Laptop FAQ's

1. Can I use the laptop computer and software throughout my career at SHS?

Yes. While the rapid pace of computer technology guarantees that more advanced units will be available before you graduate, your unit will be powerful enough for your classroom work throughout your career at SHS. The available software will be usable in upper level as well as entry-level course work. Of course, just as upper level courses require different textbooks, you may need additional software as you move through the curriculum.

2. What if I already have another model or brand of laptop computer?

You will be required to use the school district issued laptop for school purposes. This is necessary to ensure that you have a computer that gives you network capability and the ability to run the software that you will need in your courses.

3. Can I have my laptop computer this summer?

No. All laptops will be collected at the end of the school year for general maintenance, cleaning, and software installation purposes. Students will receive their laptops again at their orientation session in the fall to ensure that everyone receives complete information about the computer, including its warranty, insurance coverage, software usage and SHS’s policy regarding the ethical use of computers.

4. Where do I find a service technician?

If you have a question or a service need, take your laptop to the Help Desk.

5. What about insurance against theft or breakage through carelessness?

Your laptop computer is very portable and very valuable, making it an attractive target for thieves. Therefore, the Spearfish School District laptop protection is recommended. The protection covers the laptop for a fee payment not yet determined. There will most likely be a deductible that must be met.

The best insurance is to take care of your laptop. Do not leave your laptop in the building, classroom, concourse, or car unattended. Always know where your laptop is! Above all, take your computer home each night.

6. Does SHS provide maintenance on my laptop computer?

Yes. The Technical Services Help Desk staff will coordinate maintenance for students. Students enrolled at SHS will be covered by a maintenance agreement by the vendor supplying the laptops. Please consult the warranty agreement so that you understand what is and what is not covered.

7. What will I do without a computer in my classes if my laptop unit is being repaired or while I am replacing it if it is lost or stolen?

Spearfish High School will stock a limited number of laptop computers that can be loaned out on a first come, first-served basis. You will be able to apply for a loaner unit at the Help Desk, the same area where you will go for service on your laptop computer. If you are in possession of a loaner, treat it as if it were your own computer. You will be responsible for any damage to the unit or for its loss.

8. If I purchase software in addition to the available software provided through SHS, will the Technical Help Desk staff load it for me?

Yes. Software that addresses the curriculum needs of a class will be installed by the Technical Services Help Desk staff.

9. Do I need a printer?

You need not own one since printers are located near classrooms. If you want to connect to a printer at home with the school laptop, you will need to visit the technology Help Desk and ask to have your printer software installed.

10. Will I need to buy a modem?

No. A internal modem will most likely be included with the laptop. Specs for the proposed laptops have not yet been released.

11. How do I connect to the Internet at home?

You may connect to the Internet using a cable Ethernet connection or wireless Ethernet connection. If you have service with Midcontinent Communications or Prairie Wave, you simply need to plug the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on the laptop computer. If you maintain a wireless home network, you must set the laptop to connect to your wireless connection.

Dial-up Internet connections will not work on the school laptop until the Spearfish High School technicians format your laptop for a dial-up connection. Please take your laptop to the technology Help Desk if you want your laptop configured for your home dial-up Internet access.

12. Will there be facilities to back up the files I create on my laptop?

Yes. When you save your documents to the Home Directory folder, your files are automatically saved

to the school storage server. You are also encouraged to save your documents to a removable memory card that can be inserted into USB port on the laptop.

13. What if I want to add options to my laptop later?

Only the Spearfish School District is authorized to add options and upgrades to your laptop computer.

14. What if I want to run another operating system on my laptop?

Only the operating system chosen by the Spearfish School District will be authorized to run on a student-issued laptop computer.

15. Will I be given a new battery if mine goes bad?

The laptop battery will be replaced by the manufacturer for defects. You will be responsible for charging your battery and proper battery maintenance. If you need to borrow a battery for class, you may check a battery out at the Help Desk. The battery must be returned before the end of the school day, and you may be asked to pay a charging fee if your personal use of school back-up batteries is frequent.

16. What has the school done to help prevent students from going to inappropriate sites?

We have a software product which is designed to help monitor all Internet sites that students attempt to access. This software blocks inappropriate sites and also logs a history of every site that each user opens. All students who attempt to find inappropriate sites will be directed to the Principal’s Office.

17. Are Student Laptops subject to school “snooping”; what if they bring their laptop in for repairs and “objectionable data” is detected?

Inappropriate material on laptops should be reported to the classroom teacher, assistant principal, or Help Desk immediately upon identification. Students who have “objectionable data” on their laptop but have failed or chosen not to report it, will be referred to the Principal’s Office.

18. If the accessories to my laptop are lost or stolen, how much will it cost to replace them?

In the event that laptop accessories are stolen, you should report the lost items to the Help Desk or Assistant Principals’ office.