New Staff Handbook
This page contains tech-oriented materials for new and existing employees in the Southgate Community School District. If you'd like to see particular information included here, feel free to email us!
Upon joining the District, you will be provided with a username and temporary password, which you can use to sign into your workstation or district-issued mobile device. Please use our Account Self Service Portal to pick a new persistent password; temporary logins expire within several days of being issued.
Your computer user account name generally consists of your last name and the first character of your first name. For example, a person by the name Jim Smith may have the username:
Your email account name is the same as your user account, with "@sgate.k12.mi.us" added at the end:
You can also give out your email address to others in the following format:
... substituting "@sgate.k12.mi.us" for "@southgateschools.com", which may be easier to write down and remember. Keep in mind that you cannot log into your email using "@southgateschools.com"; it is merely an email alias for brevity.
Email (Google Mail)
To view your email, visit the Google Mail website in a web browser at:
If you would like to use your Southgate email on your personal smartphone, you can also download the Gmail app for free:
Log in with your Southgate credentials ([username]@sgate.k12.mi.us) and the password used for the computers.
Storing Files (Google Drive)
The District uses Google Drive as our primary method of file storage. As an educational institution, we are granted unlimited storage for each employee account; this also allows your files to be available from any internet-connected computer, simply by logging into your account. File sharing can be accomplished using Google Drive's "Sharing" and "Team Drive" features.
How do I access Google Drive?
You can access Google Drive from any internet-connected computer or smartphone by visiting:
If you are using a district-owned iMac (teacher station in classrooms, some offices) or Macbook (Apple laptop), we provide an application called "Google Backup & Sync". This application syncs (mirrors) the contents of your Google Drive folder to your computer, making all your Drive files available offline. A shortcut to your local Drive folder is placed on your desktop; the folder itself is stored in "/Users/[your username]/Google Drive/".
How do I put my files into Google Drive?
When using the web version, there are two methods available.
First, you can use the "New" button in Drive. This lets you upload files and folders from your local computer.
You can also click & drag files and folders directly onto the Google Drive page.
It will be uploaded into your currently opened folder.
Note: Please do not close the tab until the upload of all files completes. You can continue use other tabs while your upload is progressing in the background.
How do I share files in Google Drive?
To share a file or a folder with someone else, right-click the item in Google Drive (or "Command ⌘ & click" on Mac), then select "Share". If you share a folder, everything inside the folder will be shared with the recipient as well. The item will then appear under "Shared with me" in the recipient's Drive account.
You can share an item either via email, or by sending the recipient a link.
When sharing files with others, it's always a good idea to check what kind of permission you have given them over the file(s). Google's help article on sharing files and limiting sharing explains what the different permissions are.
Connecting to WiFi
Staff members use the "Southgate Schools" network to connect their personal devices to the internet.
When selecting "Southgate Schools" from the list of available WiFi networks, you will be prompted for a username and password. Provide your Southgate username (not the full email!) and chosen password to connect.
Note that you may have to log into our content filter as well; please see this article for detailed steps:
Southgate Schools has three WiFi networks available:
- Southgate Schools - Guest
This network is for visitors only. It does not require a login, but it has strict speed and content limitations. As a staff member, you should not be using this network.
- Southgate Schools
This network should be used by staff members to connect their personal devices (phones, personal laptops etc).
There is no speed limitation on this network.
- Southgate Schools - Internal
This network is reserved for Chromebooks and district-owned systems. Note that in order to prevent interference with classroom and testing device usage, we will not add personal devices (non-district laptops, phones) to this network .
Frequently Asked Questions
We have put together a database of Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQ). It offers free support articles written by the Technology department on common issues, frequently used software, WiFi networks and useful tips for tech in the classroom.
It is available at:
Note that the portal is currently only available while connected to the District's network (e.g. via our WiFi networks or a District classroom computer). The link will not load from a home PC or mobile data connection.
To contact the Technology department, please send an email to our ticketing system Request Tracker (RT) at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the topic in the Subject line and as much detail as you can provide in the message body (screenshots of error messages are always helpful). You can submit questions, software requests, issues you are encountering or projects you would like us to help with via this method.
If you are encountering an urgent issue that affects classroom learning, you can also call our department at 8300.