Technology

The unique nature of the coming school year puts technology at the forefront of your student’s learning experience. Our team is working to ensure that every Andover student has access to all their on-line content and to their virtual classrooms while in school and during their time at home.

If you have an elementary school student:

All Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1st grade students will be provided with a school-owned iPad to assist them with learning this year.  Students will be able to use these devices both in school and at home whether you have selected the hybrid or remote option.

2nd through 5th grade students will be provided with a school-owned Chromebook to assist them with learning this year.  Students will be able to use these devices both in school and at home whether you have selected the hybrid or remote option.

If you have a middle school student:

All middle school students are required to obtain a Chromebook style device to access crucial educational applications and content.  (Rising 8th graders who have previously used a Windows or MacOS device may continue to do so this year.)

This year the district is requiring that all family-supplied middle school Chromebooks be “managed” by the IT department.  This will create a safer and more homogeneous experience for students and staff.  Chromebooks will be managed during school hours on days school is in session.  This will be true for both hybrid and remote academy students even if they are at home.  You have received several communications about this issue.  Parents are encouraged to enroll their student’s device at home before the start of the school year.  Instruction can be found on our Chromebook Management page. For families that are unable to complete this process we will conduct sessions at school to complete the enrollment once the school year is underway.

This year the school offered a comprehensive program whereby families can obtain a Chromebook for student use for an annual fee of $130.  For those parents who selected this option we want to assure families that students will receive devices during the first week of school.  However, we want to prepare families that due to global shortages our newly purchased Chromebooks have not yet arrived.  If they do not arrive in a timely manner your student will receive a virtually identical one-year old Chromebook while we await the arrival of the newer devices.  If you have not signed up for this program. we can still accommodate roughly 15-20 additional families.  If you are interested call us at 978-623-5600 or email etech@andoverma.us with a subject line of “Chromebook Rental”. 

If you have a high school student:

High school students may bring a Windows, MacOS or Chromebook device to school to access crucial educational applications and content.

Notes for all APS students

 
Returning devices from 2019-20 school year
If your student has an existing device that was provided by schools during the spring, we urge you to arrange to return the device to Andover IT as soon as possible. We are trying to clean and reset all devices for re-distribution over the coming weeks. Call us at 978-623-5600 or send an email to etech@andoverma.us with a subject of “Returning Laptop”.
Scholarship Devices
We provide devices to all PK-5 students. Grades 6-12 are primarily BYOD. If your family circumstances do not allow you to provide a device, you may apply for a scholarship device and one will be provided for you. You may use the forms available on the APS website to apply. Please apply quickly to ensure the timely availability of a device for your student.
Internet Connectivity
If you do not have Internet connectivity available at your home and your student is unable to access on-line learning you may be eligible for two low cost programs provided by Comcast (https://www.internetessentials.com/) and Verizon (https://www.verizon.com/info/low-income-internet/). If neither of these programs meet your needs, please contact your school. We may be able to provide a “hot spot” device to assist you.
Keeping the device safe
The current circumstances have forced us to adjust our learning models in many ways. For example, we never contemplated elementary students transporting devices on a daily basis. So we need to ask parents to do whatever they can to exercise care and protect the school technology that you are provided. In the spring we experienced significant levels of damage and loss. Replacement Chromebooks are $350-400 and Windows devices are $600-700 and can represent a significant unplanned expense. We hope that you can work with your student to discuss good habits to take care of their devices.
Charging the device
Because your student will be taking their devices home each night it is important that they develop habits to charge their device each evening. They must come to school each day with a fully charged device. A very small number of spares will be available at each school.
Protecting students from inappropriate content
As a reminder, while students are in school and using the school network, we take extensive measures to protect them from inappropriate content. While students are at home and using your personal network, it is your responsibility to determine what content your student sees in accordance with your own family’s standards.
If I buy a device for my child, what should it be? 
We are often asked if we have specific requirements for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) devices. The answer is “no”. Almost any 2-4 year-old device will work. Crucial requirements: long battery life (ideally 8+ hours), camera and microphone, anti-virus software. Students should be running recent releases of Windows 10 or MacOS. Nice to have: touch screen, hybrid tablet mode, dual cameras, ruggedized construction, more memory (8GB) for Windows devices. 

 We do not require or recommend any particular device but for comparison here are the current specifications for the standard district Chromebook (HP Chromebook 11 x360 EE): https://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA7-6546ENUC.pdf