To: Existing 5th grade/rising 6th grade families
Subject: Technology Information for families transitioning to middle school this fall
Middle school is right around the corner, and we’d like to provide you with some background about your student’s technology experience for the next three years.
From grades 6-12, Andover families have the following three choices:
Family Device Purchase (Bring Your Own Device or BYOD)
In grades 6-8, the required device for all students is a Chromebook. Families that choose to purchase a device may select any manufacturer and virtually any style of device. We recommend that families consider ruggedized devices that can stand up to adolescent choices as well as devices with 6-8 hours of battery life, a built-in camera and speakers. Nice-to-have features include touch screen, larger screens, higher resolution displays, pen input, tablet mode, multiple cameras and so forth. Don’t worry very much about particular processors, almost any recent vintage device will work. If you have a choice, extra memory (8GB or more) will make the biggest difference. In terms of size, the “sweet spot” is 11-15 inches. Larger devices are heavy and difficult for students to transport each day.
All BYOD devices must be “managed” by the Andover IT department. Devices that are not managed will not be able to access the Andover wireless network and will be unable to utilize instructional material. Here are a few of the benefits when putting your student’s device under management:
- Safe browsing experience during school hours.
- All students have a predictable, consistent experience during the school day.
- Students are only able to run district approved applications during school hours.
- After school, on weekends and during vacation, the device is unmanaged so families may decide what appropriate applications and content to enjoy.
For more information about BYOD and management including instructions to enroll your student’s device see: https://aps1.net/2320/Your-Students-Devices
Rent a Chromebook
If you prefer not to purchase a device you may rent a Chromebook directly from the town.
- You will be provided with a new Chromebook suitable for your student.
- The rental fee includes repair and replacement provided by Andover IT.
- Students may keep the device year-round until they leave Andover Public Schools.
The annual fee per student is $130. For details on the benefits and limitations of the program see: https://aps1.net/2320/Your-Students-Devices. Families may reserve a rental Chromebook up until Friday June 10th. Devices will be available during the week of August 29th. If you are interested in this program, you may place your order at: https://payments.efundsforschools.com/v3/districts/55647
Loaner Chromebooks for families with special circumstances
Families with financial considerations can contact your school principal any time after August 1st to discuss obtaining a low cost/no cost loaner device. Loaner devices will be provided to schools roughly two weeks prior to the start of school. Each school will coordinate a family distribution plan.
Specific questions can be addressed to the Technology team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul J. Puzzanghera
Chief Information Officer
Town and Schools of Andover MA
30 Whittier Court
Andover MA 01810
Follow me on Twitter @AndoverCIO