Making the Switch to Google

FirstClass has been used by the Westside Community Schools since 2003.

FirstClass has not, however, kept up with some of the features and capabilities that we have commonly come to expect from a communication system such as:

Working well on smart phones

Allowing easy collaboration on shared documents

Making connections between email and calendar easy to use

 In-line spell checking and autocorrect.

We have, therefore, decided to transition to Google for our email, calendar, and other communication/collaboration needs.  Google email and apps for education really excel in these and other areas and will allow every individual (every employee and every student) in the district to have a district email account.  Note:  Student accounts will not be able to send to or receive email from email addresses outside of our district.



Forward your messages from FirstClass to Google

If you area a returning staff member, you will want to set up a re-direct on your FirstClass email. This will let you forward any message sent to your FirstClass account to your Google address.

Setting up Auto Forward in FirstClass

Setting up Google on the Mac:

Google Basics For Mac

Setting up Google on an iPad or iPhone

Google Setup IOS

Using Calendars on the Mac

Google and iCal

Transferring Mail Messages

Directions coming soon! [FirstClass will be available through the 2014-2015 school year giving you access to all of your archived message.]

Transferring External Contacts from FirstClass to Google

Transferring Contacts

Printing Emails from Google Mail

Printing Email in Chrome

Checking Voicemails from Gmail


Customizing the Gmail Interface


Adding a Preview Pane to Gmail




Q- What happens to conference folders now that we are all in on Google?

A- Staff have already been assigned to the corresponding Google Groups. You will be sent an email when a message has been posted to the group. You may post messages to your building conference folder and view messages at Once you are signed in, click ‘My Groups’ to see the groups available to you.


Q-When should I start telling people my new address?

A-Now! Mail is up and active and you should start to let your contacts know about your new address.


Q-Will I be able to multi match students and staff or do I have to memorize email addresses?

A- Google Mail provides the same multi match ability that FirstClass had. Simply start typing a person’s name in and you will see the matches. HINT- it seems to work faster by typing in the last name first.


Q- How do I communicate with students? Are they using Google?

A- Students will have only a Google address. To communicate with them, you must use your new Google address.


Q- How large of file can I attach to an email?

A- You can send and receive messages up to 25 megabytes (MB) total including attachments. Any message that exceeds this limit will not be delivered and will be returned to the sender.


Google Video Tutorials