Frequently Asked Questions

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Some Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How will the One-to-One laptop program help me academically?


A: When students use computers in the classroom, they have better learning experiences and apply 21st century skills. To compete in our global economy and equip our students for post-secondary education, the school decided to provide a learning environment that integrates today's digital tools, This program is designed to enhance current teaching/instructional strategies through the effective use of technology and 21st century teaching methods.


Q: When will students receive their district laptop?


A: Student laptop distribution will occur as follows:

Students will only receive their laptop if all required paperwork has been turned in.


Q: What do I need to do to receive the district laptop?


A:


Q: What happens if my parent(s) refuses to sign the Acceptable Use Agreement or sign the Laptop Loan Agreement?


A: Parents and students must sign the Acceptable Use Agreement in order for students to have access to the Internet while in school. Parents who refuse to sign the Laptop Loan Agreement will prevent their child from taking full advantage of the school's educational resources. Students will not be issued a district laptop but may access laptops while in school on a first come, first serve basis through the Tech-for-tech exchange. Students are still required to complete assignments that need computer access.


Q: What happens if my parent(s) cannot pay the $20 Technology fee?


A: Students participating in the Free and Reduced Lunch program qualify for a reduced fee of $10. Additional financial assistance may be available to students unable to pay the cost sharing fee. Please contact an administrator, or the Business Office for more information.


Q: Do I own the district laptop?


A: No. Dauphin County Technical School owns the laptop, carrying case, AC adapter and power cord and any accessories that may be issued with the laptop. It is therefore very important that you take good care of them, leave the tags in place, don't damage them, and don't permanently mark them, as they do not actually belong to you.


Students will have the same laptop or newer version during their 4-year career at Dauphin County Technical School. Some exceptions may apply.


Q: Must I use the district-issued laptop carrying case?


A: Yes. The district laptop and all of its components are to be carried in the district-issued laptop carrying case at all times.


Q: May I personalize the district laptop, case, or other laptop accessories?


A: Yes, you may decorate the district laptop and its case. Decorations must be school appropriate and cannot be permanent (such as magic marker, scratches, etc.). Writing or drawing (such as with pen or marker) and any other permanent marks on district-owned equipment will be viewed as vandalism. There may be an associated cost to restore the laptop to the original condition if marked up permanently. Students may not remove, interfere with, or tamper with any identification placed on the computer by the district. You may also personalize the laptop wallpaper and screensaver, as long as you adhere to district standards and policies; but, password-protected screen savers are not permitted.


Q: May I use my own accessories with the district laptop?


A: Yes and no. Some items such as digital cameras, iPods, MP3 players, etc. may be used. Devices that require administrative privileges to install are not permitted.


Q: What programs will be installed on the district laptop?


A: Laptops will run Microsoft Windows 10 and will be internet capable. Web-filtering software will be installed (and will be active both at school and off-campus). Anti-virus software will also be installed.


Certain software may be installed by members of the DCTS Information Technology Department. Other software will be made available for students to self-install through a self-service software portal provided by the district. No unapproved software may be installed by students. In addition, software installed by DCTS may not be altered or uninstalled.


Q: May I install software on the district laptop?


A: Yes and no. Students may download district-approved and district-supported software from DCTS's self-service software portal. Games, software, or music that you have legally purchased may be installed on the district laptop, provided that it is of an educationally appropriate nature and does not require "elevated" privileges to install (such as administrator rights). If you install anything on the district laptop that causes it to stop functioning correctly, the computer will be reformatted. This means all files will be lost. DCTS is not responsible for any loss incurred for personally owned software, games, or music. In addition, there may be disciplinary consequences for inappropriate or illegally obtained games, software, or music.


Q: May I use the district laptop to play games, music, videos, etc.?


A: At school: Music, videos, and games can be disruptive to the educational environment. Therefore, students may play games, music, videos, and other types of media only when given specific permission from the teacher. All media must be of an appropriate nature and comply with the DCTS Acceptable Use Agreement and abide by federal copyright laws.


Off-campus: Students may play games, music, videos, and other types of media at home. All media must still be of an appropriate nature and comply with the district's acceptable use agreement, other related school district policies, and federal copyright laws.


Q: May I use the district laptop to access personal email accounts?


A: At school: Students are provided an email account by DCTS. All school-related email correspondence will occur via the district email account and will be used for educational purposes only. Electronic communication coming from or going to the school-issued email account will be monitored. All use must adhere to the district Acceptable Use Agreement and other related school district policies. Appropriate etiquette, language, and content are expected by all students at all times.


