Monday, October 10, 2016

Warranty vs. Accidental Damage Protection

All of the Dell Chromebooks come standard with a warranty.  That warranty was upgraded to an Accidental Damage Protection (ADP) warranty.  Essentially it is an insurance policy for accidental damage: a cracked screen, a damaged case from a drop, etc.  The ADP warranty is limited to one incident per year per device.  

If a student exhausts their ADP warranty and a second incident occurs, the student's family will be responsible for a replacement Chromebook.  Estimated costs is $300.  

To read the exact Dell ADP warranty, click here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Charging Of Laptops During School

As a reminder, students should NOT bring their Chromebook charging cords to school.  It is not practical or safe to have cords across walkways, aisles and in hallways throughout the building.  If a student requires charging during the day, the best option is the Cafeteria.  It is open and accessible all day.  The Media Center is open before and after school only.  For those in Physical Education, it offers the students the opportunity to charge their Chromebook safely during that particular class period.

If a student's fully charged Chromebook does not last the entire day, please have them stop by the IT department.  There may be a problem with the Chromebook.

Lastly, a student should drain the battery all the way down about once a month.  This will help the longevity of the battery.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Are students able to change their Google log-in passwords?

No.  Students are issued a complex password for logging into Windows based computers at school and Google Apps for Education.

It is important to never share your password and always log off when finished using electronic devices.

First Day Update

We have completed our Chromebook distribution.  1195 Chromebooks were picked up leaving only five unclaimed.

All students attended an assembly today; our Chromebook 1to1 initiative was one of the topics.  Here is a quick recap.

  • The Chromebook is a tool similar to a calculator, pencil, or book.  It should be brought to school each day, fully charged.
  • Charging cords should be left at home.  Students will not be allowed to plug in their charging cords at school.  If a Chromebook is low on charge, there are charging stations in the Media Center, Cafeteria, and Resource Room.  There are also charging stations for use during PE class.  
  • Need help? Contact the IT Department.  IndyTeleData provides IT services from 30 minutes before school begins to 30 minutes after school each day.  The IT Office is Room 106 3/4, between Room 106 and Room 108.  Or simply e-mail .
  • Printers are located in the Media Center.  There is a printer for each graduation year.  Students will need to retrieve their print out before or after school as the Media Center is not available to students during the school day.
  • Can the students decorate the Chromebook?  Yes.  Do NOT cover the asset tag (Red tag on the bottom).  Decorations must be appropriate.  
  • Protective cases my be purchased from the Spirit Wear Store or elsewhere.  Replacement charger cords must be purchased from the Spirit Wear Store.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Who May Pickup?

We prefer the student or parent.  One family member may pickup for the entire family.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What are rules regarding like cases, sleeves, stickers, and keyboard coverings?

Cases, sleeves and keyboard covers are at the student's discretion.  A variety will be available in the Roncalli Spirit Wear Store during their normal hours.

Students will be allowed to place stickers on the Chromebook.  Stickers may NOT cover the official Roncalli asset tag that is on the Chromebook bottom.  Stickers must be appropriate, similar to what is allowable on clothing.

Updated Information Regarding Pickup

The Roncalli Media Center is the location for pickup.  Enter the school via the Main Entrance.  The main hallway is on your right.  The Media Center is at the end of that hallway.

Either a parent or student will need to pickup the Chromebook.  An acknowledgment of receipt is required, however, there will be no paper form to sign.  We will ask each person to enter their name electronically.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Chromebook based printing is available in the Roncalli Media Center.  Four printers have been installed organized by graduation year.  Students will be allowed to retrieve printouts before and after school each day.

A home based printer "may" be configured for printing at home.  There are instructions available online.  Please do NOT contact the IT Department regarding home based printing.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Are parents required to be present for Chromebook pick-up?

Original Questions:  Are parents required to be present when students pick up chromebooks prior to school starting? Is there any paperwork the parents must sign?

Either the student or parent must pick up the Chromebook.  There will be a form to sign acknowledging receipt of the device and basic terms and conditions that either may sign.

Our goal is to complete the form and make it available for completion prior to arriving, but the summer is short and the task large.  If we complete the form in time, it will be posted on this blog.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Will/would math assignments be online?

Assignments and Chromebook utilization will depend on each teacher.  Increasingly all our teachers are moving lesson plans, instructions and assessments online.

Googe Apps vs. Microsoft Office

Original question: Roncalli is a 'Life Prep school'. The majority of business uses MS Office as the standard office productivity software.   Having MS Office on their resume is a defiantly plus.  Was the selection of GAFE due to cost?

Reply:  Yes.  

