Why does every student need a personal computing device?

Today’s learners live in a dynamic, technology-rich world where they are creators, producers, researchers and thinkers. In order to fully engage with our students, the educational environment must mirror the world in which our students live now and will navigate in the future. Providing a personal computing device for every student K-12 will help create dynamic learning experiences for students and teachers. Students are more engaged in their learning with technology and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for success in higher education and the work force.

Why use Apple technology?

The district initiative is about preparing students with 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving. Apple technology provides software integrated into the digital device operating system to support dynamic learning interactions. There is no need for the District to purchase additional software. From a financial perspective, Apple technology makes sense for education. Because of integrated software, total cost of ownership (TCO) is less than comparable PC or Android devices. Additionally, maintenance, service and support costs are lower, and Apple technology retains far greater value over time than similar PC laptops. Because Apple technology retains value, the District will reap significant financial benefit in the future when it sells back Apple technology to roll into a new lease agreement. This benefit does not currently exist with PC laptops. Finally, Apple Inc. has demonstrated a commitment to education, providing the District with invaluable opportunities to partner and grow with experts within the education division. Using Apple technology benefits Salisbury Township School District educationally and financially.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Students and parents/guardians should contact the school principal – Salisbury High School Principal, Ms Heather Morningstar (610-797-4107); Salisbury Middle School Principal, Mr. Ken Parliman (610-791-0830); Salisbury Elementary School, Mr. Zachary Brem (610-791-2800).

If you have questions about technology policies or the technology web site, Mr. Chris Smith, Coordinator of Technology, at 610-797-2062.

Will students be able to take devices home with them?

All students will have the opportunity to use a digital device in school and at home. Laptop computers and iPads are a classroom educational resource much like the calculator, textbook and paper resources were in the 20th century. We cannot expect our students to continue their learning or work without giving them access to the tools they need to work. Families will be provided an option to purchase insurance prior to taking the laptop computer home.

Will students have to purchase a laptop bag?

All laptops and iPads must be kept in the District-provided protective hardshell case at all times. Students should transport the device in the sleeve inside their own book bag or backpack to aid in protection against damage. 

Will students be able to use their devices on the school bus?

No. Use of devices on the school bus is a safety hazard and not permitted.

Will STSD provide maintenance on all devices?

Yes. The Technology Department and computer technicians will coordinate and provide maintenance on all laptop computer and iPads. 

What about students who already have a laptop at home?

An important component of the district initiative is the equal access to technology resources it grants to all Salisbury Township School District students, Kindergarten through Grade 12. While some students have computers and other digital devices at home, most students do not have the educational software programs that will be included on the laptop computers.

What happens if a laptop computer is lost or stolen?

All devices will be insured by the District. The insurance premium for laptops is $30 and iPads is $15 per student with a $30 deductible for damage and a $250 deductible for theft or loss. The deductible is charged for each incident and is in addition to the insurance premium. Families who participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program will have the option to forgo the insurance premium cost yet still have the laptop computer covered under the insurance agreement. However, families in the Free and Reduced lunch program will be required to pay the deductible of $30 for each damage claim and $250 for each theft or loss claim. Uninsured laptop computers are not permitted to leave the middle or high schools. Parents may not substitute homeowners or other personal insurance for District laptop computer insurance.

It is the student’s responsibility to report a lost or stolen laptop to the Assistant Principal and local law enforcement, if appropriate. Specific procedures are outlined in the document Agreement for Laptop Use. Read the Insurance Information section of this site to learn what is and is not covered by insurance.

What is the procedure if a digital device needs repair?

The Computer Technician in each school will be responsible for the repair of laptop computers and iPad. It is the responsibility of students to contact the Computer Technician when requesting repairs. Students can do this by stopping by or emailing the computer technician’s office.

What will students do without a digital device if it is being repaired?

There will be a limited number of laptop computers and iPad Minis available for loan while a repair is being completed.

If the power cord/charger is lost or stolen, how much will it cost to replace?

In the event the power cord/charger is lost or stolen, the student must report the occurrence to the Assistant Principal. The current cost to replace the charger is $75. When using the power cord/charger in school, students should take care to secure the cord when finished.

What will students do with their digital device during Physical Education classes, lunch and after school activities?

At the elementary level, devices will be stored in secure carts when not in use. Students at the secondary level are responsible for the care and security of the laptop computers. Students will carry the laptop computer in the padded sleeve, provided by the District. The size of the laptop computer lends itself well to securing it in student lockers on a short-term basis. Students should not store the laptop computer in a car for any extended length of time, particularly in hot or cold weather. If a laptop computer is left in a locked car for a short period of time, it should never be visible. It should be locked in the trunk of the car.

How will appropriate use of digital devices be monitored at school and at home?

