The only technical requirements we have are that the laptop have a webcam and can download Google Chrome. Because we use Google Apps, we try to operate as much in the cloud as possible, and students regularly use webcams for class projects.
In terms of technical specifications, a solid state hard drive (SSD) is a great option, as it is faster, more energy efficient, and less prone to hardware damage than physical hard drives. 8 GBs of RAM will be more than enough for current computing needs. We strongly urge purchasing a hardware protection plan along with the computer. Dell or Apple offer comprehensive coverage, including options for accidents and spills.
We are a BYOD (bring your own device) community and we try to be as platform non-specific as we can, meaning you can use any laptop you like as long as you can access the web and complete your assignments. We do not however support tablets (i.e. devices that use iOS/Windows RT/Android). For more information on our tablet policy see the entry below.
Students should at least be able to type on a keyboard, have some basic familiarity with word processing such as creating and saving documents, and they should know how to perform a web search and use basic email functions.
You do not need WiFi specifically but you do need some sort of Internet connection at home.
Classes at Beaver Country Day School use Google Apps exclusively for word processing, so there is no need to purchase additional software of that nature. Apple and Windows PCs should have antivirus and anti-malware software installed, there are many free options available. We strongly urge families to purchase extra support coverage from the computer manufacturer, such as Applecare or Dell Protect.
We strongly urge for families to purchase a support plan from the laptop manufacturer. Applecare hardware protection with Apple Computers or and OEM plan like Dell Protect offer accidental coverage.
When a student has a problem with their laptop or they need help with a project, they should submit a help request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and describe their problem. An automated message will respond with up-to-date details regarding office hours and instructions regarding walk-up support. Support staff are more than happy to assist students with most technology issues that come up such as connectivity, computer freezes, help with Google Apps, and uploading class projects to the Web. If the computer problem is physical in nature such as damage from dropping or a liquid spill, a technician will help the student understand what the next steps might be, including capturing the diagnosis in the help ticket. The laptop owner may use this information when contacting the manufacturer regarding any warranty work that might be necessary.
Yes! If a student needs to borrow a laptop for the day they can arrange to check one out till 4:00 p.m. Please send an email to email@example.com to make a request.
In our experience, Google Chrome works best in our environment with Firefox being a close second.
Yes. If a student needs to borrow a laptop for several days they can arrange to check one out (if available). Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make a request.
The Registrar’s office can help with any PowerSchool account questions you may have.
My child has never used a computer, or isn’t very good at it. Does Beaver offer training for new students?
While we don’t have formal computer training classes, there are a variety of resources available to assist students with all their learning needs. Technology and innovation skills are integrated into all classes at Beaver Country Day School. Students are encouraged to visit a member of our Digital Innovation Group to experiment with all kinds of technology.
Middle School students new to Beaver will receive a training session during Middle School Orientation and will learn how to access support documentation.
You can view your child’s schedule by clicking on the “bell schedule view” in their PowerSchool profile. To see their assignments, click on the link in PowerSchool to the faculty sites page. There you can click on the sites of your child’s teachers where information on assignments will be posted.
Students will need to be able to run a full desktop browser for school applications. Unfortunately, Android, iOS, and Windows RT tablets do not support the kinds of web applications that are required in Beaver Country Day School courses. Students may find that a tablet device is a useful supplement to their laptop.
There are several public printers at school that are available to students. There is no expectation that families provide their own printer setup at home.
In any community accidents and poor decisions are an unfortunate reality but they are few and far between at Beaver. Students are generally respectful of one another’s boundaries and property, and lost items are often found within a day or two.
Currently, Beaver Country Day School does not filter internet traffic for content but does provide standard network protection for a business environment.
Families have access to feedback and grades, at the end of each term, and final grades at the end of the year. They also have access to grades from previous years. You can see these by going to PowerSchool and clicking on “Grade History.” Individual assignment grades will not be posted. If you have a question about a specific assignment please contact the specific teacher directly.
No. Beaver does not offer discounts but individual computer vendors often have educational pricing for students.
We have found that parental control programs actually hinder more than they help because they often block websites and applications that are required for classes, Google Apps being one example. If you have questions or concerns, please visit the Help Desk and we will be happy to address them with you.
If your child has a learning profile, contact the Director of Academic Services, Leslie Colognesi, and she will work closely with the technology department regarding any additional software that might be beneficial.
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