All students in grades 7-12 are required to use a laptop. RCDS recommends purchasing either a Mac or Lenovo.
Students whose families receive financial aid will be loaned a laptop from the school. The Financial Aid/Technology Departments will contact you regarding this process.
Laptop Computer Replacement
If your child’s laptop computer is three years old (purchased in the summer of 2017 or earlier), we strongly recommend that you replace it. Many laptops in their fourth year are increasingly unreliable as a consequence of the wear and tear the computers have experienced. In addition, warranty coverage expires this summer for laptops purchased before the 2017-18 school year. Since these laptops will not have warranty coverage our Tech Center may not be able to assist in their repair.
To order one of the laptops the school is recommending, please place an order by the end of July, using the information on the school website (ryecountryday.org/laptop). Laptops ordered via the information in these forms will be delivered directly to your home soon after you order them.
Insurance and Warranty
Apple laptops purchased through the school DO NOT come with an accidental damage insurance policy. We VERY STRONGLY recommend that you obtain a damage / theft policy. Options include a rider from your insurance company, or insurance from specialized laptop insurance providers like Safeware Insurance or Student Insurance Partners. Lenovo laptops purchased through the school come with a three-year accidental damage insurance policy. This policy does not cover theft so you should make certain that your homeowner’s policy would cover theft.
Installing School Software
Those purchasing new laptops should stop by the Pinkham Building IT office to have the school software installed. The IT office will be open for software install from August 15 until the start of school! We are located on the main floor of the Pinkham Building. Bringing the laptop in before you first turn on the computer will greatly reduce the time it takes to install the school software.
Loaner and Repair Policies
RCDS will provide a loaner computer to any student whose laptop is being repaired. Before providing a loaner the technicians will ask to see the student’s laptop case and a repair receipt to ensure that the broken laptop is being repaired. The school technicians are able to perform or facilitate many repairs on the Apple and Lenovo laptops, which they are unable to do on laptops from other manufacturers. Parents purchasing laptops outside our recommended brands assume responsibility for the repair of those laptops.
The Recommended Laptops’ Video Cameras
Each of the recommended laptops has a built-in video camera. We believe it is very important for you to discuss the camera with your child and establish a set of family rules for its use. This discussion could occur at the same time you discuss and set the general rules for laptop use at home.
Spyware and Viruses
If you think your child would like his or her computer to be like an appliance -something that just works and requires minimal time and effort for maintenance- then we recommend that you seriously consider purchasing an Apple laptop. There are currently no significant viruses or spyware programs in existence for Apple OS X. (We have seen many students have very negative experiences with viruses and spyware on Windows computers. It is not unusual for viruses and spyware to paralyze student laptops, making them virtually unusable until someone spends hours cleaning out all the viruses and spyware infecting the computer.)
When you receive your new laptop, make sure to calibrate its battery. Calibrating is important. The chip in the battery needs to know its charged and discharged levels; if it doesn't, you will see significantly reduced battery life. To calibrate your battery, charge it ALL the way, then run the computer unplugged until the battery is completely drained. Next, charge it up again, and it will be ready to go. Ideally this process should be repeated every few months. If you will not be using your laptop computer over the summer, you should fully charge the battery, remove it from the computer, and store the battery in a cool location..
Laptop Carrying Case
All students should obtain a padded laptop carrying case by the start of the school year.
If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Gillies, Director of Information Technology at Andrew_Gillies@ryecountryday.org