MS Technology Fee-faqs

What is the purpose of this new fee?

Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year a new annual technology fee will be be added to support the direct costs associated with a new one-to-one laptop access model being implemented in the MS.  A 2-year roll-out of this one-to-one implementation will begin next year with the 7th grade.  The fee represents a combination of the direct cost of the computer hardware and the licensing of the computer software when the new student laptops are added to the school’s existing software license agreements.

The direct cost of the computer hardware will be paid over a 3-year period.  Annual payment of this technology fee for 3 years will transfer ownership of the computer to the student’s parents.  Refer to additional questions below regarding software beyond this ownership transfer.

What is the breakdown of the fee?

Families in the 1:1 program will be charged $450.00/year to cover the hardware cost and $25.00/year to cover the cost of school licensed software for a total of $475/year for 3 years.

Why does this fee apply only to the 7th grade?

For the 2011-2012 school year, the 7th grade will be the only Middle School grade with one-to-one access.  During 2011-2012 the technology needs of the 6th and 8th grade students will continue to be supported by the school’s existing netbook carts.

For the 2012-2013 school year, it is anticipated that the one-to-one laptop access model will be fully implemented in the Middle School; all three grades.

Will this fee continue annually?

Yes, the fee will recur for 3 years. At the conclusion of the 3 years, your son will be in the upper school and will participate in the Open Model, but he may continue to use his laptop if it serves him well.

What does this new fee cover?

On an annual basis, this fee supports one-third of the direct cost of the hardware and software use.  The details of the laptop hardware, accessories and warranty coverage are listed below.

What is the selected device?

The St. Christopher’s Technology Department has selected the HP TouchSmart tm2 Tablet Computer.  The specifications of this Tablet Computer are listed below:

  • Processor: Intel I5
  • RAM: 8 Gigabytes
  • VideoCard: ATI Radeon 512 MB
  • 500 GB HD 7200 RPM
  • Capacitive Touch Screen
  • Wacom Digitizer and Stylus
  • Biometric Fingerprint reader
  • TrueVision Webcam
  • Wireless Adapter
  • HDMI out
  • Memory Card Reader
*note that a cd/dvd drive is not included since content is moving onto the internet
*A messenger carry case will also be provided

For a comprehensive review of this computer please read 8th grader Michael Zeevi’s thorough blog post on an entry level unit that was brought in for testing among the technology department, teachers, and students.

Why is the fee for this tablet more than the cost on the HP website?

As with most advertisements, low prices are often for entry level or base models.  The tablet that has been configured for your son is an excellent piece of hardware, has an extended warranty, accidental coverage, lojack(should the computer get stolen), and access to school licensed software during the 3 year period.

Who owns the laptop?

During the initial three year period of usage, the laptop is owned by the school.  This ownership is required to allow the cost-effective installation of school licensed software. In addition to licensing, during the initial three year period the school will work directly with the vendor when warranty work is required. Yes, St. Christopher’s has a limited number of spare computers available to your son should it become damaged.  Loaners will be issued by Brian Zollinhofer, the middle school instructional technologist.  Once repaired, the original computer will be reissued only when the loaner has been returned.

How long will my son have this laptop?

The current 5th and 6th graders at St. Christopher’s will use the same *laptop in grades 7-9.  Students may continue using their laptop beyond the 9th grade as part of the Upper School’s “Open Model” The Classes of 2017 and 2018 will use the same laptop in grade 7-9.  Students may continue using there laptop beyond the 9th grade as part of the open model. These computers however, will no longer be maintained by the school or covered by extended and accidental warranties.

How does the maintenance of the laptop work?

In the event that your son’s laptop requires service, 1 of 2 possible paths may be taken.  If it is a software issue, the laptop will be reimaged* and typically returned within a 24 hour period.  If it is a hardware issue, a technician will come on site to make the repair and the laptop will be returned as soon as possible. In either instance, a loaner will be made available to the student until the original is returned.

*Reimaging restores the computer to the initial configuration determined by the school when your son first received his computer. Software and data that was added after the laptop was distributed may be lost and should be backed up regularly by the student.

What operating system and software will be included on the laptop?

St. Christopher’s will be modifying the software that arrives from HP**. For the next three years the laptop covered by the technology fee will be equipped with the following software:

  • Operating System: 64 Bit version of Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Productivity Software: Microsoft Office 2007
  • Antivirus and AntiSpyware: McAfee
  • Adobe Design Premium

**At the conclusion of the 3 years, St. Christopher’s will reimage the computers to their original factory settings. The applications listed above will be removed as required by the school’s software licensing agreements. The original software configurations will include the following:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Microsoft Office Starter Edition: Ad based Word and Excel
  • Antivirus:   Norton Trial Version

Can additional software be loaded onto the laptop by the student or parents?

Yes, students and parents will have the ability to load software, printers, and connect to other wireless devices. The school assumes no responsibility for these applications. However, should your son’s computer require that it be reimaged*, software and settings not provided by the school will need to be reloaded at home by the parents and or students.

*Reimaging restores the computer to the initial configuration determined by the school when your son first received his computer. Software and data that was added after the laptop was distributed may be lost and should be backed up regularly

Does the School backup my son’s files?

No, the school will provide some file storage for students work but it is not considered to be a backup solution.  We strongly recommend that families develop or add to their backup strategy to include their son’s computer.  Backups may be in the form of an external hard drive, flashdrives, dropbox, or online backup solutions like Carbonite.

As we continue to leverage Google Apps for Education, your son’s files will be stored in the cloud which will provide him with access to his files from any computer that has an Internet connection.

Why doesn’t the school backup my son’s computer?

Since your son will have the capability to add software to his computer, it is not possible to backup large quantities of music (iTunes), video, or images that are not of an academic nature.

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