Director’s message 115

“Everybody Talks About the Internet but nobody can do anything about it”

Well, here at the International School of Ouagadougou, that is not the case. Since 2021, with a generous grant from the State Department Office of Overseas Schools, we have been able to upgrade our entire IT infrastructure – from new state-of-the-art computer servers (that have a six-year warranty) – to replacing all the cables and wires throughout the school to be compatible with our new servers.

Information about the IT upgrades can be found here:

The following equipment were purchased to implement the IT infrastructure modernization project:

  • 2 Dell PowerEdge R440 (Hosting capacity for 24 virtual servers)
  • 2 Dell PowerEdge R240 for Domain controller, Backup Server
  • Dell ME4012 data storage appliance-24TB data storage capacity
  • Dell P114X LTO6 backup media for short and long-term data recovery
  • 12 Cisco 350SX L2/L3 switches
  • 1 Cisco Meraki MX100 Router, firewall, and content filter
  • 10 Unifi Mesh WIFI Access Points
  • 1 Unifi WIFI Controller
  • 1 Domotz Network monitor
  • 1 42U Server Rack, 1 Server KVM Display console

Additionally, the following policies were implemented to make sure all our students are “cyber secure”, as the health and safety of every student at the International School of Ouagadougou are of the utmost importance to the faculty and staff, be it physically at school, or online on school approved devices.

The policies and operating procedures below also provide guidelines for early, and systematic detection and remediation of policy violation, cyber threats, and other security incidents.

  • ISO Student Cyber-Safety Policy
  • ISO ICT Privileged-Level Access Policy
  • ISO Faculty and Staff ICT Acceptable Use Policy
  • ISO Social Media Policy
  • ISO BYOD Chromebook Policy
  • ISO Data Retention Policy
  • ISO IT Standard Operating Procedure
  • ISO ICT System Status Report format
  • EU GDPR Designated Data Protection Officer
  • ISO IT Network Topology
  • ISO Network IP Scheme
  • ISO Equipment and Service Inventory
  • ISO Data Privacy Policy

Once detected, or notified via automated alerting system; the system administrator can direct the appropriate incident response.

It is important to note that one of the most important devices we included in our upgrade was a cloud-managed contact filter:

  • 1 Cisco Meraki MX100 Router, firewall, and content filter

The Cisco Meraki Layer 7 firewall and traffic monitor enables us to ensure the security of information on our network by filtering inputs and controlling outputs according to rules defined by our network administrator and external advisor. Today, it was also adjusted based on the needs of our school.

In addition, we have McAfee Advanced Security, alongside Domotz, a real-time networking alert and monitoring system. Working together, these technologies provide a defense-in-depth security solution for ISO’s IT systems and users.

However, until the internet stabilizes after the fiber optic lines are restored to West Africa, this system can also be used to “block” additional websites and applications to make sure all our limited bandwidth is going directly to teaching and learning.

Today, for example, we blocked the following:

  • Faculty phones from using school internet; student cell phones are already blocked
  • Facebook
  • WhatsApp
  • MySpace
  • Zoom
  • TikTok (Note: This will most likely be permanently blocked; it will be discussed during our PD Day this Friday)
  • Various other websites and applications that may or may not be of educational value

Regardless, all our bandwidth today, and until the Internet is fully restored, will continue to be used to keep both our children safe, along with prioritizing teaching and learning.

Once again, thanks for working with us during this challenging time. Our community has shown again, and again during my four years here at the International School of Ouagadougou that “When a small community works together for the benefit of our students everything is possible and achievable.”

Have a great afternoon,


Upcoming events:

Tuesday, March 19th Board Meeting at 18:00 in the ISO Library
Friday, March 22nd Teacher Professional Development Day
Monday, March 25th End of Quarter 3
Friday, March 29th Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences