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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. If you are unable to provide a device that meets these specifications, please see "What if I can't buy a device?".
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.
You are welcome to purchase this device from any merchant,online or in person. BPS does not recommend one retailer over the other. Feel free to browse the purchasing website created by our hardware vendor with state educational pricing (which may or may not be a better deal than you can find elsewhere).
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/guardians will be required to have a brief meeting with school administration, and both parents/guardians 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 Braintree High School to leave your contact information and request a callback from your student’s housemaster. For incoming freshmen, these devices will be provided starting in August.
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 high school career, and it is our goal for all students to be able to use the device for all four years. Even if device specifications do change as technology develops, devices that meet our 2020-2021 minimum specifications will continue to be compatible for students graduating in 2022, 2023, and 2024.
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.
BPS Technicians are hosting 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.
A schedule of dates will be posted to the website in late June 2020.
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 in the Media Center 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 BHS 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 high school building, including in the media center. There are currently 20 charging lockers, each of which can charge one laptop/Chromebook and up to two phones/USB-charged devices. These are stationed in areas protected by video cameras and where students might lock their machines during gym class, lunch, or an after school activity. These 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 these 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, BHS can provide a device for use both on and off campus. Parents/guardians will be required to have a brief meeting with the student’s housemaster, and both parents/guardians 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 "What if I need to charge my machine during the school day?", to secure those valuables. We encourage our students to take the responsibility for securing their valuables in the appropriate way.
The BPS team will host a parent night this spring for parents/guardians to preview the types of devices we recommend and discuss the ways students will use them in the classroom. If you have questions in the meantime, you are welcome to contact Rebecca Kidwell, Director of Technology & Accountability.
We are prepared to support students across the high school grades in using laptops/Chromebooks in fall 2020. We do not expect students to bring personal computing devices to the middle schools in 2020-2021. We appreciate your patience as we explore the best ways to integrate computing devices into our middle school program.