER OFF any of the following equipment, if it is equipment you handle:

  • projectors
  • sound amps
  • SmartBoards
  • desktop computers
  • monitors
  • printers

THANK YOU for your cooperation.

Tech break checklist

Need Canvas Help?

image of Canvas help menu

Canvas is an important learning tool in our district. We hope that you continue to find it a valuable teaching and communication tool. If you are new to the district or have questions come up about it, we want you to be aware of several resources that are available to you.

First, click the “Help” icon on the Global Navigation Menu. For general and common questions try searching the Canvas guides. If your problem or question is unique and specific to your situation you can chat online or call the Canvas Support hotline. You can be connected with a support agent that can help you almost immediately.

image of Canvas help menu

If you would like to slowly browse resources, please check out our resources at the P-CCS Tech website,

If you are instructional staff working on meeting your PD expectations, please note we have a number of courses including the following listed below (all of them are 3 hours) that can help increase your understanding of how to use Canvas effectively available for you in the Catalog.

  • Canvas 1.0 (new)
  • Canvas 2.0
  • Canvas 3.0
  • Canvas in the Face to Face Classroom
  • Simplify and Streamline your Elementary Classroom with Canvas (new)

As always, please submit a tech ticket if you have any questions.


Gamify with Canvas and Ditch Summit

Many teachers have heard of break-out style lessons that build problem-solving and collaboration skills in students. They may be used more often to help engage students as holiday breaks inch closer. Did you know you can create your own digital break-outs with a Canvas module? You can go beyond a one time game and gamify an entire unit with a storyline. Check out the guest blog post on Ditch that Textbook for more information.

While you are there, you might consider signing up for the annual, free Ditch Summit.

In this online “summit” there are nine video presentations from awesome presenters on topics related to tech and solid teaching and learning. Including previous years’ sessions, you’ll have access to more than 80 video presentations!

This year, it’s scheduled for December 12, 2022, to January 6, 2023.

Get registered for free at:

HOW IT WORKS: New presentations are released every day. They remain available until the end of the summit so you can re-watch or catch up on any you’ve missed. They’re pre-recorded, so you can watch them whenever you want until the summit closes. After that, the summit ends and the videos are unavailable to watch anymore.

Sign up for the digital summit at

This year’s speakers include:
Ken Shelton, education leader and techquity advocate
Cornelius Minor, author and consultant, The Minor Collective
Jed Dearybury and Julie Jones, authors and playful learning advocates
Holly Clark, author, speaker, and blended learning expert
Amanda Sandoval, history and EL teacher
Hedreich Nichols, consultant and award-winning educator
Mandy Froelich, educator mental health change agent
Al Thomas, educator, filmmaker, photographer, YouTuber
Michele Eaton, online academy director, author, speaker


EdPuzzle Design Time (for secondary teachers)

flyer for edpuzzle design time

EdPuzzle is introducing a design time for teachers in grades 6-12. This month they will demonstrate (15 minutes) the Live Mode feature and then allow for 30 minutes of design time with personalized support from members of their School Success Team.

With Edpuzzle’s Live Mode feature, you can project your video live in front of the whole class while students answer in real-time on their own devices!

Why might you use Live Mode?

  • If you want to assign Edpuzzle videos for students to do independently, you can model how to interact with an Edpuzzle as a whole class
  • Use it for a read-aloud and circulate the room as students answer comprehension questions
  • Experience a poetry reading and allow students to analyze and make predictions
  • Go on a virtual field trip using 360 video
  • Review an Edpuzzle video students had for homework
  • Showcase final projects from students and allow students to give peer feedback
  • Observe a science experiment to practice making predictions and evaluating the results

Design Time will be on Wednesday, November 9

Google Login in for MiStar Coming Soon!

coming soon

Beginning on November 8, 2022 staff will have the option to log into their MiStar accounts by clicking and signing in with their district Google accounts. Since we now have two-factor authentication for Google account access,  using this log in option will not trigger an emailed log in code that needs to be retrieved and entered.

Feel free to give this login option a try on November 8th when you are not in front of students to see how it operates. See the screenshot below for what it will look like. Clicking the Local Login link will render the familiar login option we have been using.

image of google login to mistar

close up

Please note, if and when you are going to be logging into MISTAR on a mobile device, you will either want to use the Local Login option to enter your familiar User Id/Name and password (what you had entered prior to November 8th) and retrieve/enter the emailed code OR choose to open MISTAR on the desktop site view so you can select the Sign in with Google option.


Declutter Your Canvas Dashboard

As we transition from out October Professional Development day to our November PD window, you might want to declutter your Canvas dashboard. To do that, go to and click on the star next to the courses you want to be visible on the dashboard. Leave any courses you don’t want to see unfilled. When you return to the dashboard, only the course with filled stars will be visible.

image showing starred courses

🌟🌟🌟BONUS Tip: You can drag and drop the course tiles on your dashboard to rearrange them in any order you would like.

Read&Write for Google Resources

image of read and write toolbar

Did you know that all P-CCS students have access to Read&Write for Google? The toolbar is added in Chrome as an extension. Students likely notice the puzzle-shaped toolbar pop up on certain sites. If you would like to learn more about what tools are available, explore this interactive image.

Additionally, if you have students with Dyslexia, you can look at this resource to see how it can help their overall performance. Elementary teachers, in particular, may find it useful for building listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in their students.

You might use one of these activities to help students learn how to use the tool or to explore it for yourself:

Find even more information on our Read&Write for Google’s websites for students and staff.



2022 Fall Canvas Updates

fall canvas updates

This fall, Canvas has rolled out a few great updates. Check them out below!

editing options in icon maker

Custom Images in the Icon Maker

Earlier this year, Canvas launched an icon maker. It allows you to create custom images and buttons for  your course. The icons are saved in the course file and can be updated easily in one place. At first, the images to add to the icon were very limited, but Canvas now allows you to upload and edit an image. Here’s a video demonstrating the process.


option to edit studio media

Studio Video Editing

Basic cut and trim video editing options are available for Studio media. This update allows media owners to easily edit media within Studio itself, rather than having to edit media in a third-party editing software. Take a closer look here.


option to publish page

Schedule Page Publishing (coming 10/15)

You will have the option to schedule a date and time that page is published. Find more information here.