Class of 2006 graduated. Accounts go next!

Today, the Class of 2006 graduated from San Francisco University High School. On Monday, I will continue our four-year tradition of disabling the students’ network accounts two days after graduation. This is one of the more unpopular policies I have. Many students would like me to keep the accounts active through the summer, until they have established their college accounts.

Fellow tech directors, what policies do you follow for graduating seniors?

Arguments for closing accounts right away

You don’t attend the school anymore.

You’ve graduated. It’s time to let go and move on.

Acceptable use agreements no longer govern account use.

We need the summer to remove old accounts, reclaim disk space, and establish new accounts.

Email services cannot exist independently of other network services.

Some colleges have already made network accounts available to new students.

Most of you already have personal email accounts.

Take this opportunity to update your UHS Alumni profile with a permanent email address!

Arguments for keeping network accounts active through August

Not all colleges make network accounts available right away.

You deserve the opportunity to reach each other easily before you go to college.

Departing seniors can be trusted to use accounts appropriately for the duration of the summer.

It doesn’t take that much work to perform the necessary account management.

You might use your network accounts to participate in forum discussions.

It’s just plain mean to suspend the accounts right away.


  1. Ben Casnocha says:

    Like most things, I think you should pick the one in the middle. I’m not sure people are asking for accounts being active the whole summer, because as you say, at least by July/August people get their college accounts. But why 2 days after graduation? It is just plain mean. Especially since for many ’06ers this is the first email account they’ve used seriously. I think we can agree that it takes some time for people to realize that they’ve truly graduated from HS (in college it’s less the case — you’re searching for job, thinking about your future, etc). I think a two week grace period after graduation would be enough time for people to a) realize it’s over, and b) take the somewhat time-consuming action of notifying people of a new address, downloading/backing up their existing email, and for many actually creating a new address to begin with.

    Two days just makes no sense to me….even though it doesn’t affect me, since I’ve been independdnet of UHS email forever.

  2. rkassissieh says:

    I don’t see technology services as qualitatively different from P.E. requirements or library books. We require seniors to handle all of their other school business by commencement, not two weeks afterward.

  3. Ben Casnocha says:

    Not really, though, IMHO. There were a handful of folks who got a flower instead of a diploma at graduation and still need to do their PE and library books after commencement.

    PE and library seem quite different. They’re mindless tasks. Email is much harder — please are wondering how to transfer and backup their email, whether they should notify people of a change, whether they can set up a forward, how to transfer their contacts, etc. I suppose people should have started doing this weeks ago, but since it seems like ’06 is one of the first classes using email hard core there aren’t many best practices from graduated classes on how to do this effectively. Nor was there any note from the School on the topic, other than Holly’s email on alumni registration.

  4. rkassissieh says:

    The first class to use email hard core? I don’t think so.

    Yes, people should have started doing this weeks ago. You know what they say about lack of preparation on their part not constituting an emergency on my part.

    I spoke in person about the email situation to the class more than once. You should have attended more class meetings.

    I was the dean, right? If people wanted to archive their mail, they could have spoken to me ages ago. Is my office too out-of-the-way?

    Anyone who feels in an urgent situation can come visit me this week. The accounts are only being disabled this morning. They won’t actually go away until the server migration next weekend.

  5. Ben Casnocha says:

    We were the first class to have email all four years of UHS. If this doesn’t count, I’m not sure what would.

    I think you’re assuming too much technology intuition. As you know, most people can’t create basic PPTs or any advanced Word feature.

    There is a significant emotional component to this issue. Assuming the technical costs are negligible (which it sounds like they are — save a server migration) then I don’t know why you’d want to put up with complaints.

    These comments were prompted by my overhearing chatter on this issue. People are confused. I never remember it being addressed at any class meeting; you are right i missed a couple, but not many.


  6. rkassissieh says:

    Just having the technology for four years does not guarantee that you used it the most!

    I may be assuming too much <i>social</i> intuition. I expect a pending high school graduate to drop me a line if they are having a technology problem. I have not received even one request for help to archive email. A few people have written me to ask about saving documents, and I have asked them to come in anytime this week to do that.

    Other reasons aside, this year it would take a great deal more effort to provide email to graduated seniors past next week. We have to export and then import all of the individal mail archives for each user that we want to migrate to the new servers. So, there’s no way we would do that for students who are no longer enrolled with us.

    Transitions have an emotional component. That doesn’t mean that we should continue to provide email service after the year is over.

  7. Dario says:

    I have read this discussion thusfar and can admit openly, that I’m in that technologically un-savvy majority mentioned above. For me, I do not lament the loss of several years of email archives, but the loss of the ability to communicate easily with a few classmates, teachers, and the class as a whole. The loss of UHS email will also make things harder to receive communications from kids and parents who I’ve been on sports teams with, as well as the kids in my (sophomore) cluster and their parents.
    I feel that the argument that getting your account deleted is a part of the "learning experience" to establish new means of communicating, is sort of a cop-out. It is a learning experience in the way that every struggle is a learning experience, but it is not a particularly beneficial or meaningful one in my opinion. This is just a way of making it sound slightly more palatable.
    I believe that there is an unexplored middle-ground here: deleting the majority of our email archives and the data we have on our UHS accounts, but still allowing us to communicate via email, just using way less space (maybe change the cap from 10mb to 1 or 2).
    I think that it’s unrealistic to expect highschoolers (however mature and bright) to make plans during school about how their transition away from their school email accounts will go. I, for one, (if I had been thoughtful enough to plan ahead, which I wasn’t) would not have had time as the weeks leading up to graduation were jam-packed with work until the very last day.
    As a side not, I also like the notion of having my UHS network privelidges so I can look at some of the course websites. For example, I have gotten several good book reccomendations from Jesse Berrett’s US History website in the "about your teacher" section. There are dozens of other instances when my access to the UHS network has aided me, outside of my academic needs.

  8. rkassissieh says:

    Thank you for your comment, Dario. Notwithstanding your strong argument, keeping the accounts is just not possible this year. It’s not a space issue. We are retiring the old servers and moving to new servers, and we have to individually and separately move the files and mail for each user from the old servers to the new. Adding the 113 members of the Class of 2006 to the migration list would add hours of work to an already huge job. I am not going out of my way to create a learning experience!

  9. Dario says:

    Point taken. I assume that it is impossible to give us slots on the new servers without migrating our data? Cause as mentioned above, I am fine losing years of data and email, what I am disapointed about is the loss of the ability to communicate so easily with members of this community.

  10. rkassissieh says:

    Nothing is impossible, but it would be inconvenient. Just remember that all seniors’ personal email addresses are listed on the alumni web site.

  11. Ben Casnocha says:

    It’s not about which class *used* email the most; it’s about what class is the most dependent on it. If you had to have a personal email account during your frosh year of high school or whatever, then you’re less dependent on UHS email.

    Also, I’m glad you kept departing teachers’ email on. I just communicated with a departing teacher and got her new email address.