Although students are personally responsible for the use of the laptop computers and the District computer network, the District does use filtering software designed to protect students from obscene material, child pornography and other visual depictions deemed harmful to minors (as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act – CIPA) when accessing the Internet through the District network. An administrator or teacher may deactivate the filter if needed for bona fide research or other educational purposes. However, website filtering is a function of the District network and does not automatically limit access when connected to the Internet by means other than the District network. Parents/guardians are advised to always monitor web usage when the laptop computer is used at home.

What are the consequences for inappropriate use?

Student use of laptop computers is governed by School Board Policy No. 7A.1: Acceptable Use of Internet and the Districts NetworkSchool Board Policy No. 7A.2: Acceptable Use of District-Owned Technology, and School Board Policy No. 2B:8: Care of School Property. Misuse or inappropriate use or treatment of any school-owned digital device or any accessories will result in discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Will students have access to Microsoft Office software?

No. Students and teachers will be using iWork and Falcon Apps (Google Apps for Education) as their productivity suite – word processing, presentation, spreadsheet software. Students and faculty have had access to these tools for several years. To purchase Microsoft Office for each laptop computer would be prohibitively expensive. The skills students need to develop with productivity software can be developed with iWork and Falcon Apps just as well as with Microsoft Office.

Will students be able to install software on the laptop computer?

No. Installing software on District computers is not permitted by School Board Policy No. 7A.1: Acceptable Use of Internet and the Districts Network, School Board Policy No. 7A.2: Acceptable Use of District-Owned Technology. Students who violate the policy will be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook. All necessary software will be installed when the laptop computers are distributed to students prior to the start of the school year.

Will students be able to use the laptop computers for Internet access at home?

The laptop computers are equipped with an Airport wireless card (802.11n). If parents have a home network, students can connect the laptop computer to the network through Airport (wireless network). Parents are responsible for monitoring student Internet usage at home. Parents are advised to learn about and make use of any appropriate parental controls available through the home Internet Service Provider (ISP). 

What if students do not have internet access at home?

Surveys indicate that 98% of our families have access to high speed internet in the home. If you do not have access to internet in the home please email Mr. Chris Smith Coordinator of Technology 

Will there be training for students?

Students and teachers have been using MacBook laptop computers in each grade level for the past six years. Students and teachers are familiar with the Mac operating system and many of the software programs. Rather than taking computer classes to learn all the features of a software program, the District philosophy is for students to learn software as it is needed to complete various projects. Teachers will build short tutorials into lessons so that students feel comfortable creating projects and communicating with classmates using software. Students are also encouraged to collaborate with their peers and access resources on the internet to learn more about a particular software.

How will students save work they create on their laptop computer?

All work should be completed locally on the laptop computer and backed up on Google Drive in Falcon Apps. It is the student’s responsibility to regularly back-up critical files. The District assumes no responsibility for lost work due to computer issues such as a hard drive crash. Students must remember to back-up critical work frequently! Students may also consider using personal back-up devices such as thumb drives or external hard drives. Remember: Students are responsible for their own data back-up! 

Will students be provided with an email address?

Yes. Student will have access to email through Falcon Apps and the salisburysd.org domain. Many students have accessed email through Falcon Apps in previous school years. All students received login and password information previously. Those new to Falcon Apps can learn more about email and all the available Google apps by visiting the Falcon Apps page.

Can students use an iPod, iPhone, iPad and/or digital camera with the laptop computer? Can students load music and photos on the computer?

Yes. Students may connect their iPod, iPhone, iPad and/or digital camera to their issued computer. Students will also be able to store legally obtained music and digital photos on the laptop computer.

Can a student use their own accessories with the laptop computer?

Yes. The laptop is equipped with two USB ports, a Thunderbolt port and one Firewire port.

Do students need to have a printer at home?

Students do not need to own a printer since print services will be available in various locations throughout the school. For those students who want to connect to a USB printer at home with the laptop computer, many printer drivers are already pre-installed on the laptop computer. Students may set up their home printer to work with the laptop computer. However, depending on the printer brand and age, it may or may not work. Remember, all students can share files electronically with teachers and fellow students through AirDrop and Falcon Apps. If you experience difficulties connecting a home printer, via USB or wirelessly, please contact your computer technician.

Can students use devices over the summer?

No, at this time. All devices will be collected at the end of the school year for general maintenance, cleaning, and software installation. The summer process provides for all operating system and software upgrades in order to stay current with the latest software offerings. All devices will be re-imaged, critical data will need to be backed-up prior to turning the laptop in for the summer. Students and parents/guardians will be informed of summer collection procedures near the end of each school year.

Will all teachers be expected to use devices with students?

All staff have a laptop computer and if applicable an iPad to support its use as a learning tool. Professional learning is provided annually to increase teacher capacity and creativity 

Will a student have the same iPad or laptop computer while they move to the next grade?

Yes. Devices will be collected at the end of each school year for the required service and maintenance. Students will receive the same device at the start of the following school year unless they are transitioning from an iPad to a laptop in 2nd grade.