Pioneers in Technology!
As the very first high school in the area to start a laptop/device program, we have a proud 20 year tradition of incorporating technology into our curriculum.
Because we have tremendous pride in our educational technology program, each student is expected to acquire a device or devices to bring to school. We expect the family to have purchased a device no later than July 31st. It is up to each family where they would like to obtain the device.
There are 2 devices that meet all of the educational requirements of the school: a newer laptop or a hybrid laptop/tablet/slate with keyboard and pen. Either of these should be the primary device used by the student. Each device purchased needs to be able to connect to Wi-Fi.
Students may also bring secondary devices to use in the classroom such as an iPad or Android tablet with the knowledge that these particular devices may be difficult to use in certain situations, such as typing a long research paper.
We would recommend purchasing a mid-range Windows based laptop that costs between $400 and $600. You’ll want a device that has enough speed and memory to prevent frustration having to wait for things to load. Most laptops in this price range will have between 8 GB and 16 GB of memory, which should work great.
Purchasing a laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) rather than a hard drive is ideal, but does come at a higher cost but a reduced capacity. The user will see at least three times the speed when using a SSD drive and for normal usage the reduced capacity is not a problem.
Students will need about 7 hours of battery life each day, so try to maximize the battery power.
Each teacher is responsible for letting the students know which devices are suitable for each particular lesson. When devices are in the classroom, it is the responsibility of the student to use the device or devices appropriately for education. Cell phones are normally not allowed to be used in classrooms unless a teacher specifically deems them necessary for a lesson.
Using a school license, students can install and use Microsoft Office on up to 5 devices while they are a student at Gross Catholic High School. This includes Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Students will use Google G Suite applications online for much of their day to day course work including Google Classroom for assignments. Students and parents can check class grades using the PowerSchool student information system.
We have a full time device technician on staff. If any device breaks, our technician will diagnose each device and provide a solution. We do not charge for any labor when fixing devices but we do charge for parts.
We are a Windows environment, but we do allow Macs. They are more difficult to work on, but our technician will do their best on any device received. If the device cannot be repaired in house, an alternative solution will be recommended.
A high school is an environment where devices can easily be damaged. It is up to individual families to decide if they want to acquire accidental damage plans at the time of their purchase. As stated earlier, our technician can repair most anything cheaper and faster than any place in town. Each family may want to set aside some money just in case a device needs repair. The most frequent repairs are plastic casing or screen replacements due to dropping, keyboard or motherboard replacements due to spillage, and power cord or power plug replacement due to a pulling on the cord.
**Additionally, all students need to purchase a device bag on their own for their laptops. The bag should be used only for the device and should only have one strap (backpack style laptop bags are not allowed.) Devices other than laptops should have a protective case.
Gross Catholic has a top-notch web filter in place that blocks inappropriate sites. Our web filter does not work outside of school. Parents may want to investigate appropriate web filters for their home network.
Overall, we love technology and what it can do for students!