Commonly Asked Questions

  • Q:  Can you just tell me what to buy?  I'm overwhelmed with choices.
    A:  I cannot tell you to buy a specific brand or model.  The school has purchased Dell for a number of years and has had good service and reliability.  The following are example choices (updated 8/8/16)

    • Items to keep in mind:
    • Don’t buy Office, students get it free with our school account
    •  Do get security (antivirus software)
    •   Most come with only 1 year hardware warranty, look at options for 3+ years
    •   Look at Accidental Damage protection, often less than the cost of a single repair service and covers almost everything the warranty does not…

    Q: Can my middle school student use a Chromebook as their school laptop?
    A: No, a Chromebook, ipad or Android tablet will not meet the needs for the primary school device.
    Q:  Will the school install software on the student laptops?
    A: The school will instruct the students to install Microsoft Office on the laptop.  The full version of Microsoft Office is provided at no cost to students as part of the school's Office 365 subscription.
    The school will have the students install the application distribution program so the school can provide programs purchased by the school at no cost to students.  
    The school will have students join the school's student wifi for internet access.  Campus internet access is filtered and monitored.
    Q:  Should I get a Mac or Windows laptop?
    A:  This is a question many people have very strong feeling on.  Either a Mac or Windows laptop will meet the needs of the student's laptop device.  The school has been standardized on the Windows platform for many years.  For ease of use and general support we recommend a windows laptop.
    Q:  Does my child need a brand new laptop?
    A: No, you are not required to purchase a new laptop, please see Device Requirements page to help ensure your existing laptop will meet the needs of the student device. 
    One of the biggest issues with laptops older than 2 years is battery life.  The run time of the battery decreases with age.
    Q: Do students need their laptop at school everyday?
    A:  Yes, students in grades 6-9 will need the laptop at school each day.  9th Grade requirements will be announced soon.
    Q:  Will the school provide power cords and charging stations in all the classrooms?
    A:  No, we are recommending a laptop with enough battery life to last the school day.  Note, the laptop will not be on and in use the entire day.  Additionally, students should make sue of power settings to reduce screen brightness and battery use.
    Q:  Will students use the laptop every class period?
    A:  The use of the laptop is an enhancement to the class and curriculum.  It will be used when appropriate.
    Q:  Are all text books now e-books?
    A:  No, the laptop and on-line resources will be used to enhance the curriculum.  E-books may be added as appropriate.
    Q:  Where do students put the laptop when they are at lunch?
    A:  storing the laptop in a locked locker is best for when the student will not be using the laptop.
    Q:  If my child's laptop crashes or gets a virus will the school fix it?
    A:  No, Each laptop should have a current subscription to security software including anti-virus.  This is the case for PC and Macs.
    Q:  Will the students need to delete or remove any person programs or files from the laptop?
    A:  No, as long as there is enough free storage for school work, and the content on the device is appropriate for school.  As with anything if the use or content on the device becomes a disruption or distraction the teachers or school will act accordingly. 
     Q:  I have a macbook and it has a 128 drive.  Can this still be used for school?
    A:  Yes, provided there is enough 'free space' on the drive for the current year's school work.  Moving pictures, videos and other personal files to an external hard drive or cloud storage might help manage free space.
    Q:  Should I purchase Office for my child's laptop.
    A:  No, each student is licensed to install the full version of Microsoft Office (latest version) on up to 5 personal devices; including Mac, Windows, iOs.
    Q:  Is my child able to access the internet while at school?
    A:  Yes, students will need access to the internet for school work and communication.  While on campus the school's internet is monitored and filtered.  Maclay uses best of class systems to filter inappropriate content, however nothing is 100%.  If a student accesses a website or other content that should be blocked the classroom teacher and technology department should be notified.
    Q:  Can the school block inappropriate websites with the laptop is at home?
    A:  No,  The school does not block anything on the personal device only on the internet while that device is at school.
    Q:  What happens if the laptop breaks or has sever software issue preventing my child from using it at school?
    A:  The maintenance of the hardware and software is the families responsibility.  We recommend having keeping the laptop in warranty or other service plan.  The school will maintain a limited number of laptops for student's to checkout on a daily basis if their device is off for repair. 
    Q:  Can middle school students now bring their backpacks to class?
    A: Large backpacks full of books are still not allowed, but a laptop case, sleeve, or laptop backpack is permitted to help protect the device as the students move from room to room.
    It is not advised to keep the laptop in a large backpack with textbooks and notebooks, this might damage or crush the laptop.