Dear Patriot Parents:

It is hard to imagine what life would be like without technology today. Phones, laptops, iPads, tablets, printers are all at our disposal to communicate and hopefully simplify our tasks. As a school, we are committed to bringing your child as much technology integration as possible in order to enhance the opportunities for them to discover new and challenging topics, theorems, algorithms, and information.

One of the ways we at SJCA want to enhance learning is through the use of tablets, laptops, and similar devices. While ChromeBooks and similar tablets can be costly to a private, Christian school, we have access to substitute software that can take what was once considered obsolete relevant and useful again. You may have a used laptop that is no longer in use. Neverware, which allows a school user to take a laptop with 2 GB of RAM and at least 16 GB of storage and convert it to a Chrome-type Book, with all the functionality at a fraction of the cost ($1 per student annually for unlimited devices)! As SJCA moves forward to becoming a Google for Education school (with loads of free apps and programs), this initiative will open the door to more of our students having access to these CloudReady devices.

In short, Neverware takes Google’s Chromium OS — the open-source bedrock that serves as the basis for all Chrome OS devices — and makes it something you can easily install and run on any old computer. The computer doesn’t technically become a “Chromebook,” as that’s a trademarked name for official Chrome OS products released with Google’s direct involvement, but it’s extremely similar in both form and function.

Now, here is the fun part: if you have an old laptop (newer than 2007) with 2 GB of RAM, a 16 MB storage capacity, and working keyboard, we would like to take it off your hands and re-purpose it into a CloudReady Chrome-type Book. You can click here for a list of certified laptop models that can use CloudReady Operating Systems (OS). You can read more by looking at the FAQ page on Neverware’s site. There is a free home version of CloudReady, but it lacks the free technical support we will enjoy at school. It would also help greatly and provide the best personal security if you remove any software, photos, and applications before donating the laptop.

Once we receive and install the OS, we will then have additional Books available for classes to check out apart from lab times, for research, for collaborative exercises, taking quizzes, and a multitude of applications. Our goal is to have one CloudReady device for every student in grades 6-12, and then add more to populate the elementary student body with a portable device.

You may drop off your cleaned out and working laptop (remember to eliminate any passwords for logins) to either building, and we will begin the transformation process of making SJCA a Google-ready school by 2017 (see list below for minimum requirements & more information)!  Thank you for helping SJCA bring 21st century technology education to our students.

By God’s Great Grace,
Randy L. Down

Minimum requirements:

·         Realize that the laptop will be donated to school; it will not be donated to a specific student or class

·         It should not have any hardware issues (i.e., cracked or broken screens, keyboards or touch pads)

·         It must connect to the internet

·         Please note if the battery won’t hold a charge

·         Please include a charger if you have one

·         Remove data, programs, or proprietary information or operating systems