Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Technology Update

Parents and Students,

Student iPads are in student hands and being used in classrooms. There have been actions and questions in the past couple of weeks about iPads that I would like to answer by putting the information out so that everyone is aware.

Apps and Student Safety
Our district layers how we filter content that our students have access to within the school day. We begin by filtering content at the server level so that we limit what students can access on our network. Server filtering has been in effect and will continue with adjustments being made as needed. 

The second layer of filtering is our ability to prevent certain types of apps on the student iPads while they are at school. We have identified apps on some of our devices that are designed to be anonymous, secretive, and untraceable.  Some hide pictures and files, some are designed to share a picture and then wipe it away from view after a very short amount of time. 

In the last couple of weeks, these anonymous apps such as ask, yikyak, snapchat, kik, and apps that allow students to bypass our filtering system (VPN's) have been discovered on some student iPads. In order to protect students and adults in school from potentially inappropriate materials, we will be increasing the level of our second layer of security to prevent these apps from being loaded onto student iPads.

On Thursday morning (10/23/14), iPads that arrive at school with the following apps will become locked: ask, yikyak, kik, snapchat, chatous, any secret folder apps, along with any VPN apps. ***

Students will have until their arrival at school on Thursday morning (10/23/14) to remove these apps from the iPad.  If any of these apps is discovered on a school iPad during the school day on Thursday, it will trigger the system to lock the device.

If the device becomes locked because of the presence of inappropriate apps, the device should be brought to the technician located at:
  • the tech office for MMS students, 
  • the tech shop for students in grade 9, 
  • and the library for students in grades 10-12.  
The process to unlock the device will take between one and three days to complete, resulting in lost class time and a report to building administration.

Your help in removing these apps from the devices is appreciated.

Protection Plan
There have been families that initially chose to be part of the protection plan and then have come back to opt out of the plan.  The choice to opt in or out of the plan is for parents to make.  If you choose to opt out of the RSU 57 iPad protection plan, please consider the following information:
  • If you initially chose to opt in and then opted out of the plan, the fee that was initially paid is not refundable. This money was used in purchasing the plan from the Rug-Ed company.
  • Families may opt out of the protection plan, but in doing so, will take on the total cost of repair or replacement in every instance of damage (see below).
  • If an iPad is damaged, it will be sent in for repair and the bill will be mailed home.
  • If an iPad is damaged, a replacement iPad will be given in the iRugEd case.  The alternate case will be placed on the iPad again after the bill is paid in full.
  • Families may choose to opt back into the protection plan at any time.
  • The iPad must be in an approved form of protection at all times.
Current Repair/Replacement Costs per Incident (subject to change):
iPad (repairs) $305 
iPad (replace) $605
Additional costs will occur if internal mechanisms must also be replaced.
The specific replacement cost is determined by the Apple Repair Depot.

Thank you,

Kevin Perkins
Director of Technology

***The presence of the apps at any time will result in the device being locked down.

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