No. In general, smartphones lack external keyboards, sufficient memory, and sufficient screen size for the schoolwork students will be doing. Whether or not your student also brings a smartphone to school is a decision for your family.
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Yes. In order for students to have a smooth educational experience using these computers at home and at school, there are some basic specifications we require. They can be found at www.braintreeschools.org/byod. If you are unable to provide a device that meets these specifications, please see Question #4.
You are welcome to purchase this device from any merchant, online or in person. BPS does not recommend one retailer over the other. If you would like to browse the purchasing website created by a hardware vendor with state educational pricing (which may or may not be a better deal than you can find elsewhere), you can find it at www.braintreeschools.org/byod.
If your family is unable or unwilling to provide a laptop or Chromebook for you to use during the school day, the school will provide one for you. Parents will be required to have a brief meeting with school administration, and both parents and students will sign a contract for use of a school device off campus. If this situation applies to you, please contact the main office at your middle school to leave your contact information and request a callback from your student’s principal.
The lifespan of a portable device can vary greatly, but most perform well for three to five years. Our technical specifications for the device will not change during a student’s school career, and it is our goal for all students to be able to use the device for four years. With normal use, families might expect to purchase a device once as a student enters middle school and again as a student enters high school. Some devices may last longer, but it is unlikely that one device will last a student through both middle and high school.
No software is required other than a browser for internet access. We require the Chrome browser, which can be downloaded for free. We also recommend Sophos Home (free antivirus software) for Mac and Windows machines. Microsoft Office is not required.
In August 2020, the technicians will host BYOD office hours to assist students with software that allows for devices that meet our technical specifications to connect to our network smoothly and consistently. The dates for these office hours will be posted to our website.
Accessing the school wireless network means these devices are filtered just as a school machine would be. Logging in to a student braintreeschools.org account adds an additional layer of protection. Users are responsible for antivirus software on Windows and Mac machines (Sophos Home is free and recommended).
In case of an isolated emergency, devices will be available at the school for students to check out for use during the school day. Students will be informed of how to do this at the start of the school year. These devices are for use during the day and cannot leave the school’s campus.
Students are expected to bring a fully charged machine to school each day. The minimum specifications require devices to have at least seven hours of battery life. In case of emergency, there are charging outlets available throughout the school building, including in the media center. In addition, the schools have charging lockers, which can charge one laptop/Chromebook and up to two phones/USB-charged devices. They are stationed in safe areas in the schools where students might lock their machines during gym, class, lunch, or an afterschool activity. The lockers have programmable codes that are unique to each user. In the event of an emergency, school administration is able to access the contents of the lockers.
If a student-owned device breaks, the student is responsible for the repair through an outside organization. During the time the device is being repaired, the school can provide a device for use both on and off campus. Parents will be required to have a brief meeting with the principal, and both parents and students will sign a contract for use of a school device off campus.
Students bring a variety of valuables to school on a daily basis. We pride ourselves on having a secure environment with lockers, including the charging lockers described in #10, to secure those valuables. We encourage our students to take the responsibility for securing their valuables in the appropriate way.