Academics

Laptop Program on Carmel Campus

Stevenson has been integrating technology into academics since 1997, when we pioneered a 1:1 laptop program. Today, all students in grades five through twelve and all teachers have their own state-of-the-art laptop computers for use at school and home. Students in the younger grades have access to classroom computers and iPads.

Overview of the Laptop Program for the Carmel Campus

Students in grades five through eight on the Carmel Campus are required to have a working laptop computer that meets the school's minimum standards. Grades 5, 6 and new 7 and 8 students require the use of a MacBook Air purchased through the school. For returning grade 7 and 8 students, other configurations are acceptable (see "Frequently Asked Questions" below).

Questions about the laptop program can be directed to Jim Fannin at jfannin@stevensonschool.org or 831-625-8375.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has the school chosen the Apple MacBook Air?

MacBook Air laptops offer the most advanced hardware and longest battery life to ensure students a fast and efficient method of creating, communicating, and evaluating learning. They are also very lightweight. We have heard students’ grumbles about heavy laptops and extra bags, and believe this laptop to be the most convenient tool that fits well into both the life of a student and the academic curricula.

MacBook Air laptops do not have CD/DVD drives. Do I need to buy one?

We are able to manage these laptops at school without optical CD/DVD drives; however, students may want to watch DVD movies or listen to audio CDs at home. In this case, yes, you may purchase an external USB drive that will remain at home. Additionally, these laptops come without an ethernet port. In the rare case that you connect to internet at home via ethernet instead of wirelessly, you will need to purchase a separate adapter to do so.

What if I want a different model of MacBook Air than what the school provides?

While the model we choose for the laptop program will be higher-end, we understand that some parents may want a more powerful system for advanced video editing or other student interests. You may purchase an upgraded laptop, laptop for your student if you communicate that preference to the school by July 1.

Why is our school not adopting iPads in the classroom?

We have piloted an iPad program in Grade 4 to assess the use of iPads in the classroom. The results are mixed. While iPads are a wonderful tool, they continue to lack some advanced features needed for the Middle Grades. For example, word processing can be awkward and web publishing or programming is difficult. iPads are still ideal in early grades, and the Grade 4 class will continue to advance creatively and academically with tablets while we continue to assess the usefulness of adopting them in later grades.

My student has an iPad - can it be brought to and used in the classroom?

We welcome iPads and can accommodate and manage them in the technology program; however, the student must also bring the MacBook to school daily. We can support iPads with some school-supported software, but currently can only offer resources for repair such as external vendors. We are not yet certified to troubleshoot or repair iPad tablets.

Is the Pebble Beach campus adopting these same changes to its laptop program?

Because our Pebble Beach campus has an international population of more than 520 resident and day students, in addition to other dynamics that differ from the Carmel Campus, we will continue supporting the current mixed-platform laptop program. As the technology applications advance in conjunction with our academic program, we believe high school students should have the option to choose a laptop make and model based on their needs and interests. On the other hand, we expect parents and students will be delighted by what the MacBook Air offers, and that you will find its usefulness lasting well into high school years.

I’d like to protect the laptop better - what can I do?

As part of the new laptop program, students will be provided a thin yet sturdy, padded case in which to carry their laptops; this will offer ample protection. Additional cases are available through Apple or other vendors (for example, plastic skin cases or keyboard covers) and can be attached to the laptops for added protection.

What happens if my student damages the computer?

Each MacBook Air is purchased through the school with 2 years of Apple Care, Apple’s extended protection program. This program offers warrantied repair to all laptops. If desired, additional years can be purchased through Apple. Stevenson’s technology department is equipped to troubleshoot and repair basic software and hardware problems. Note that accidental damage - such as screen breakage - is not covered. Stevenson has partnered with some local reputable and licensed Apple repair stores to assist with any work outside of the warranty, and we are equipped with loaner laptops for such cases.

I’d like to protect or limit my child’s access on the internet at home - can you help?

As part of the laptop program and the digital citizenship curricula in Middle Grades, we will offer some assistance and training to parents on helping parents manage students’ use of the computer and internet at home.

How long will the MacBook Air be suitable for school - when should it be replaced?

Historically, laptops have remained useful for students for 4-5 years. We encourage laptops to be replaced somewhere in this timeframe.

My child is in Grade 7 or 8. Does he or she need a new computer?

No. Students in these grades may continue using the same laptops; however, if you choose to purchase a new laptop, we encourage you to contact the technology coordinator and consider purchasing the same MacBook Air used in the new program.

Why is the laptop program beginning in Grade 5?

This change has been discussed and considered among Carmel Campus Administration and the Technology Department for many years. With the recent adoption of Grade 5 into the Middle Grade program, and with the extra responsibilities and skills empowered to students in the STEM and Humanities programs, we are encouraged that grade 5 students are ready and capable to enter into the laptop program.

Do I need to purchase any programs or applications for my child’s laptop?

No. The technology fee that is part of tuition covers all software used at the school. If you wish to purchase and install other software for your child, you may do so - as long as it will not conflict with other software or hardware used at the school. You are encouraged to contact the technology coordinator about such additional software. Please also read through the list of provided software so that you are not buying a duplicate copy of a title available at school.

Is the student expected to have a printer at home?

Yes. We encourage each family to have at least a black-and-white, USB or wirelessly-enabled printer at home. While we are working toward less paper use at the school, faculty may still request assignments be printed at home and brought to school with the student at the beginning of the next school day.