St. Johns Country Day School

Acceptable Use & FAQ

Parent Information

A great deal of research suggests that iPad usage should be limited at night. We would like to suggest that the iPad never be kept or used in a bedroom away from parents. Many parents keep the charger in a public room. Try not to allow students to use the iPad just before they go to sleep. This also help allow for parents to monitor how their children are using the iPad. Note that the iPad offers a great deal of chat and video conferencing options including Messenger and Facetime.

While we can filter the school’s wi-fi, we have no ability to filter your own wi-fi connection. Parents are encouraged to look into the many free parental Internet tools that can allow you to monitor Internet traffic, shut off the wi-fi to specific devices at set times, and filter Internet traffic. Some families have reported success with

The iPad has the ability to add Parental Restrictions. While this is somewhat limited, it does offer you some control over the device. Go to “Settings” -> General -> Restrictions. When putting in the parent code, make sure it is not the same as the code the student uses to unlock the iPad. We suggest turning off FaceTime and the In-App Purchases. You can also turn off Twitter and Facebook if you would like.

One of our strongest suggestions is to enroll the entire family into Apple’s Family Share. This is a free service that will allow everyone to share apps, movies, music, and more. It also allows parents to track any Apple device and approve any App purchases or installations. To set this up, go to “Settings” -> iCloud -> Family Share on a parent’s Apple device.

Important links are provided to the right. All parents are encouraged to watch the videos with their children.

Common Sense Media Agreement for parents and teens

The Common Sense Family Media Agreement is a checklist that parents can use to guide conversations with their kids about media use. It’s designed to help parents establish guidelines and expectations around media use and behavior that are right for their family. Some families are comfortable using it as a signed agreement. Others refer to use it simply as a checklist to guide conversations. Either way, it’s a great way to help parents and kids get on the same page about media and technology use.

Cyber safety

Cyber safety is an important parent-child discussion to revisit frequently, from Lower School through Upper School. Experts warn that children are most vulnerable to online dangers while in their own home. The following suggestions are drawn from a wide variety of professional sources that may aid you in effectively guiding your child’s use of the iPad and other technology devices.

In accordance with the St. Johns Electronic Technologies Acceptable Use Policy, outside of school, parents bear responsibility for the same guidance of Internet use as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, radio, movies and other possibly offensive media. Parents are responsible for monitoring their student’s use of the school’s educational technologies, including school-issued email accounts and the Internet if the student is accessing the schools electronic technologies from home or through other remote location(s).

Put the iPad to bed, but not in the bedroom

Parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, from cell phones to iPads, in a common family room overnight to discourage late night unmonitored use as well as sleep disruption.
Don’t allow your teen to sleep with the iPad, laptop or cell phone. Remember to model appropriate use and balance of technology in your own life, too!

Important: Don’t allow your teen to sleep with an iPad, computer or cell phone!

Filter access

Filtering software is not built in to the iPad. While many potential dangers are filtered and blocked on the school’s wireless network so students can’t access them, children often have complete, unrestricted access to inappropriate sites at home. Experts strongly suggest installing software to filter and block inappropriate content on your wireless home network. Some possible filters to consider include OpenDNS (free version available), SafeEyes, and NetNanny. Some of these products offer additional protection features such as cell phone filtering, text message and photo screening tools, and digital footprint/reputation monitoring.

Set Expectations

Regularly share your expectations with your child about accessing only appropriate sites and content, as well as being a good person when online (even when parents aren’t watching). Outside of school, it is likely that your child has already been confronted with multiple opportunities to access content that parents wouldn’t approve, such as pornography, hate sites, celebrity gossip, reality TV, and personal blogs, all of which may influence your teen’s beliefs, values and behavior. Understand that your teen’s use of many technologies (such as iPods, video game systems, and cell phones) likely gives your teen the ability to connect to unfiltered public wireless networks (such as in a library or coffee shop), pick up a neighbor’s wireless signal, or connect to the Internet through a cell service. Therefore, it is important to maintain regular, open dialog about Internet use and access. Discuss your expectation for appropriate use and behavior.

Monitor and limit screen time

Experts suggest having teens surf the Internet in a central place at home, such as the kitchen or family room, rather than away from adult supervision or behind a closed door. Know what your child is doing with technology and how his or her time is being spent. Technology can be a great tool and resource but also has the potential to be a big distractor. Help your child learn to focus on completing tasks or assignments first before spending time on games, shopping, and social networking. Teaching today’s children how to manage multiple sources of information and potential distractions is a critical life skill, one best learned before heading off to college or the workplace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which iPad do I need to buy?

Please see our buying guide here.

Why an iPad program?

