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End of an Era: Windows XP support ends April 8th

Windows XP Logo

The year 2001 brought forth a host of technology innovations that began shaping the future of tech in our lives and careers. Mac OS 10.0 (Cheetah) was introduced. Satellite radio was launched. We met the Segway scooter, the Xbox, and the demise of Napster (the wild west of pirated music before it was commercialized). However, one shiny new product in 2001 has far surpassed the expected lifespan of that year’s heralded technology - Windows XP.

A thirteen year run by Microsoft’s longstanding workhorse is fast approaching sunset, as their official support for Windows XP will end on April 8, 2014. When support for XP is discontinued, security exploits and vulnerabilities in the operating system will no longer be patched by Microsoft. The “End of Life” for Windows XP poses a unique challenge for a school district due to the timing. When XP support bids farewell, a large volume of Windows XP devices become unsupported for the remaining month and a half of the school year.

In order to sustain a secure and stable technology environment, DCSD will be ending the support of Windows XP on April 8th, requiring that XP is not used on our network. Users of unique (non-districtwide) applications should begin contacting their software vendors to ensure those applications will run on Windows 7 Professional without issue. 

Plans are underway to address district XP machines that are still eligible for support (Optiplex 755, 760, and Latitude 5400 models); the Device team is already in communication with many sites about their unique situations and inventory. Older, obsolete Dell machines that are not eligible for rotation or continued support will either need to be removed from the district network by April 8th or have a school-purchased Windows 7 license imaged onto the device. If a computer was purchased with a Windows 7 license, but rolled back to a Windows XP image, they will need to be reimaged with a district-approved Windows 7 image. Local CRTs will be able to assist you with this process.

As any large organization will attest, Windows XP has provided an exceptional opportunity to get longer life out of older hardware, a steady platform for specialized applications and systems, and cost savings attributed to using the same operating system for over a decade. While the familiarity and stability of Windows XP will be missed, the advanced capabilities of newer technology and hardware will provide a value-add to our students and staff.

For more information about the end of Windows XP support, including how it also affects your personal computing experience (if you currently use XP), please visit http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx.

February 12, 2014 | By nwmetzler | Category: Information Technology

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.