TCSS Connect - Frequently Asked Questions for Students & Families

  • When Will Students Receive Their Devices?  

    Through TCSS Connect, students will begin receiving their devices in mid to late August. Each TCSS student, K-12, will receive an iPad, in a case, with a charger. The devices will not work until your school assigns each device to an individual student. The cases will not all look the same, but every TCSS iPad will have the same capabilities. TCSS has chosen Apple devices due to their durability and the support that comes with the devices. The cost of an iPad for TCSS is equal to approximately the cost of two new textbooks. We believe this is a great investment, because of the educational possibilities this will provide to our students.    

    Will Students Take Their Devices Home?    

    For students in grades K-2, the iPads will stay at school and not come home with the students. However, students in these grades will still have an individual device assigned to them.

    Students in grades 3-12 will take their iPads home each afternoon. Taking the devices home is necessary, so students can charge them each night. There also may be assignments that must be completed at home using the iPad. However, any homework requirement on the iPad will not require internet. If a student does not have internet access at home, this will not be a barrier to completing an assignment. Also, please remember that free wireless internet is available on our school buses and in our school parking lots. 

    At the end of the 2022-2023 school year, students turned their devices into their schools. Students returning to the same school for the 2023-2024 school year will receive the same device they had last year, unless the device had to be replaced during the summer refresh. Students who are at a different school than they were last year will receive a different device for the 2023-2024 year. Students who transfer to another school within or out of TCSS, during the school year, will turn in their device when they leave the school.  

    How Will Students Use Their Devices? 

    Teachers will incorporate devices as needed, for assignments, projects, or additional practice, just like they have already been doing with the devices in our schools. Devices are another instructional tool, and students will not be on devices all day long. Think of your TCSS-issued iPad like a textbook. Your TCSS-issued iPad is not optional, but it is a required educational device, just like a textbook you are issued. Also, it is an educational device, different from a personal device you may already have at home. 

    Teachers will use a program called Apple Classroom. Apple Classroom allows teachers to monitor what’s happening with every device in their classroom. When students are using a particular app in class, the teacher can lock the devices into that app. Teachers can also project any TCSS device screen in the room to the projector screen in class. It’s important that the iPads support the learning happening in our classrooms, and do not create a distraction. Apple Classroom is a great tool in helping ensure this. 

    Caring for Your Device

    Every TCSS student, K – 12, will be provided an iPad, case, and charger, at no cost to the student. Through TCSS Connect, students will receive instruction, starting before they receive their iPads, on proper device care and the responsibility that comes with having your own educational device. If an iPad is damaged, destroyed, or lost, the cost to repair or replace the device will be the responsibility of the student and their parent or guardian. The iPads are durable, and when they are properly cared for, damages will be minimal. Our students are already experienced with using electronic devices and knowing how to properly care for them.  

    Protection Plan & Damages

    Your school will offer the opportunity to purchase iPad Protection Coverage at the cost of $50 per student. The protection plan is not a requirement. If a student does not purchase a protection plan, they will still receive their device. 

    iPad Protection Coverage is a fee applied to every student’s account, at the cost of $50 per student. However, the coverage is optional. If you do not wish to purchase the coverage, do not pay the fee, and it will be waived once the payment window closes.

    The protection plan will cover one instance of a lost, stolen, or broken iPad or case. Without the protection plan, the approximate current cost of these damages is $100 for a broken case or $300 for a full replacement of the device.  

    One purchase of a protection plan is available to each student, per school year. If the protection plan is purchased but not used in that year, it is non-refundable and it does not roll over to the next school year. If a family has more than one student enrolled in TCSS, a protection plan can be purchased for each student, not to exceed $150 total.  

    If there is another damage once the protection plan is used, the student and parent/guardian will be responsible for the actual cost of the damage. When devices are properly cared for, multiple damages are not likely.

    Reporting a Damaged or Missing Device

    If your student’s iPad is broken, lost, or malfunctioning, they should report it immediately to their homeroom teacher if they are in elementary school, or to their advisory teacher if they are in middle or high school. The teacher will make a report to our TCSS Information Technology Department that the device needs repair, and the school will issue a replacement device to the student. Replacement devices will be kept at schools. Once the replacement device is assigned to the student, the content on the student's damaged or missing iPad will be available on the replacement iPad. If there is a need to utilize your protection plan or pay the cost of a repair or replacement, your school administrator will notify the student and the parent/guardian.  

    Device Safety and Security

    If your student’s device is missing or you believe it may have been stolen, your school will be able to "ping" the device, to help you find it. The ping noise will continue until the device is located and the school stops the ping noise. If you believe your device has been stolen, once you notify your homeroom or advisory teacher, the school will lock the device, so nothing can be done with the stolen device. The device will not work once it is locked. The parent or guardian should also file a police report and provide a copy to the school. Your school will assist with this process if needed. 

    Even when your student’s device is being used away from school, it is still routed back through the TCSS content filter. If there is an attempt to access inappropriate content on the device, the content will be blocked, just like it would be at school, and the school will receive an alert. Providing safeguards so that non-educational or age-inappropriate content is not available on these devices is a priority for TCSS. 

    Apps that are district-required will be non-removable on students’ devices. Apps that are age-appropriate, free, and district-approved will be available to students through the app library. Apps go through our TCSS Software Review Committee before being made available on our TCSS iPads. Just like with filtering content, protecting our network and student data from hackers is also critically important for our school system.    

    Being Prepared for Class With Your Device

    Students in grades 3-12 should bring their device to school each day, fully charged. It is the responsibility of the student to charge their device overnight at home. We encourage students to leave their charger at home, in one location, so the charger is not lost. If the device is fully charged overnight, the device will have plenty of power for the school day, and there will be no need to bring your charger to school. 

    When there is a habit of a student being unprepared with their device, just like with any other material required for class, this will be treated as a discipline issue. However, we do not expect this to be a problem. Our students are already comfortable with using technology, and once they become familiar with having their own educational device for school, they will quickly develop a habit of remembering to bring it to school, fully charged each day.

    More Questions?

    Ask your teacher or school administrator if you have further questions about TCSS Connect. 

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