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G-Suite for Education FAQs

The following FAQ’s are intended to provide clarity and reduce anxiety regarding the upcoming shift from Microsoft to G Suite.  Please continue to send Chris Stanley your questions, as this document will be regularly updated.

What is G-Suite?

G Suite is the name that Google has given their set of applications. This set includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slide and Google Classroom.

Why is the District moving to Gmail and leaving Outlook?

 Currently each GPPSS staff member has both an Outlook account and a Gmail account.  Maintaining two email accounts for each employee is confusing for staff and the community as well as cumbersome for the technology department.  Only supporting one email system is typical for organizations.

Will I have an option to use Outlook for next school year?

No.  Each employee will only be assigned a Gmail account that will be used for all district email communication.

How do I move all my saved/archived emails in Outlook? I have saved important emails in my "managed folders" within Outlook.  I still need those for future reference.  How can I best save those messages?

 Any emails older than three years old are not guaranteed to transfer over due to the District retention policy. We are suggesting that people go through their old emails in case there are any attached files they may want and save them to Google Drive.  We will be publishing specific directions and video tutorials to help staff complete this task.

I don’t have time to move all of those emails this June.  What do I do?

While Outlook will no longer send or receive email starting at the end of July, staff can still access their saved Outlook emails and use the email archiver through the 2017-18 school year.

Will all my contacts and calendar be automatically moved over to Google?

Calendars, contacts, and emails (less than three years old) will transfer over.

Should I update my email signature and other products to only list my Gmail account at this time?

No. We are working to consolidate the current “first.last@gpschools.org” and “userid@gpschools.com” emails into one email address.  Tentatively, that email address will be the “first.last@gpschools.org” email address, but we are still finalizing that detail. In short, don’t change your signature or web page yet!

Can I continue to use non-Outlook Microsoft Office products like Word, PowerPoint and Excel next year?

Yes. The District will continue to support and provide access to non-Outlook Microsoft Office products next year.

Beyond next year, will all staff continue to have access to Word, PowerPoint and Excel?

The District Technology Team will work throughout next year to determine the long-term future of Microsoft Office products in GPPSS.  If the decision is made to move away fully from Office, training and a long-term transition plan will need to be developed.  Additionally, some specific curricular areas or business office functions may continue to require Microsoft Office products indefinitely.

I don’t know much about G Suite products (Docs, Slides, Sheets).  How can I obtain training on these tools?

The District will be providing all staff access to online tutorials and resources for Google Slides and G-Suite programs as needed.  Additionally, the District will provide training on G Suite products to teachers and support staff via our robust PD calendar throughout the 2017-18 school year. As all staff currently have Gmail accounts, you can begin exploring G Suite at your convenience. 

How will this impact students?

Our secondary students use their gmail accounts almost exclusively. G Suite’s strengths in group editing and/or sharing of documents has been embraced by students, and an increasing number of staff.

What should be expected this summer?

Central Office staff are already hard at work on the transition. In addition to this FAQ and planning training sessions, Central Office is anticipating your needs. This migration will be completed near the end of July, so we will provide you instructions on how to access your email when we shut off Microsoft Exchange. We are also open to hearing what you may need to make this transition as smooth as possible.