The Internet has made it easier than ever for teachers, students, and staff to access quality educational resources at school and at home ... but the open nature of the Internet also means there are lots of sites that are of poor quality or even malicious in nature. To ensure that we invest our money wisely in online resources, there is a process in place for purchasing website subscriptions. Please review all of the steps below and complete them as needed.
Step 1: Verify That the Website Subscription Has Been Approved
The first step to purchasing a website subscription is checking to see if the website is already on our CUSD Approved Website Subscription List. If it's on the list, you're all set to proceed to step 2!
If the website is not on the CUSD Approved Website Subscription List, you will need to complete a Website Subscription Approval Request. The information in your request will be forwarded to Information Systems, where a technical evaluation will take place (although the vast majority of websites are compatible with our systems, some require special browser plugins or may cause issues with our network bandwidth). You will be notified when this evaluation has been completed and be told whether or not your software was approved.
If the website subscription you are requesting is instructional or curricular in nature, your request will also be forwarded to the IRC. You will be asked to make a brief (15-20 minutes) presentation to appropriate IRC staff on the website and its potential use in the classroom. You may wish to review the Supplementary Textbook or Instructional Material Evaluation Instrument that will be used to evaluate the instructional appropriateness of the website before submitting your request (if you get an error message when clicking on the link, select "Open in Reading View" to continue).
When your request is submitted, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that includes details on what needs to be done next to complete your request (e.g., scheduling your presentation if needed). If your website is approved by IS (and approved by the IRC if it is instructional), it will be added to the CUSD Approved Website Subscription List and you can proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Purchase Your Website Subscription
Once the website has been approved, you will need to order the website subscription using IFAS. Talk to your site administrator to determine the funding source for the purchase, then enter the order directly into IFAS at your site (at any time of year). Some important things to remember:
- In the description, write Website Subscription and then the title of the website.
- Because website costs can fluctuate, be sure to determine the current approximate cost of the subscription. You can suggest a vendor, but the purchasing department will still attempt to get best price from a registered vendor. Use the Dummy vendor in IFAS and, if desired, put your recommended vendor in the notes.
- A correct capital budget code MUST be used. Because the law categorizes website subscriptions as capital, these purchases may not come out of M&O (Maintenance and Operations) funds. Also, certain codes apply to software/website subscriptions purchased for students, and others for teachers. If you have questions about budget codes, call the district Business Office at x7670, or e-mail Mary Lou Hagerty before entering.
- It is important to plan ahead and request your subscription early. Some website subscriptions are already on a pre-bid list and have a shorter turnaround time, but many other titles must go out to bid for as long as 60 days. If we anticipate spending more than $10,000 district-wide for any cumulative purchase, there will need to be three quotes. If we anticipate spending over $100,000 cumulatively, a bid or RFP will need to take place. This process may take up to 120 days. Batched subscription orders must also be approved at a governing board meeting, which typically occurs twice a month.
If you are paying for your website subscription using a grant, the grant must have been pre-approved by the district. If your grant has not been approved, please complete the CUSD Grant Pre-Approval process.
Personal funds cannot be used to purchase website subscriptions! If your subscription was not purchased using district or grant funds, it may not be supported by IS, and you will not be reimbursed.
Step 3: Request Software Installation (if needed)
If your website requires special browser plugins or other software to operate correctly, you will need to submit a CSR to have that installed. Be sure to indicate:
- your work site
- the room(s) where the software should be installed
- the tag number(s) of the computer(s) on which the software should be installed
Failure to correctly and completely provide information on the CSR may result in a delay of the installation.