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) is much more cost effective than Microsoft (MS) Office.  Additionally the hardware and on-going maintenance are significantly lower with GAFE as opposed to MS Office.  A quick comparison.  GAFE including all 70 software applications (docs, spreadsheet, mail, sketch-up, blogger, etc.) are free to Roncalli.  The current CDW price for a MS Office Academic license is $76.99 per license.  

GAFE also allowed us to purchase Chromebooks instead of Microsoft based laptops.  The estimated cost for hardware, warranty, and ongoing support would be double the investment made in Chromebooks.  

Roncalli continues to teach utilizing MS Office in our College and Career semester long class.  This continues a tradition of utilizing a market leading tool so our students understand word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications.  These have changed over the 50 plus years the school has been opened.  Originally it was manual typewriters, then electric typewriters, perhaps Word Star and Word Perfect, and now MS Office.  With that in mind, more Chromebooks were purchased for US schools last year then laptops and iPads combined. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

How will the Chromebooks be stored during lunch?

Question continued:  Will they fit in our lockers, or risk being banged around in our bags during lunch?

The Chromebooks will fit in your locker.  They will also fit in your bags / backpacks.  Families are encouraged to purchase a backpack that has a padded bottom to best protect the Chromebook.

There will be a charging cart in the Cafeteria.  It has a limited number of slots.  It should be reserved for those that need to charge their Chromebook to last the remainder of the school day.

Will there be any instructions available for setting up accounts (Google drive, gmail, etc.) for freshmen?

Yes, these accounts are automatically setup for the students.  A brief introduction will be included when we issue the Chromebooks.  For complete information regarding the schedule for issuing Chromebooks, click here.  We utilize time in English or Religion class (these are two classes that every student must attend) in the first few days of school to cover login and password procedures.

All students are issued a six-digit ID from our student management system, Schoolmaster.  That ID stays with the student for their entire Roncalli experience.  This ID is used for logging into our Windows based computers, as well as logging into the Chromebooks.

This same ID will become the student e-mail address:  The Cafeteria management system also uses this ID.

Monday, May 23, 2016

What happens if my student forgets his Chromebook at home?

There will be NO loaner devices.  Students are expected to bring their Chromebook to school each day, just as they are expected to bring their textbooks, notebooks, and homework that is due.  If a teacher has planned a lesson utilizing the Chromebook, a student will be considered unprepared for that class period.

If a student's Chromebook is not working as expected, they will need to bring their Chromebook to the IT office.  We will evaluate the device.  If an immediate resolution is not possible a maintenance spare will be issued.  The maintenance spare will be used by the student until their original Chromebook is repaired.  The original student issued Chromebook will be required in the IT office before a maintenance spare will be issued.

Will Students Be Able to Work Offline?

Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education are very Internet dependent. So what happens when there is no Internet?

Google has implemented offline editing capabilities for Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Drawings.  Additionally, Google has enabled Google Mail offline reply and new message creation capabilities.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Could A Student Use A Chromebook During Lunch?

Students and Teachers are encouraged to leave lunch time to eat and socialize, not schoolwork.  That policy will remain.  Students may not use their Chromebook in the cafeteria during their lunch period.

If a Chromebook requires power, a student may utilize the Cafeteria charging cart during their lunch period.  Essentially, they will plug the Chromebook in as they enter the cafeteria, then pick it up on their way back to class.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Chromebook Ownership

Roncalli High School owns each school-issued Chromebook until the student graduates at which time ownership will transfer to the graduate.

Any student who leaves Roncalli prior to graduation will be expected to return their Chromebook in full working order or pay the school the cost of a new Chromebook.

Monday, May 9, 2016

When Will Chromebooks Be Ready For Pick-up?

The new Chromebooks will be ready for pickup:  Friday, July 29th, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday, August 1, from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm, and Tuesday, August 2, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The final opportunity will be after school on Wednesday, August 3, from the end of the school day until 4:00 pm.  

The exact location inside the school has not been identified yet.  All are encouraged to check at the School Office via the Main Entrance.  Signs will direct you to the distribution location.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What Will Happen With Used Chromebooks

Original question - The original communications said the Chromebooks would be turned in at the end of the student's time at Roncalli, but now they will be the student's to keep? I know my daughter will not want hers because she has previously used one. Could you offer some sort of buyback option or the opportunity to sell it to an incoming student? Maybe Roncalli could buy it back and offer a slightly reduced tuition to a family for taking a used one, at least their first year?

The long term cycle for Chromebooks is for a student to receive a new Chromebook when they enroll as a Freshman.  The device will have a four year warranty attached to it.  The four year warranty provides the school the piece of mind that all devices are covered for their four year life in the school building.  As with all technology, there is an optimal, useful life.  We have set the optimal useful life for Chromebooks at four years.  Upon graduation, the student will keep the Chromebook. 

