May 3, 2021
Dear Parents of New Upper School Students:
In 1998, Sacred Heart implemented the Learning with Laptops program in the Upper School. For the past 23 years, the program has continued to grow and has been a model for other schools considering the use of laptops by their students. Each year our efforts at successfully integrating technology into the curriculum in a seamless manner have continued to develop. In 2004, we began the process of integrating the Tablet PC rather than a laptop into the curriculum. The Tablet PC is very similar, but somewhat lighter than a laptop and has the capability to swivel the screen to a flat position in order to provide a writing surface. The use of laptops and/or Tablet PC’s has transformed and continues to transform the education students are receiving in the Upper School. Students, in general, are more organized, have greater research skills, have developed a higher level of critical thinking and are more creative and collaborative in their learning. The program has allowed faculty and students alike to find new and better ways of using technology to enhance learning. In the past 23 years, the program has become seamless and integral to the learning environment at Sacred Heart.
The laptop program has never been more tested than it has been in this past year. Upper School students and faculty were able to continue with online courses throughout the year, during the unforeseen events of last spring. This is positive proof of the seamless and integral part the laptop program plays in the learning environment at Sacred Heart. This could not be possible without the hard work that teachers put into planning classes.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Technology Department has continued to answer questions and resolve issues through email, Google Meet, and when necessary provide repairs and loaners. Just as the Technology Department has been available to help with computer related challenges during these difficult times, we will continue to support your daughters with any computer related challenges that she may have in the future.
Each Upper School student is required to have her own Tablet PC. Early on in the program, we discovered that allowing students to purchase a laptop from somewhere other than the school was fraught with major difficulties for students, faculty, and technology staff. Although these difficulties have decreased in number since the onset of the program, the maintaining of software upgrades and repairs to student computers by the school’s technology staff are minimized and hence, provide for a more effective and efficient program when all students in a specific grade are using the same Tablet PC. For this reason, student computers must be purchased through the school, at this time.
In the past we have allowed a second option (a laptop) to the Tablet PC. However due to constraints on production, capacity, and availability beyond our control over the past year; we will only be offering the Tablet PC as an option. While the laptop may have been less expensive, the tablet has a digitizing pen; it is smaller in size; lighter in weight; and has a screen that can rotate and fold down.
In order to assure a timely arrival and proper setup of the computer before classes begin, we intend to place the order June 1st. On the enclosed order sheet, you will find a detailed description of the available computer and costs presently being offered. The cost covers the computer, warranties, software, and a protective sleeve. Additionally, Sacred Heart provides curriculum-based software, on-site technical support and loaners when needed.
For the 2021-2022 school year, there are several options for purchasing the computer.
Check made payable to Academy of the Sacred Heart. Return this form (which is also being mailed to your home) to complete your order.
Credit card by going to this site. Note: There is a 3% convenience fee on all credit card transactions. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted at this time.
To pay in installments, you can add the laptop to your SMART Tuition and follow the payment plan and method selected for your other tuition and fees. Start by going to https://www.ashrosary.org/academics/upperschool/laptop-order. At the bottom of the page, select the “Pay by Check or SMART Tuition” button on the website in order to Auto-draft by SMART Tuition. In order to take advantage of the installment payment method, you must have selected to pay your tuition with installments. The cost of the laptop will be split based on your tuition payment method selected within SMART Tuition and will include any fees currently charged by Smart Tuition.
If paying by check please complete the enclosed computer order form and return all items to the Sacred Heart Business Office no later than May 21, 2021. If paying by credit card or auto-drafting by Smart Tuition please complete the process online.
We highly recommend that you consult your insurance agency to determine your homeowner’s coverage for theft and damage.
If you need assistance regarding this program, please feel free to contact Philip Forcier or myself. As the program moves into its twenty-fourth year, we continue to be excited about the educational vistas that this program offers our students. Thank you in advance for your personal and financial support of this program. The program would not be as successful as it is today without the support of the various Sacred Heart constituencies, including students, parents, faculty, administration, and trustees.
Upper School Division Head