The focus of the iPad program at St. Johns Country Day School is to provide tools and resources to the 21st Century Learner. Through the program we also seek to

a.) Promote interpersonal connections, creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, communication, and critical-thinking skills.

b.) Encourage the development of strong research skills, digital media literacy, digital presentation design, and word-processing.

c.) Foster the development of a "Flipped Classroom" learning model for a more interactive, project-based learning environment with fewer tests and less lecture time.

d.) Replace physical books and textbooks, computer labs, laptop-based scientific probes, video cameras, audio recorders, and more.

Where can I learn about the iPad?

You can learn about the iPad directly from Apple -

May students opt out of using the iPad altogether?

St. Johns is committed to using the iPad to supplement and enhance the traditional classroom experience, and each student will be required to have an iPad for class. A laptop can not be used to replace an iPad.

Can I, as a parent, control what apps my child installs?

Yes, there is a way to set up parental control for loading apps and making any changes to the iPad. Please go to Settings->Restrictions on the iPad.

Will the Internet be filtered on the student iPads?

While on campus, the student iPads will be filtered exactly like our current computers. 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.

Will all textbooks be available electronically next year?

We evaluate the offerings in each subject and choose the best resource for our students. Most of the time this in an interactive eBook, but at times we have found that a physical book provides a better experience. A vast majority of books in grades 6 - 12 are eBooks.

Am I required to have Internet access at home for the iPad program?

In today's world, any student at any school would be at a disadvantage not to have Internet access at home, but libraries, including the SJCDS library, offer Internet access free of charge. If you have any sort of Internet access at your home but you don't have wireless, it is actually very easy to add by contacting your Internet Provider.

Will my student still need a computer even if s/he has an iPad?

It is important to note that the iPad is not a replacement for a computer. St. Johns will continue to provide access to computers on campus to support specific programs.

What if my student forgets his/her iPad at home?

We will have a limited number of loaners for students to check out for use for one day if s/he forgets the iPad at home. Loaner iPads must be returned at the end of the same school day.

Will I need to create a new iTunes account for my child to use with the iPad?

While an iTunes (Apple ID) account will be required with the iPad, the school will provide an Apple ID to all students.

I understand that students will need access to an iTunes account to use with the iPad. Don't iTunes accounts require a credit card? How will I keep my student from charging iTunes purchases without my permission?

The school will provide an Apple ID to students. Parents should set up Family Share to give students the ability to pruchase personal apps, movies, music, and books with parent approval.

Won't the iPad be a distraction to the students in class? For example, a student may play games in class instead of staying on task.

Apple Classroom allows a teacher to completely control a students iPad, see what they are doing at all times, and lock them into the proper learning resource.

How will the iPad be used within the framework of this iPad initiative?

The iPad is a device that is many things to many different people. The device has 7 primary functions. It is a

a.) Reader – books, magazines, textbooks

b.) Creator – presentations, screencasts, blogs, reports, infographics, e-pubs/iBooks, movies, podcasts, video conferencing and online meeting tool, etc.

c.) Student Response System – instant in-class polling, feedback

d.) Computer Interactivity – control your PC from your iPad

e.) Study Tool – digital notebook, annotate course readings

f.) Organizer – calendars, daily planner

g.) Differentiator – A device that serves as a differentiator (sets one aspect of the learning environment apart from the others), is essential if you are serious about addressing multiple learning styles in an educational environment. The iPad is ideal for collaborative, project-based learning and multimedia content that serves to strengthen and reinforce information already imparted in the lecture component of any classroom experience.

Can you recommend some apps that everyone should have when they are getting started with the iPad?

When the iPad is first set up, students need to accept the free apps. These include Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, and Garage Band. All other required apps will be provided by the school.

Can I participate in the St. Johns iPad Initiative using a device other than the current generation iPad?

You must have an iPad, and it must meet the minimum requirements listed here.

Can the purchase of my iPad be financed?

Yes, Apple has a 12-month interest-free financing program. You will find the details of their financing program at the following web site

What do I need to do to get my iPad registered so I can access the school’s WiFi network?

Nothing! Leave the iPad in the box and bring it to Orientation or the first day of school. Time will be set up with the Technology Department to set up all aspects of the iPad.

If my iPad isn’t charged when I come to school will there be charging stations or chargers available?

No. It is every student’s responsibility to make sure that his/her iPad is fully charged fully charged at the beginning of each school day.

Will my student need to purchase apps?

All Apps and Books are provided by the school.

Should I buy accessories for the iPad or is the device itself enough?

We strongly recommend that you purchase a sturdy case to protect the device. For maximum protection we recommend Lifeproof, Griffin, Zagg, or Otterbox brands. Please see the buying guide here.