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Technology Mission and Core Values

Device Purchase

MacBook Requirements

Technology Recommendations

When Your MacBook Is Serviced

Laptop Roundup

Need Technical Assistance?

 If you require technical support, please submit a ticket by emailing techsupport@smacatholic.org.

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Technology Mission
St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School is committed to helping students Know Truth, Love God and Serve Others. Faculty and staff are dedicated to creating a 21st century learning environment rooted in our Catholic faith and values. Technology at SMA is infused in our daily lives to help promote an environment of discovery that fosters digital responsibility, personalized learning, and helps students become independent, self-directed learners.

Technology Core Values
• Digital Responsibility
• Personalized Learning
• Independent, Self-Directed Learners

Device Purchase
In the name of security, Apple has made a variety of changes to their machines, including the T2 security chip, Apple silicon, and MacOS Big Sur. These changes necessitate a complete overhaul to laptop roundup and the device enrollment process at SMA. Families now have the option to purchase a MacBook directly through SMA. Those families who purchase their devices elsewhere must bring the device to SMA without having set it up – still in the original packaging is ideal. If the device has previously been configured, families must schedule an appointment with the technology department to have the device erased. Appointments will take place in the month of June, and scheduling will be made available no later than May 15. Keep an eye on the Guardian Glance in April for more details on scheduling.

Families are encouraged to purchase their device through SMA. Families will be charged the exact cost of obtaining the computer and no more. No payment plans are available through SMA. There is not a MacBook Pro option available through SMA, so families interested in a Pro should purchase through other channels. Families who prefer a monthly payment plan should pursue such options through other channels. If the device is purchased elsewhere, and you are turning it into SMA without having set it up, you may drop it off at the front desk with the students full name written on the box. If you have set up the device, please schedule an appointment in the summer to have the device erased.

MacBook orders will no longer be accepted for the 2021-2022 school year effective July 26th.

Please specify your student’s full name, MacBook color preference, and what your purchase is for (i.e., “MacBook Option 1 rose gold for John Smith”). Devices will be Space Gray if no color is specified. Please specify whether you would like Apple Care protection for the device, see below for more info.

SMA is offering two MacBook configurations to families.

Option 1:

As a direct result of SMA being an Apple school, we have the option of a MacBook Air at $780. This MacBook comes with a reduced 128GB SSD for storage, down from the standard 256GB. The device is otherwise the same as the normal MacBook Air. These MacBooks are purchased by SMA in a pack of five, and each of these five devices must be identical. If you select this choice, the device will be Space Gray.

Option 2:

The recommended option for students is the M1 MacBook Air with 16GB of Random Access Memory (RAM) and 256GB of SSD storage. These devices come in at $1079 and are the most powerful MacBook Airs Apple has ever produced.

Apple Care:

Apple Care can be purchased directly through Apple here within 60 days of the purchase of your device. If you would like to purchase your device through SMA, and purchase Apple Care for it, please specify this in your payment. You will buy Apple Care directly from Apple, so this will not change what you pay SMA.

MacBook Requirements
All students must have an Apple MacBook Air or Pro laptop, at least 8GB of Random Access Memory (RAM) and at least 120GB of storage. The laptop must be capable of running macOS Catalina (10.15.1) and must be a 2018 model or newer.

Macbook Air model identifiers can be found here.

Macbook Pro model identifiers can be found here.

Families are encouraged to shop around to get the best deal possible to purchase their MacBook. One resource for new devices is the Apple for Education online store, found here, which can provide up to $200 off of new MacBooks. Students are responsible for obtaining any and all repairs needed on the laptop. Maintenance agreements and/or extended warranties, such as Apple Care, may make sense for families to protect their laptop investment.

To help protect the student’s device, conserve space in classrooms, and provide a uniformed academic environment, SMA will provide a standard issued backpack for purchase. No other bag will be permitted. To help protect your investment, the Technology Department will provide an asset tag for student laptops and chargers, in addition to documenting device serial numbers.

Technology Recommendations
Below are a variety of MacBook configurations that families should consider depending on what they want to get out of their MacBook.

External Storage Device: An external storage device is recommended for all families with students at SMA. An external hard drive or solid state drive is used to back up data such as documents, pictures, videos, files created using the Adobe suite, etc. It is recommended that the storage device be at least as large as the storage on your student’s computer. At under $40, the linked 500GB hard drive is a great deal.

Exceptional option ($2000+): The 16″ MacBook Pro. Apple is expected to announce an Apple-Silicon-based 15″ MacBook Pro in the fall of 2021. If you are interested in purchasing a device in this price point for your student, it is strongly encouraged to wait for the new models, as they will yield a greater price-to-performance ratio.

Great option ($1700-$2000): MacBook Pro. Apple will likely announce an additional 13″ MacBook Pro in this price bracket in the fall along with the 14″. If you are interested in purchasing a device in this price point for your student, it is strongly encouraged to wait for the new models, as they will yield a greater price-to-performance ratio.

Good option ($900 – $1300): The 13″ MacBook Air with M1 Chip. Apple has finally announced a long awaited new feature – Apple Silicon. Apple is now manufacturing the entire machine, which has led to a remarkable improvement over previous models. The 13″ MacBook Air offers Apple’s new M1 chip, which is an “SOC” or “System On a Chip”, which features an 8-core CPU, an 7-core GPU, a 16-core neural engine, and ‘unified’ memory. That being said, the base model at at $900 (with the education discount) is a wonderful machine that will easily last your student through their time at SMA, and likely through college if treated well. If upgrades are desired, the 16GB of unified memory for $180 would go a very long way for those multitaskers among us. Beyond that, the upgrade to 512GB of SSD storage would double the default storage capacity for $180.

Another option ($1200 – $1700): 13″ MacBook Pro with M1 Chip. This machine offers the exact same internal specifications as the MacBook Air, but at an additional $300. The difference? The Pro has a fan to cool off internals as opposed to the Air’s passive cooling approach, the Pro features Apple’s ‘touchbar’ instead of function keys, and the Pro’s display has an additional 100 nits of brightness. In my professional opinion, the M1 13″ MacBook Pro – as specified here – offers no benefits over the Air that are worth $300.

MacBook specification recommendations will be updated when the new models are released.

Families considering used MacBooks must keep in mind the previously mentioned minimum requirements.

When Your MacBook Is Serviced
If an issue arises related to a student’s MacBook’s hardware, the device must be repaired in an Apple store or with an Apple authorized Service Provider (ASCP). However, the device must first be prepared at SMA. Please bring all devices to the Technology Department before bringing them to the Apple store or Apple authorized service providers. No passwords will be given to any external entity under any circumstances. Students are required to bring the device back to the technology department after it has been serviced to verify that all SMA software is running properly. Failure to do so is considered a violation of SMA Technology policy and will result in disciplinary action.

SMA Laptop Roundup
Students new to SMA will be asked to drop off their MacBooks so that they may be enrolled in the SMA system. This process takes up considerable time. Please ensure all data is backed up, as the devices will be erased as part of the enrollment process. Laptop Roundup dates will be determined during the Spring semester. Laptops will be ready for school in a school-supplied backpack. Ensure all files that you’d like to keep are saved externally as the storage on these computers will be erased as part of the enrollment process.

Contact Jack Alsbach (jalsbach@smacatholic.org) with technology-related questions, or submit a ticket by emailing techsupport@smacatholic.org for technical support.

Technology Documents for 2021-2022 School Year

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