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Information Technology | News

Pinellas County Schools Reduces IT Management for Accounts, Passwords

Florida's Pinellas County School District has implemented Tools4ever's Pinellas County School District has implemented Tools4ever's User Management Resource Administrator (UMRA) and Self Service Reset Password Manager (SSRPM) to help manage passwords and accounts for more than 200,000 parents and 8,500 teachers.

Pinellas first launched SSRPM to allow users to change their passwords without contacting the help desk, as had been previously required. The district then implemented UMRA to streamline account management and increase security for the parent portal.

UMRA allows the Pinellas IT department to create one account in Active Directory that then populates the parent portal, student information system, and other appropriate systems automatically. It also validates license, passport, and ID numbers entered by parents trying to access the system before allowing them in, whereas the previous system granted access to users who entered incorrect information.

Another system, created by Pinellas County Schools Core Systems Manager Bob Paske, is still used to handle the majority of accounts in the district, including those for K-12 and adult students, faculty and staff, and volunteers.

SSRPM allows users to reset their own Active Directory password and provides system administrators the ability to set password security levels from weak to strong. Administrators can also expand the set of authentication questions, the content of questions, how many attempts are permitted, and choose between codes sent via email or text message for each user group.

UMRA is designed to allow account management to be delegated to non-skilled IT staff by defining scripts and manual procedures internally. Features of UMRA include automated provisioning, auditing and reporting capabilities, and the ability to connect with more than 130 systems and applications to implement user account updates across the network.

Pinellas County Schools is the 24th largest school district in the United States. It employs more than 17,000 teachers, administrators, and support staff at six elementary magnet programs, four middle school magnets, 11 high school magnets, 10 career academies, five designated career technical programs, and four elementary area magnets.

More information about UMRA is available at tools4ever.com. Further information on SSRPM can also be found at tools4ever.com.

Editor's note: This article has been modified since its original publication to clarify or correct some of the facts as they were originally presented. We previously implied that UMRA was being used to handle all passwords in the district, when in fact it's only be used to manage a portion of those passwords. At this point the vast majority are being handled by the district's home-grown system, as is now reflected in the article. [Last updated Aug. 12, 2011 at 10:58: a.m.] --Joshua Bolkan

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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