Frequently Asked Questions
Why can't my student use his or her own computer?
School owned computers are specifically configured and managed to enhance functionality and student safety. Also, our educational team has carefully chosen a suite of apps to support student learning. Imagine trying to plan for an unknown number of different devices, each having different software or versions of software and configurations. Having a consistent platform will enable our teachers to create an effective learning environment.
Who has been working on this initiative?
The implementation team is comprised of administrators, technology staff members, and a digital leadership team comprised of teachers and students.
Is there any cost to the student/parent? What happens if the laptop is stolen or damaged?
Students/parents will be responsible for a payment of $35 per year. The district will waive this cost (but not the deductible) for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. This payment to a self-funded "loss pool" will cover the cost of repair or replacement of the laptop resulting from a reported theft or accidental damage with a deductible payment of $100 required for each claim.
How will laptops be distributed and collected?
For students not using our summer loan program, the plan is to distribute the equipment in August. Student information sessions scheduled with the principals and technology director. Follow-up support will be provided for students including tutorials on effective use. Unless the students opts for summer loan, laptops will be collected at the end of each academic year.
Will there be parent training?
Informational sessions for parents are scheduled prior to implementation and will be held in the beginning of the school year. Other technology-related topics will be discussed at programs scheduled throughout the school year.
How will my student charge the computer?Students will be issued plug adapters and cables for charging their computers at home. The MacBook Air, with its solid state hard drive, can hold a charge significantly longer than a standard laptop computer, and our expectation is that students arrive at school each morning with their computer fully charged. A replacement fee will be charged to student accounts for lost cables and chargers. Parents are encouraged to setup a safe charging area in their home to facilitate nightly charging.
What accessories are included, required, or recommended to use with the computer?The computer will come with a carefully selected protective case, a plug adapter, and a cable. Earphones/Earbuds are highly recommended and may be sold in our school store, but students may want other styles, and parents can choose to purchase other models elsewhere. The school store will begin to carry a range of approved accessories.
Do I need to have wireless Internet service at home for this device to work?
No. Students will be able to work on many assignments on their computer and sync them to cloud storage when arriving back at school. Naturally, an available connection at home will enable a student to use his/her computer for Internet research, access files stored in the cloud, and participate in online discussions. The school will provide content filtered Internet access at school. The computer will also be content filtered when using the Internet off-site.
Will the district prevent access to inappropriate websites? Will the computers be filtered off school grounds?
Yes. Student computers will be configured to use the district web-filter both in the district and when connected to home or public WiFi. Pottsgrove School District has configured the computer to protect students from obscene material, child pornography and other visual depictions deemed harmful to minors as defined by the federal Children's Internet Protection Act. Of course, the Internet is dynamic and no system is perfect. Should your student encounter anything inappropriate, s/he should be instructed to report it to the school office. As a parent or guardian, you are encouraged to report it. We can make manual adjustments to our filter.
Will the computer replace textbooks?
Not right away. As we progress through the curriculum review process we anticipate more textbooks will be available electronically.
What will happen if a student does not bring his or her computer to school?
Students will still be responsible for the completion of their classwork, without the use of the device. These are the same expectations that would apply if a student forgot a textbook or other class resource. Disciplinary action may be taken, as well, if the computer is not brought to school over multiple days.
If I withdrawal my child, what must I do?
If you withdraw from school officially or because you were absent (Unexcused) for 10 days in a row, you must immediately return the computer and charger to Pottsgrove School District. If the computer and accessories are not returned, Pottsgrove School District will contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities.