iPad Program FAQ's

Q. Where can I learn about the iPad?
A. You can learn about the iPad directly from Apple, please click here to visit the Apple website to learn more about the latest iPad release. Numerous articles can also be found online about the use of iPads in schools. Apple provides a free iPad User Guide which can be downloaded from iTunes onto the iPad or a personal computer.

Q. When will new students first receive their iPads?
A. We will distribute iPads to students before classes begin per a schedule in early August which will be advertised in advance to families. If you are unable to pick up your iPads during that time, you should notify the Main Office and an alternative time will be determined.

Q. May students opt out of using the iPad altogether?
A. No. We want every student to be on an equal footing in each class as s/he learns to use the iPads.

Q. Can I, as a parent, control what apps my child installs?
A. Yes, there is a way to set up parental controls for loading apps and making any changes to the iPad. Please click here to visit the Apple website to learn how to setup parental controls.

Q. Will the school periodically inspect its iPads?
A. The school (namely, the administration and faculty) may inspect its iPads assigned to any student at any time while on campus. If such inspection reveals inappropriate use of the iPad in violation of the school’s iPad Use Agreement, the student will be subject to disciplinary action and the iPad may be reformatted by the school.

Q. Will students get to keep their iPads over the summer?
A. Yes. However, we may want to update software and perform other maintenance and may require that iPads be turned in to the Information Technology Department for a short time.

Q. My student already has an iPad. Will s/he be able to use that one for classes?
A. No. To better control students’ online access (e.g., logging on through sites through the school’s protected wireless service), only those iPads issued by the school can be used on campus. 

Q. Will the Internet be filtered on the student iPads?
A. While on campus, the student iPads will be filtered exactly like our current computers are. Remember that no Internet filtering is 100% effective. The filtering software will, at times, filter sites that it shouldn't and fail to filter sites that it should. However, for the most part, it does help cut down on students browsing inappropriate Internet sites.

One thing to keep in mind is that while the iPads are on campus, they will be filtered. However, when they leave campus and our control, they will no longer be filtered. Please click here to visit the Apple website to learn how to setup parental controls.

Q. What happens if an iPad gets broken, lost or stolen?
A. If an iPad is broken, the student must bring the iPad to the Learning Resource Center for inspection. If it is lost, the student will need to complete a written report which must be signed by a parent. Accidental damage, malfunction, and loss are covered as described in the iPad Use Agreement (deductibles will apply and will range from $150 for repair to $500 for loss).  Maintenance will cover any defects in the iPad per the agreement.  This coverage includes the iPad battery, but will not cover damage caused by misuse. The school will be providing cases with screen protectors to help protect the iPad. Replacement cases are available at cost if needed.

Q. Am I required to have Internet access at home for the iPad program?
A. The school doesn’t require that students have Internet access at their homes. However, access to wireless Internet is recommended. For example, wireless Internet access will allow students to do research at home as well as to be able to email back and forth with their teachers through the iPad. The iPad that St. Francis is going to provide to students won't have 3G service (cell service) and it won't require any monthly Internet access fee to use. However, the student will need access to some sort of Wi-Fi service to connect to the Internet. If students don't have Wi-Fi access at home, they will still be able to get on the Internet at school and at many local businesses (e.g., coffee shops and restaurants). Also, many public buildings like libraries have free wireless access available.

If you have any sort of Internet access at your home, but you don't have wireless, it is actually very easy to add at a reasonable cost. Local electronics stores have personnel who can direct you to an appropriate setup for your home. Additional information about setting up “WiFi” in your home is available on the Internet--do an online search: “how to set up a home wireless network.”

Q. Will my student still need a laptop or desktop computer even if s/he has an iPad?
A. While the iPad was never intended as a complete computer replacement, the iPad should be able to handle the vast majority of a student's needs. Whether or not a student has access to a personal laptop or desktop computer, it will be necessary for the student to synchronize (“sync”) the iPad’s data to the “iCloud” provided by Apple. Students will be given information and be trained about syncing their iPads to “the cloud”. A fair amount of online storage is free, but charges are assessed for large amounts of data (e.g., extensive music and/or photo libraries).  

Syncing the iPad  to a computer simply means you connect the iPad to a computer and the contents of the iPad are backed up to that computer. The syncing process usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes on average.

Syncing or not syncing will not affect how the iPad is used. It just provides a backup for everything that is saved on the iPad in the event that something should happen to it. Syncing to the “iCloud” also facilitates a quick retrieval of apps and data to replacement iPads. 