We have previously discussed the possibility of a student turning in their Chromebook upon graduation.  Unfortunately, there is not a need for those devices at Roncalli after four years.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Is Low Cost Internet Available?

Many Internet Service Providers (ISP) provide low-cost Internet for those that qualify.  Most of our families live in areas serviced by AT&T, Brighthouse, and Comcast.  For more program information, click here or contact your provider(s) directly.

What model of chromebooks will the students be receiving?

We are purchasing Dell Chromebook 11 3120 devices.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Could the 1to1 Initiative Be Funded Through Endowments And Not Tuition?

The total cost of moving to the 1-to-1 initiative with the Chromebooks and the requisite infrastructure is nearly $400,000. In order to fund that from an endowment, the principal of the endowment would need to be at least $8,000,000. Our current total for endowed funds is hovering around $1,000,000. We have worked hard over the past 10 years to build the endowment to that level and will continue to do so in futures years. Many of the funds in that endowment are restricted to financial aid for students so they cannot be used for facility and equipment projects.
About half of the funds yielded from our endowment investments ($25,000) would available to contribute to the total cost of the project. Therefore, other sources of funding were necessary.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Will there be insurance available to purchase?

Parent 1 - Will there be insurance available to purchase?  How are accidental damages managed? Will there be protective carriers for the students to carry them to and from class / after school curriculars / home? Thank you!

Parent 2 - What if my son/daughter drops/breaks their device?  Depending on the answer: Is their insurance that can be purchased?

Each Chromebook will have an Accidental Damage & Protection warranty.  This warranty will cover one incident per year per device. It will be in force while the student is enrolled.  Additional damage or repair will be handled on a case by case basis.  The warranty support will be managed by the Roncalli IT Helpdesk.  If a device requires repair, a student will be issued a maintenance spare that may be used at school and at home.  

The school will offer protective covers in the Spirit Store or a family may purchase their own online.  The Chromebooks are  semi-rugged, education class devices.  The edge has a rubber strip.  The hinge is reinforced so that is does not easily break.  Cameras are fixed.  Keyboards are spill-resistant.

If a replacement Chromebook is needed, the cost will be less then $300; depending on the length of warranty required.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Used Chromebooks For Seniors

Original question - I have heard that seniors might be receiving used chrome books. Would it be possible to purchase a new chrome book for a senior instead?

All students will be receiving new Chromebooks.

Two Blog Post Updated

As we continue to fine tune our 1to1 initiative, policies and procedures may change.  Please see updated posts regarding Loaner Devices and Will Students Keep The Devices Over The Summer?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Will Students Use Chromebooks Throughout The School Day?

Chromebooks, as with any technology resources, will be at the discretion of the teacher.  Teachers will be encouraged to utilize Chromebooks for research, content creation, assessments, online homework submission, etc..  Online digital content is available via the Google Chrome browser.

The Chromebooks have 16GB of internal storage.  Students will be able to download content and pictures to their Chromebook for later use.  Downloaded content may be used to create content via Google Docs, Sheets, and Presentation.  Many assessments, tests, and quizzes are taken online.  Our Learning Management System, Canvas, allows students to submit work online.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Will the Chromebooks be a replacement for textbooks and/or binders?

No.  Chromebooks are an additional resource and not a replacement.

Many textbooks have websites with additional dynamic content.  Roncalli will continue to utilize textbooks and workbooks while integrating digital content from textbook sites and other online resources.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Will there be any sort of responsibility of parents for downloading and maintaining various apps or systems?

No.  Chromebooks automatically update their own operating system software. All other 'applications' will be installed and removed through our Google Apps for Education domain.

Monday, April 4, 2016

May We Bring Our Own Device?

No.  Why no?  

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) has built-in device management via a Google Chromebook license.  These licenses are purchased at the time devices are purchased.  With all devices in our GAFE domain, we are able to control the applications and access for each device.  

(For more information about controlling devices, click here.)

Roncalli looked at a number of 1 to 1 models before deciding on school issued Chromebooks.  Equability for all of our students was a consideration. This solution was selected because it gives us the best price for performance; including the device, the warranty, and support.  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

How will apps and social media availability be managed on the computers during school hours?

All Chromebooks will be managed via the Roncalli Google Apps for Education (GAFE) domain.  All applications will be installed and removed by GAFE.

Since each Chromebook has a built-in Google Chrome browser, controlling access to all websites presents additional challenges.  The Roncalli network has a web filtering solution, Lightspeed.  It filters traffic by categories, as well as tracks all Internet activity by user and device.  

