Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Coming Soon: Gmail for ESSD40

ESSD40 is in the process of moving email services from our locally-hosted Exchange server to the cloud-based Google Apps for Education (GAFE) email service that uses Gmail.  Many staff and all students already use their district Gmail account but the organization's primary email service has remained on Exchange.

This will be changing.

Starting on or near May 4, every ESSD40 staff member will be contacted by the Technology Department through a work ticket to begin the process of migrating the Exchange email account completely to Gmail.  As time moves closer to that date, staff will receive more details about the migration.  But between now and then, all staff members should become more familiar with Gmail.  

First Steps

For any staff member who has never checked his or her district Gmail account, the very first step is to activate the GAFE account.

  • Open an internet browser, preferably Chrome, and go to  The email address will be (for example  The password is your current network password.
  • Read through the information on the next screen, then click "I accept. Continue to my account."
  • If you are prompted to change the password on your Google account, do so.  The new password must be different than the current password.  Note:  The next time you change your network password, the Google password will sync to your new network password and will always be your network password after that.
  • Your Google Apps for Education account is now activated.  Access Gmail at

Get Familiar With Gmail

Dive into Gmail to experience the user interface.  The official Google Gmail Help Center is here.  And a quick start tutorial using the 2014 user interface is here.

Transition Period

Dual Accounts  

Until you are notified that your email account is being migrated, you will have to keep your digital email feet in two worlds, so to speak.  All official district email will probably flow through Exchange until everyone is migrated so you will need to continue checking Exchange mail either through Outlook or on the web at  One recommendation is to use the Outlook Web interface and keep two tabs open for Outlook Web and Gmail as shown in the image at right.


Voicemail will continue to be stored in your Exchange email account.  The voicemail system will be switched to Gmail after all Exchange email accounts have been migrated.

Distribution Lists

If you need to send email to a district distribution list, you must use your Exchange email account.  There are some distribution lists now available in Gmail and more will be created.  Your building administrator may choose to move completely to Gmail distribution lists if desired.

Gmail On My Phone

Setting up the district Gmail account on your personal phone or mobile device is as simple as following the instructions from your device manufacturer for adding any Gmail account.  Just remember that your username/email address is and your password is your current network password.  Since Gmail does not force a passcode on your device like the district's Exchange server, I strongly recommend you set that up on your device.  Remember that you are responsible for the information you send through your district account.  Protecting your email-enabled device is your responsibility.

More Questions?

Have more questions about how to use Gmail and other Google Apps?  Google it!  Type in your question to Google at and you are 99.9% guaranteed to receive the answer to your question.

For those questions directly concerned with the district's Google Apps transition, send an email to and a technician will be in contact.

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