Q. Will all textbooks be available electronically?
A. Not all textbooks are currently available and may not be available for all of our classes for a few years.  We are in the process of evaluating our current textbooks and will transition to appropriate electronic texts as we identify available texts which meet our educational criteria.  In some instances, pdf (“read only”) versions of current textbooks may be available and may be used in place of the paper text. These will be identified on the school’s booklist. We will continue to transition to fully interactive electronic textbooks in a thoughtful manner to make sure our students are using the best learning resources available, and at a reasonable cost. Check the school’s booklist for which electronic texts (“e-texts,” “e-books,” or “e-versions”) which will be “required” or “choice” (namely, the family may choose either the identified paper copy or the identified e-copy). .

Q. I understand that many textbooks may not be available in an electronic version next year. What about novels that are required reading in some classes?
A. Most novels for summer reading are available electronically and every student will have the option of using the electronic version of those novels.

On the school’s booklist, all other reading books and textbooks (i.e., those used during the school year) will be clearly identified as “Required” (only version acceptable) or “Choice” (select hardcover or e-book). In some cases, a specific e-book version (with a specific identification number) will be identified as the only acceptable e-book version for a class. Vendors who offer these books will be clearly identified.

Q. In addition to the annual Technology Fee, what will be my costs for the iPad program?
A. During the start of each school year, each freshmen student will be provided the use of a iPad, a custom SFHS iPad cover with a screen protector. While many apps are free, families should budget about $50 - $100 for other apps that may be needed throughout the year. The cost of e-texts and e-books is the responsibility of the family. Students will also need to have access to an inexpensive pair of headsets (earphones with a microphone) which they will use with the iPad--the school will make some suggestions about particular headsets. Along with the iPad, maintenance and repair are provided by the school per the conditions identified in the iPad Use Agreement.

The school retains ownership of its iPads but may occasionally, at its discretion, offer used iPads for sale to families.

Q. What happens if I leave St. Francis before I graduate?
A. If a student leaves St. Francis before graduation, the iPad, power adapter, charging cable, and cover must be returned to the school in good condition, as described in the iPad Use Agreement. Privately owned apps and e-versions of books will be available to the owner if the iPad has been synced to a personal computer or to “the cloud”.  The family is welcome to inquire if the iPad is for sale at the time.

Q. Will I be able to purchase an additional iPad or a different model of iPad through St. Francis to take advantage of any offered discounts?
A. St. Francis is not able to offer different models of iPads or additional iPads through this program. It is at the discretion of the school to determine which students will be receiving which models each school year.

Q. If my student's iPad has to be sent off for repair, will he or she be at a disadvantage in class?
A. If there is a software problem with an iPad being used in this program, the iPad should be returned to the Learning Resource Center with the necessary completed report so that the school can send the unit off for repair. The turn-around time for repairs is usually 3 to 5 days. During this time, we will supply a loaner iPad so that there is no disadvantage to the student.  While St. Francis will not have an unlimited supply of loaner iPads, we will do our best to see that one is available.  As long as the iPad has been synced to a personal computer or the cloud, the loaner iPad can be set up exactly like the original with no loss of data and the student can continue using the iPad as before.

Q. Will I need to create a new iTunes account for my child to use with the iPad?
A. While an iTunes account will be required with the iPad, it does not have to be new. Any existing iTunes account can be configured on the iPad. It is even possible to have more than one iPad all attached to the same iTunes account and still be able to have different configurations on each iPad. For example, siblings can download the same app to their individual iPads from the same iTunes account, having purchased the app only once (allowed up to five devices).

Q. I thought iTunes accounts require a credit card? How will I keep my student from charging iTunes purchases without my permission?
A. A credit card can be used to create and access an iTunes account, but is not required. Another approach is to buy iTunes gift cards to cover purchases through iTunes. Once the gift card amount has been used, no further purchases can be made until another gift card is acquired..

Another way to control this is to attach the iPad to a parent's iTunes account and not give the student the password. When purchasing from iTunes, a password is always required. If the student does not have the password, they will need the parents’ collaboration to make a purchase.

In addition, there are ways to set up parental controls on the iPad if you wish. A parent can set up the iPad to require a special password to make any changes to the configuration of the iPad, including making an app or music purchase without affecting the use of the iPad in any way.

Here’s an informational link about setting up an iPad account without a credit card: iTunes account without a credit card.

Q. Will St. Francis be waiting to purchase the latest version of the iPad for this program rather than the current version of the iPad?
A. At each point in the acquisition process, St. Francis will determine which version of the iPad it will obtain, based on features, costs, and availability. For 2018-2019, the recently released (April 2018) iPad will be purchased for the Freshmen class.

Q. What if I have other questions or concerns?
A. For now, you can contact the school’s Information Technology Director located in the Learning Resource Center. The Director will respond to inquiries in the order in which they are received.