Frequently Asked Questions
Our family owns an iPad. Can my child use it instead of a school iPad?No. School owned iPads 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. Having a consistent platform will enable our teachers to create an effective learning environment.
How will the iPads be set-up?Student iPads will be managed and suites of carefully chosen apps will be installed on the iPads by the technology department. Additional apps will be available through our self-service portal. Decisions about what apps and content should be placed in the portal will be based on requests by teachers and departments and updates will be made on an ongoing basis. iPads are configured to access the Internet through our school’s Internet filtering system whether they connect from school or at home, limiting exposure to inappropriate web content.
Can students download apps?Yes. Students will be able to download apps from our self-service portal that are either free or licensed by the school district. However, if space runs out on the device, non-class-related apps will need to be removed. The school has carefully selected an extensive suite of applications. We will continuously seek out the best educational materials and will solicit suggestions from students, faculty, and parents.
Can my child purchase a different cover/case for his/her iPad?No. The cases have been carefully selected for their safety and functionality and MUST be kept on the iPad at all times. To extend the life of the cases, we ask that they not be altered in any way. This includes stickers, etc.
May my child sync his/her school iPad to his/her iTunes account on a home computer?No. As previously mentioned, the iPads will be specifically configured and preloaded with a suite of apps carefully chosen by the educational team. Students should never sync a school iPad to a personal iTunes account on a home or school computer as this will erase the school’s content from the iPad.
Can other people use the iPad during the school day?No. The iPad is intended to be an individual student tool and the responsibility of a particular student. Borrowing or lending iPads at school or at home is not allowed.
When and where can I use my iPad at school?The iPad is an academic tool to be used in the classroom under teacher supervision. iPads are not to be taken out or used in bathrooms or locker rooms. The iPad should be stored in a locked locker or in the designated iPad storage cart when not in use during regular classroom time.
When and how can I use my iPad to record and post images, audio, and video?We are excited to integrate the capabilities of the iPad into classroom activities. Everything produced on the iPad should show respect for others. Inappropriate use of the iPad to capture images, audio, or video without the permission of the teacher is not allowed.
How will my student charge the iPad?Students will be issued plug adapters and cables for charging their iPads at home. The iPad can hold a charge for 10 hours, and our expectation is that students arrive at school each morning with their iPad fully charged. A replacement fee will be charged to student accounts for lost cables and chargers. Parents are encouraged to set up a safe charging area in their home to facilitate nightly charging.
What accessories are included, required, or recommended to use with the iPad?The iPad will come with a 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. A stylus is recommended and these may also be sold in the school store, but families may want to select their own. External wired keyboards can be made available by the school for students who would like to type longer passages using a traditional keyboard and for certain online assessments.
Do I need to have wireless Internet service at home for this device to work?
No. One of the advantages of the iPad is that it has memory to store textbooks and other materials required for homework, making it unnecessary to have Internet access at home. Naturally, an available connection at home will enable a student to use his/her iPad for Internet research, access files stored in the cloud, participate in online discussions, and to complete some assignments. The school will provide content filtered Internet access at school. The iPads will also be content filtered when using the Internet off-site. The iPads will not have cellular connection capability. We will make available a list of local wireless hotspots and work to provide other options for students.
Will the district prevent access to inappropriate websites? Will the iPads be filtered off school grounds?
Yes. Student iPads 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 iPad 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.
What about backups?
Students will have access to their Google Drives from their iPad devices. Work that can be synchronized with Google Drive should be stored there and will be available for access from any Internet-enabled computer or tablet device. Part of the students' initial orientation will cover Google Drive use. Students may also share and collaborate on work stored in Google Drive. Students may use iCloud, as well, if they choose, but the District cannot provide support for personally managed iCloud accounts.
Will iPads replace textbooks?
Not right away. There will be certain textbooks on the iPad and available online to begin the program. As we progress through the curriculum review process we anticipate more textbooks will be available for the iPad.
What will happen if a student does not bring his or her iPad 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 iPad is not brought to school over multiple days.Is there any cost to the student/parent? What happens if the iPad is stolen or damaged?
Students/parents will be responsible for a payment of $25 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 iPad resulting from a reported theft or accidental damage with a deductible payment of $50 required for each claim.
If I withdraw 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 iPad and charger to Pottsgrove School District. If the iPad and accessories are not returned, Pottsgrove School District will contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities.