Beginning in the 2023-24 academic year, the Middle School will be adopting a bring your own device policy for the Middle School. Stuart Middle School has successfully utilized iPads for over a decade. At the time of implementation, the iPad had specific advantages over other devices in terms of battery life, durability, and specific applications used in our classes. As time has progressed, other devices have seen marked improvements in battery life and the programming we use has become compatible with iPads, Chromebooks, and laptops. With the Upper School’s transition away from exclusive iPad use five years ago, we have studied student use and have watched the success of the transition. The ability to choose devices allows for families to have greater flexibility in choosing a device that best suits their child and budget. Device specifications and FAQs are detailed below this letter.
In all cases, as we are working with Middle School students, a protective case remains highly recommended for all devices. Stuart faculty and the technology team will continue to help students connect their devices to the Stuart network and help students access their Google Apps for Education accounts on their device at the beginning of the school year. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am excited for this next step in the journey of 1:1 computing at Stuart and how this should make things easier for families and students.
BYOD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is the BYOD changing?
After researching the program over the course of the year, it was determined that giving the students and families the flexibility offers a wide range of benefits without many additional harms.
I prefer to use my laptop or Chromebook now. Can I start bringing in that device now?
No. This change is not until the 2023-24 school year.
Is there a list of acceptable devices?
Yes. Please see the list at the end of this FAQ.
What if I have a device that is not on the acceptable list?
Only devices that meet the specifications above are acceptable as a primary device.
I just purchased an iPad. Do I need to buy my daughter a laptop?
No. The iPad is part of the BYOD acceptable devices and is sufficient for student success throughout Stuart.
What about software/apps?
Stuart uses Google Applications For Education which provide basic word processing, spreadsheets and presentations for free. Many other software and apps that teachers use are available on all devices. Stuart will continue to provide the productivity software, but similar to purchase of apps in our current iPad Program, students may have to purchase apps as needed for individual classes–just like textbook purchases.
Can I use my phone as my device?
No. Smartphones do not meet the minimum requirements.
How do I decide what device is needed for my student?
Devices come with different functionality, price points, and durability. We would encourage you to discuss with your daughter what the best fit for her learning will be. Our technology integrators and information technology staff are available if you have any questions.
What if the device breaks? Will there be loaners?
No. Devices will continue to be family owned and all maintenance will be the responsibility of each family. Stuart will maintain a limited number of Chromebooks as "loaners" to be borrowed when a personal device is not working. The loaner devices must stay at school and may not be taken home or removed from the building.
SPECIFICATIONS FOR ACCEPTABLE DEVICES
Student devices must meet the minimum specifications as outlined below. Any device that does not meet these requirements may not be eligible for technical support from Stuart faculty and staff; you may be prohibited from accessing the Stuart wireless network and other resources.
- 7th generation iPad or newer, iPad Air 2 or newer, all iPad Pro Models
- Minimum 64 GB (Most are now only 128 GB which is recommended)
- If this is the primary device, an external keyboard is needed
- Apple MacBook, Macbook Pro or MacBook Air. All MacBook, MacBook Pro and Airs currently being sold as new models by Apple would meet our requirements. Refurbished items should be originally released less than three years ago.
- Macbook Operating System: the most recent OS or the previous year OS.
- Minimum 8GB RAM
Windows PC Laptop
- Less than three years old
- Minimum 8GB RAM
- Windows 10, with latest updates
- Microsoft Surface Pro, Surface Book, Surface Book Pro are acceptable options as Windows laptops
Google Chromebook (with some elective classes students may have to use school devices during classes)
- Must have access to the Google Play Store
- Minimum 4GB RAM
- Minimum 16 GB Storage- Solid State Drive (SSD)