Q: What is a Chromebook?
A: Chromebooks are laptop computers that specialize in Internet access and easy maintenance. They can be used to write essays, watch videos, build presentations, check grades and upcoming assignments, send work to teachers, collaborate on assignments and more. Like any other computer, Chromebooks are unable to look up information without an Internet connection. However, they can still be used offline for writing and other creative processes. Once the device returns to the school, it will reconnect to the Internet and will synchronize any new files that were created offline. At that point, the student can turn in completed assignments and pick up new assignments.
Q: Who pays for the Chromebook laptops in the Connected Classroom initiative?
A: This initiative is completely district-funded and has been planned by district staff and outside consultants to ensure long-term sustainability. The student computers--which are managed much like textbooks--are purchased by the district, remain the property of the district, and are collected at the end of every school year.
While there is no upfront cost required on your part, loss or severe damage of laptop devices may result in a bill for repair or replacement. Some of these costs are factored into the district's budget planning, but severe or repeated repairs will result in a bill to the family (just as a destroyed textbook would). Read more about lost or damaged devices below.
Q: What if my family moves out of the district during the school year?
A: If your family moves out of the district during the school year, it is important to return the Chromebook to the school before your child's last day. As noted above, Chromebook devices and accessories are educational equipment owned by the district. If the equipment is not returned or if it has been severely damaged, the district may bill the family for repairs and/or replacement as needed.
To return the Chromebook and accessories that were assigned to your child, please contact the main office of your child's school:
- Cairo-Durham Middle School: 518-622-0490
- Cairo-Durham High School: 518-622-8543
Lost or Damaged Devices
Q: What do I do if the Chromebook is damaged?
A: If your student’s Chromebook is damaged, please let a teacher know as soon as possible. He/she will assist the student in getting a temporary computer while the damaged device is being repaired. Depending on what happened, you may be responsible for repair costs. See “Notice Regarding Chromebook Damage, Loss and Theft” for estimated repair costs and when they might apply. Please note that if the Chromebook is damaged two or more times, students will not be allowed to take it home without insurance.
Q: How do I get insurance for the Chromebook?
A: Through a partnership with the Worth Ave Group, the district has purchased two years of insurance for accidental damage or loss/theft of district Chromebooks. We are pleased to offer this insurance plan to you at no cost, however severe or repeated damage or loss of laptop devices may result in a bill to the family for repair or replacement (just as a destroyed textbook would). For more details about the insurance policy, including what is and is not covered as well as how to report damaged or lost devices, please visit the Insurance & Damage Information webpage.
Q: What if my child leaves the device somewhere and it takes awhile to get it back?
A: If your child leaves his/her Chromebook at another location such as a grandparent’s house, notify the school. The school will make arrangements for another device to be used during school hours.
Q: What if the Chromebook is stolen?
A: Please report stolen Chromebooks to the school or the Information Technology Department as soon as you suspect that a Chromebook is missing. The district has a theft-recovery system that can be activated in such a situation.
Internet, Privacy and Web Controls
Q: What if I do not have Internet access at home?
A: To assist students and families with no Internet access at home, the district is in the process of developing a list of local establishments that offer free Wi-Fi access. One example is the Cairo Public Library (15 Railroad Ave, Cairo, NY 12413). Please check back for additional locations.
Q: The school uses Google for email and other services. How private is that?
Q: How can I be sure that only appropriate content is accessible?
A: When a Chromebook leaves school, a web filter called GoGuardian is still active. If a student goes to a website that GoGuardian does not allow, it will display a message that the site is prohibited and the student will not be able to access the content.
Q: Can I control the web filters at home?
A: If you have web filters on your home network, a student’s Chromebook will be controlled by those filters. Many manufacturers include this as a feature on their routers. Call your internet service provider or check the router manual for ways to set up additional web filters. You can also manage parental controls using a web-based filter that connects to your router, such as OpenDNS.
Q: What if I have a question that is not listed here?
A: If you have a question or concern that is not answered on our website, please feel free to contact technical support by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 518-622-8543, ext. 59500.
As we receive new questions that may be of interest to others, we will update this page.