Off-campus: Students may access their district email account from home. All school-related email correspondence will occur via the district email account and will be used for educational purposes only. Electronic communication coming from or going to the school-issued email account will be monitored. Students may also access personal email accounts at home. All use must adhere to the district Acceptable Use Agreement and other related school district policies. Appropriate etiquette, language, and content are expected by all students at all times, whether at school or off-campus.


Q: What is the expectation of privacy regarding use of the district laptop?


A: There is no expectation of privacy regarding the contents of computer files or communication using any district-owned computer or network. DCTS reserves the right to investigate, review, monitor, and restrict information stored on or transmitted via the school district's equipment. Parents, guardians, and students do not have the right or expectation of privacy for any use of district-owned laptops, computers, or other equipment.


Students must provide access to the laptop and any accessories assigned to them upon request by district employees. A search of the laptop, student files, usage history, and other related items may be conducted at any time and for any reason. If there is reasonable suspicion that any policies, procedures, or guidelines have been violated, the laptop and its contents will be searched. The district will cooperate fully with local, state, and federal officials in investigations of suspected illegal activities that may have occurred using DCTS equipment, network, or computer systems.


DCTS reserves the right to use GPS tracking software to access the location of a lost or stolen laptop using map coordinates. The district does not have the ability to turn on web cams remotely when the laptop is outside of the district's network.


Q: Do I need to take the district laptop to all of my classes?


A: Yes. Students need to take their district laptops to their classes each day, unless specifically instructed not to do so. The laptop should be fully charged to start each day. Students will follow all directions given by the teacher, including when it is appropriate to use the laptop and when it should remain closed and/or shut down and in the carrying case. Each teacher may have their own rules regarding use that is specific to their classroom.


Q: What do I do if I leave my district laptop at home?


A: Leaving a district laptop at home will be viewed the same as if you left your textbook or other required materials at home. Students may borrow a laptop on a daily basis from the DCTS Library through a Tech-for-Tech exchange; students must trade in their cell phone, MP3 player, iPod, etc. Loaner laptops may not be taken off-campus. Disciplinary action may also be taken for students who repeatedly leave their laptops at home or otherwise abuse the borrowing of a device. Students leaving laptops at home will still be required to complete assignments during the school day (using alternate means determined by the teacher).


Q: Where do I keep my district laptop while at school?


A: In class: On the desk or in the carrying case.


In the hallways: In the carrying case.


In personal locker: In the carrying case and locked in locker with nothing on top of it.


During gym class: In the carrying case and locked in personal locker or gym locker.

During lunch: In the carrying case and locked in personal locker or with the student in the cafeteria. Laptops may not be used/charged in the cafeteria during lunch time, but students may have laptops in the cafeteria during lunch as long as the laptops are turned off, the lids are closed, and they are in the carrying case, and away from food, drinks, and traffic areas.


During after-school activities: In the carrying case and locked in personal locker or gym/sports locker.


Students should take their laptops home each night to charge and to complete assignments. Laptops should only be left at the school overnight in extreme circumstances or as a last resort. If the laptop is not taken home, it should be shut down, lid closed, in the carrying case, and locked in the student's personal locker, stored in a classroom (with teacher permission), or stored at the Student Helpdesk if in the process of being repaired.


Laptops should never be left unattended or unsecured. Unsupervised laptops will be confiscated by staff and taken to the Information Technology Department. Students will need to see an administrator to get the confiscated laptop back. Leaving a laptop unsupervised may result in disciplinary action.


Q: What do I do if my laptop battery is low during the school day?


A: Ask your teacher if you may plug it in during class. Accept the consequences of not being prepared for class.


Q: May I use the district laptop on the school bus?


A: No, use of a laptop while on a school bus would constitute a safety hazard.


Q: May I use the district laptop at lunch?


A: No, considering the presence of food and drinks, the cafeteria during lunchtime is not a safe place for the laptop to be used/charged.


Q: May I take the district laptop home?


A: Yes. The district laptops are a necessary tool for learning and we encourage you to do so.


Students will find that many of their teachers will give assignments to complete at home that require the use of a computer and/or the internet. Students may use a home computer to complete these assignments, but the district laptop will have software installed that may be helpful in completing the assignments. An additional advantage of taking the district laptop home is that students could charge their laptops overnight so that they are ready to be used for the next day.


Q: May I access the internet at home with the district laptop?


