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Academics

2017-2018 Laptop Requirements

Brewster requires each student to have an Apple laptop computer that meets our yearly minimum requirements. Details about what type of computer to buy, any needed accessories, and the process that happens to make the computer “Brewster ready” are explained below.

Register Your Computer by August 15
All student computers, both new and returning, must be registered yearly with the Information Technology Department by August 15. To register your student’s computer, log in to the Brewster Parent Portal after June 10, 2017, and click on the Register Laptop Serial Number link in the Forms section. Don't hesitate to call our Tech helpline at 603-­569­-7000 with any questions or assistance.

Which Apple Computer Should I Buy?
We recommend waiting until the end of June before purchasing your computer to take advantage of any new product lines from Apple -- education discounts are detailed below. If you are purchasing a new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or Retina Display MacBook Pro, here are a few things to keep in mind:
● Make sure your laptop has internal storage of at least 256GB. ­ DO NOT purchase a laptop with a 128GB hard drive as it does not allow your son/daughter enough space to work efficiently. The typical Brewster student is quick to fill their laptop’s hard drive with photos, music, TV shows, movies, and additional software that will easily surpass the storage limit of 128 GB hard drives.
● Based on student feedback, we recommend laptop screens larger than 11”
● Apple recently came out with a new MacBook, not Pro, not Air, just plain MacBook. This laptop is lower powered and does not keep up with the performance of other current Apple laptops. It was not intended for media work and thus will not meet the needs of your son or daughter at Brewster.
● To see current Apple laptop models, go to: http://store.apple.com/us/mac
● To purchase online from the Apple education store to receive a discount, go to: http://store.apple.com/us­-hed/findyourschool
● If you purchase from an Apple retail store, be sure to ask for the student discount -- Brewster Academy is a registered educational facility with Apple.
● For those students coming to Brewster from outside the United States, please be sure to purchase a laptop with a North American English Keyboard.
● We strongly recommend purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan for your computer

Do you already have an Apple laptop? Here are our classroom requirements:
● Your student's computer can run Apple’s latest Operating System (macOS 10.12 “Sierra”).
● We strongly recommend that the unit NOT have less than 4GB RAM, more is preferable.
● We strongly recommend that the unit NOT have less than 256 GB of internal Storage.

NOTE: A Brewster IT Technician will review all submitted serial numbers to ensure that your student’s laptop will meet our classroom requirements prior to the start of school. We will contact you if your computer may not meet classroom expectations, based on their original sales configuration.

Backup Options
Students are recommended to have some backup method to protect the files on their laptops in case of a hard drive failure or loss of device. The two best options are either an external hard drive or a subscription to a cloud-based backup service.

If you go the hard drive route, the drive should be USB2 or USB3 compatible, with at least the same amount of storage space as the computer. Here is one highly recommended option: Other World Computing’s Mercury On the Go drives.

Cloud-based backup services are great since they are configured once and continually backup your laptop as you use it. At Brewster we use CrashPlan for our faculty and staff, but other popular services include BackBlaze, Carbonite, and Mozy

International Families
If you live outside the United States and need to purchase a new laptop for your student, please call the Business Office at 603­-569­-7104 or 603­-569-­7160 or e­mail Elaine Hazeltine at Elaine_hazeltine@brewsteracademy.org. Apple computers ordered from an international store may not meet the specifications for service and academic requirements.

Technology Fee
The yearly technology fee is $830. This fee includes use of curricular software during the academic year, the use of a loaner during repairs, direct support, Internet usage, and landline phone service in the student’s residence if they choose to utilize it.

Warranties and Repairs
Brewster works with a certified Apple repair facility that can perform both in-warranty and out­-of­-warranty repairs. However we strongly recommend purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan for your computer, as it will extend your warranty to three years. Physical damage, such as liquid spills, are expensive and not covered under the AppleCare Protection Plan. Please check your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policy to see if it covers your student’s laptop to your satisfaction. Supplementary insurance can be purchased from various companies, such as Safeware.

Preparation and Administration of the Computer
All computers will be prepared to function on the Brewster network during orientation at the start of the school year to ensure students have the software they need for academic purposes -- we call the process Brewsterization. The preparation process will overwrite all personal files, such as music, photos, and documents. Students should backup all data to an external resource, such as an external hard disk drive or online backup site before arriving on campus.

All laptop computers used by students are administered and controlled by Brewster Academy. Students do not have administrative access to their computers during the academic year. This policy helps to prevent unauthorized use that may interfere with the computer’s functionality and allows Brewster to regulate Internet and intranet use for students while on campus.

Software Owned by Brewster Academy
Brewster Academy provides certain software programs for academic use. This software is owned by the Academy. Students who leave during the school year must “De-­Brewsterize” their computer with the IT department. At the end of the academic year all student computers are De­Brewsterized. This process removes Brewster-owned software and restores administrative access to the user. Note: De-­Brewsterization will not delete personal files.

Recommended Accessories
There are additional accessories available to help protect your investment and reduce the chances of accidental damage or data loss. Some of these include:
● A hard external case that fits on the computer and insulates it from damage (one option is Speck cases at www.speckproducts.com)
● A keyboard cover that protects the keyboard from dust, small damaging materials, and liquid spills (one option is KB covers at www.kbcovers.com)

Questions?
If you have any questions regarding Brewster’s technology program or purchasing computers, please contact the Brewster Information Technology Department at 603-­569-­7000 or our Instructional Technology Coordinator Chris Hafner ’00 at chris_hafner@brewsteracademy.org
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