Student Laptop FAQ's

  1. What are the student’s responsibilities for using and caring for their laptop?

    Responsibilities are explained in the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and the NTMS Damaged Laptop and Equipment Policy.  Students and parents must read and digitally sign these documents before a student is issued a device. They can be found in the Online Forms in Skyward Family Access.              

  2. When will the laptops be distributed?

    All laptops will be distributed during the first and/or second week of school.

  3. Is there laptop insurance or a technology fee?

    There is neither laptop insurance nor a technology fee. The NTMS Damaged Laptop and Equipment Policy explains what happens with damaged, lost, or stolen laptops.  The policy is posted in Online Forms in Skyward Family Access and on the NTMS website.

  4. What is the family's responsibility in monitoring their student’s use of the laptop?

    Just as families monitor shows, movies, social media, or any media students consume, they need to monitor computer use.  For some good ideas check out the Technology Tips for Parents document.  It’s posted on the NTMS website. Another good resource is Common Sense Media Parents Need to Know.

  5. What training are staff and students receiving for using technology?

    As life-long learners, staff continually attend trainings to learn best practices of teaching and learning using technology.  Students receive instruction on proper care when they are given their laptops.  During the year, the Technology Integration Coach and teachers instruct students on how to use their laptops and the software programs.

  6. Will parents receive any training?

    The Technology Integration Coach will offer parent technology classes throughout the school year on Schoology and other tech-related topics.  Information about classes will be communicated to parents. A Technology Tips for Parents document is on the NTMS website.

  7. Will these devices be filtered?

    All students' laptops are filtered at school, but not at home.  The filter is not 100% foolproof, so we expect teachers and parents to still monitor online behavior.  The basis for this decision is stated by the District Technology Coordinator:

    “We found out through previous experience that the remote filter installed on the student computers, used away from school, was inadvertently blocking legitimate sites that the students needed to access in order to complete their homework. For that reason, the filter was removed from the student’s devices.

    The Parent/Community Task Force committee formed prior to the start of the first tech levy was unanimously in favor of not filtering the internet content on the student devices while away from school. The devices are filtered while they are at school.

    Thank you for your continued support!” 

    Your Internet Service Provider likely provides parental controls to allow or limit access at home.  For example, Comcast/Xfinity offers parental controls for your TV/Internet and a mobile app for your convenience.

  8. Is the laptop for school work only?

    The primary use of the laptop is for educational purposes. We stress to students that this is just another tool for learning.  However, we recognize there may be appropriate uses outside of the school day.  According to the Acceptable Use Policy, students are not allowed to download games, apps, extensions, add-ons, etc. without permission from school staff.  In short, if it’s not something school staff or a parent approves, don’t use it.

  9. Does the District provide any access to educational websites?

    In addition to providing laptops for all students, the District has purchased several online subscriptions to help students meet learning standards.  Schoology, IXL, Reading Rewards, Core Focus on Math, STEMscopes, and HMH for Social Studies are some of main resources students will access during the year.  They will have an account created for them already. 

    Schoology is the Learning Management System and will be used for all academic matters, including the gradebook.  It will also be used for communication with both students and parents.  A Schoology parent account is automatically created for parents. Parents will be provided with information on how to access their parent accounts.  There is also a mobile app available for parents to view students’ grades and work during the year.  See the Schoology Information document for more details.  It is posted on the NTMS website.

  10. Can students purchase their laptops at the end of the school year?

Students will be issued the same laptop for each year of middle school.  Sixth grade students, starting with the 2018-2019 school year, have the opportunity at the end of their eighth-grade year to purchase the laptop they were issued at the start of 6th grade for $20. 

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