A: Yes, students may use off-campus internet service on their district laptops. DCTS recommends that students use the laptops in plain view of parents/guardians when not on campus. DCTS will not serve as a home internet service provider, but the district internet filtering system will still be active during off-campus internet use (as required by the Children's Internet Protection Act). Filtering restricts access to unacceptable sites. It also restricts access to inappropriate materials of all kinds. DCTS cannot guarantee that access to all inappropriate sites will be blocked. No filter is as reliable as adult supervision. Internet log files are maintained by the district with a detailed history of all sites accessed. The district may review logs periodically to ensure proper use of the laptop and other resources. It is the responsibility of each student to use the laptop, network, and internet appropriately and in accordance with district policies. And it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to monitor student laptop use, especially internet access, when the student is not at school. Under no circumstances should anyone try to tramper with the installed filter. Any attempts to remove, disable, alter, circumvent, or manipulate the filter will be considered a violation of the acceptable use policy.


Q: May I use my printer at home with the district laptop?


A: Yes, as long as the printer software does not require administrative installation privileges.


Q: What if I don't have internet access at home?


A: Students are still required to complete assignments that need an internet connection. We encourage students to plan accordingly. For example, students could utilize study hall or STAR period to complete assignments that may need internet access while saving assignments that do not need internet access to be completed at home. We also encourage students to be resourceful. There are a number of public places that provide free wireless access, including public libraries (see the Wireless Hot Spots section in the Program Manual and on our One-to-One webpage). In addition, some service providers offer a reduced price for an internet subscription for those who qualify. For example, Comcast currently provides home internet access for $9.99 a month for those that are within their service area and have at least one child that participates in the National School Lunch Program. Please call (855) 846-8376 for details.


DCTS does not provide technical support for off-campus internet access or Wi-Fi connectivity issues.


Q: Is there anything special that I should do with my district laptop at home?


A: Be sure to:

Please refer to Program Manual for additional laptop care guidelines.


Q: Will other members of my household be allowed to use the district laptop?


A: No, the laptop should only be used by the person to whom it was assigned. If anyone else accesses the laptop and violates district policies, the student will be held accountable. Parents/legal guardians may only use the laptop to assist their child with a school assignment or to perform supervisory tasks such as to inspect an internet search history.


Q: What do I do if my district laptop doesn't work or is damaged?


A: All physical damage to the laptop must be reported to a responsible adult as soon as possible - either at school or at home. It must also be reported to the Student Helpdesk no later than the next school day. Do not attempt to repair the equipment. In the event of negligent, malicious, or willful damage to the equipment, the parent/guardian will be responsible for paying for repairs or for replacing the equipment at full cost. A temporary laptop will be issued (if necessary) while the laptop assigned to the student is repaired or replaced, upon availability. Students may be required to complete a short incident report form when laptops are damaged.


Q: What do I do if my district laptop is stolen?


A: At school: The theft should be reported to the high school office as soon as possible.


Off-campus: Parents/student must report the theft to the police. A copy of the police report should be brought to the school and given to the school principal.


A temporary laptop will be issued (if necessary) while the laptop assigned to the student is replaced. Parents/student will be responsible for costs related to theft caused by negligence.


Q: What is cyberbullying?


A: Cyberbullying is when someone uses internet or other electronic communication technology to act cruelly toward another person. Cyberbullying includes any activity meant to harass, threaten, torment, embarrass, or intimidate students or school staff. Online attacks often hurt more than face-to-face bullying because the attacker can be anonymous, will behave in ways they would not in person, and has the potential for a much larger audience. Cyberbullying in any form is unacceptable. In situations in which cyberbullying originates from off-campus conduct, but is brought to the attention of school officials, any disciplinary action will be based upon whether the conduct is determined to be materially and substantially disruptive of the school environment or to have a direct and immediate effect on school safety or on maintaining order and discipline in the schools. Discipline for cyberbullying will be handled on a case-by-case basis as deemed appropriate by the school principal. Refer to DCTS Board Policy 249.


Q: How long will I have the district laptop?


A: The laptop is yours to use during the school year. Prior to the beginning of summer, you will turn in your laptop for reformatting, updates, and general maintenance. Once the next school year starts, you will be reissued the same or a newer laptop. You will be assigned the same laptop until you graduate or withdraw from DCTS. Some exceptions may apply.


Q: May I use my own laptop rather than the district laptop?


A: Students may bring their own laptop to school however, internet access and technical support will not be provided.