Lightspeed has a feature that will allow teachers to control what websites and how many browser windows may be open at one time.  This technology will be used during testing and assessments restricting a student to just one browser window and a single or set of websites.

If all of this is too technical, the bottom-line is that we have tools in place to restrict and track access.  Roncalli teaches digital citizenship.  All users, including students, teachers, and staff are responsible for their use of digital assets.  Inappropriate use is not tolerated.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Are there plans to enhance the Wifi reception?

Wi-Fi / wireless is available throughout the main building from the Cafeteria to the Show Choir room in the Fine Arts wing.  It is also available in the Annex, Blockhouse, and Training Room.  Public Wi-Fi is available in all the same locations for students and guests to utilize while on campus.  There is no password, however, a the user must accept our terms and conditions via a splash screen.

The main purpose is for administrative and academic use.  When our Gym is full of fans, wireless may be slow as a single Wi-Fi Access Points (WAP) covers the entire gym.  This is plenty for our administrative and academic needs, but may not be for a capacity-filled gym.

Additional WAP's will be installed in classroom areas that don't have their own WAP today.  Wireless technology continues to improve; hence new WAP's perform better than older WAP's.  Our wireless management software provides utilization statistics that will be used to rearrange WAP's in the most effective areas throughout our facilities.

To complete the wireless discussion, there is no public Wi-Fi available in our stadium or other athletic fields.  The stadium wireless is for media use only.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Will Students Keep The Devices Over The Summer?

Chromebooks will be given to all students the first day of school in the Fall of 2016.  Update  - Chromebooks will be available the week prior to school starting.  Exact details will be included in our parent letter that is delivered in the summer.  Additional details will be posted on this blog in a new post.  The long-term design of our program is that a student will keep their Chromebook as long as they are enrolled at Roncalli, including over the summer.

Students withdrawing before graduating from Roncalli will be required to turn their Chromebook in on their final day of school.  When a student graduates from Roncalli, their Chromebook will be transitioned from Roncalli management to complete student control. This includes removal from cloud management software and the end of Roncalli support.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Loaner Devices

Charging stations will be available in the Cafeteria, and Resource Rooms before, during, and after school. A charging station will be available in the Media Center before and after school. All PE students will be able to charge their devices during class.

What happens if the student forgets their Chromebook?  Loaner devices will be available from the Media Center.  They are for school use only.  Students will be required to return the loaner unit before leaving school for the day.   Update - Loaner devices will NOT be available.  If a student leaves their device at home, they will have to make-up their work.  If a student's device is not charged, a student may use one of the charging stations before, during or after school.

What happens if the device is being repaired?  A maintenance spare will be available from the IT Office.  A maintenance spare may be used for multiple days at a time.  Students will be allowed to take the device home.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Why Chromebooks?

Roncalli has utilized Google Apps for Education (GAFE) for the past three years for Google email and Google Drive. During that time, we placed Windows laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads into the classrooms to evaluate as a "1to1" device. After careful consideration, based on feedback from teachers and usefulness in the classroom, Chromebooks were selected.

Chromebooks natively work with GAFE and provide the powerful Google Chrome browser for internet access. Over the past few years, many improvements have continuously been made to Chromebooks including the ability to store non-Google created files and the ability to work offline. Finally, GAFE is a centrally managed solution allowing our engineers to make changes without touching each device.

All students will receive a Chromebook to utilize at school, on the go, and at home. We will not support students bringing their own devices into the classroom.

Friday, March 25, 2016

President Hollowell Announces 1:1 Chromebook Initiative

At our Board meeting this past Monday, a tuition structure was unanimously approved that makes allowance for an expenditure of funds to provide the necessary equipment (1,200 Chromebooks) and infrastructure to move to a 1-to-1 instructional environment next year.

This decision was made after extensive discussion, experimentation, analysis, observations, and research over the past several years. The rationale driving this decision is that we believe the effective usage of these tools will improve the teaching of our faculty and the learning of our students. It's that simple.

The board has done an exceptional job of serving as stewards of our collective investment in Roncalli. Affordability is always front and center in our discussions regarding our budget and this year was no different. For two consecutive years our tuition has increased by 2.0% per year. That compares remarkably well to an average tuition increase of 4.57% at all of the other Catholic high schools in Marion county last year alone. We are able to absorb the cost of the computers and infrastructure by adopting a 4% increase in tuition for the 2016-17 school year.

The details of this transition will be communicated in a timely fashion so that students and teachers are well prepared to begin the 2016-17 school year. You can expect further details regarding the implementation of this program near the end of April.

I am sure we have lots to learn and that there will be a rough spot or two as we continue to grow in our understanding of how to best use these tools. But I am equally convinced that we will make this work well for our students and our families.