About the 1:1 Laptop Program

All incoming students are required to bring an approved laptop to complement the educational experience.

Laptop Options

I want to bring my own laptop

Chromebooks and Linux devices will NOT be adequate for O’Dowd classes. Please make sure your Mac or Windows laptop meet the following minimum specifications.

Cost: Varies
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (service pack 1) or higher, Mac OS 11.1 (Big Sur) or higher
Memory: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Wi-Fi: 802.11g or higher
Bluetooth: 3.0 or higher Internal microphone
Warranty: Extended warranty that includes accidental damage protection (recommended)

If you are thinking about purchasing a Mac and need recommendations, please visit our O’Dowd Family-Funded Mac Program page. This secure custom page ensures that you’re buying the Apple device your student needs at an Educational Pricing discount. It offers all the same great features you find when shopping on the Apple website, including free delivery or in-store pickup. Note: This transaction is made directly through Apple, not through O’Dowd.

Note during non-COVID times: To complete Tech Check, PC Users cannot have their user account in Safe Mode (S-Mode), as this prevents us from installing non-Microsoft App Store products. Mac Users must also be able to provide an administrative account login.

I want to purchase a laptop from O’Dowd

Communications about laptop purchases generally begin in late April. Families who opt to purchase an O’Dowd-issued laptop will receive it at Tech Check. You should expect to see an email regarding payment around early May.

MacBook Air

Cost + Tax and FeesAbout $1,200
Operating SystemMac OS Big Sur
Size256GB SSD
Memory & CPU8GB, M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU
GraphicsIntel Iris Plus, Retina display with True Tone
Screen Size13″
Warranty3 Year AppleCare+ for Schools
ColorSpace Grey

 

 

Additional Recommendations

Extended Warranty:
e.g. AppleCare, GeekSquad or other. Families who purchase AppleCare+ for a Mac or the school-distributed MacBook Air (which includes the 3-year AppleCare+ warranty) will receive on-site hardware support. Software support is provided only for O’Dowd course-specific programs.

Laptop Insurance:
Students and families are provided a promo code by Worth Ave Group/Student Insurance Partners for 10% off their regular individual rate. Insurance with Worth Ave Group/Student Insurance Partners will protect the laptop against accidental damage – drops, spills, theft, vandalism, fire, flood, natural disasters, and power surge due to lightning strikes. This offer is available to all student laptops (those who bring their own AND purchase through the school). Please click here to be directed to our device insurance page at Worth Ave. Group/Student Insurance Partners.

Recommended Accessories:

  • Padded neoprene or foam laptop case
  • A backpack or bag with a padded laptop compartment
  • Extra AC adapter power cord

Tech Check

All new students are required to complete a process called Tech Check where students activate O’Dowd credentials, install school-related softwares, and complete a series of tasks that exercise commonly used features in our systems.

 

When should I complete Tech Check?

All incoming students for Fall 2021 are required to complete Tech Check through one of the two options (A or B).

Option A: My child is taking Summer Academy HS Prep

Because Summer Academy HS Prep students will need sooner access to school systems and accounts, they must complete an online Tech Check before the first day of summer classes.

If you purchased a laptop through O’Dowd, we will reach out to you in late May regarding laptop pickups and Tech Checks. If you are bringing your own device, you can complete Tech Check as soon as you have received O’Dowd student login information, which is typically sent out in June.

Option B: My child is is not taking Summer Academy HS Prep

Students who are starting their O’Dowd journey in August should complete the virtual Tech Check through Schoology before Frosh Orientation in August.

If you purchased a laptop through O’Dowd, we will reach out to you in late May regarding laptop pickups and Tech Checks.If you are bringing your own device, you can complete Tech Check as soon as you have received O’Dowd student login information, which is typically sent out in June.

 

What should I expect?

Due to COVID, Tech Check will be completed online. If you purchased a laptop through O’Dowd, we will reach out to you in late May regarding payment, laptop pickups, Tech Checks. If you are bringing your own device, virtual Tech Checks will be conducted through Schoology. Details and login information will be sent out in June.

 

How can I get extra help with technology?

For additional support in website navigation and software support, students can sign up for a tech support session here. If you have laptop hardware questions, please email techsupport@bishopodowd.org.

STE(A)M Opportunities

There are a variety of options for students who want to focus their studies in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Below are the courses offered at O’Dowd which have a focus in applying Technology to the course. Note that some of the listings are required courses, while others may be electives. Please speak to your counselor if you are interested in pursuing any of these courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

My child is an incoming student. What is the official process in setting up student laptops before the first day of school?

In preparation for the start of the school year, incoming students will:

  • Sign the O’Dowd New Student Laptop Contract (available during the online enrollment process),
  • Select a laptop option,
  • Attend an online Tech Check (or or a regular Tech Check in a non-COVID year), an introduction to our 1:1 Laptop program and technical configuration of your laptop device to work in our environment and
  • Attend BOWOW New Student Orientation to learn important school policies, procedures, and technology skills.

 

What kinds of school technologies should I pay attention to on a regular basis?

Schoology. This is the platform that teachers and students use to communicate ongoing classroom assignments, share resources, and collaborate with each other. Think of Schoology as an ongoing classroom snapshot. Learn more about Schoology here.

PowerSchool. This is our official online grading and attendance system. Think of PowerSchool as the historical records of the student. Teachers are required to update the gradebook every two weeks. While some teachers update the system more frequently, we recommend checking PowerSchool every one to two weeks. Learn more about PowerSchool here.

O’Dowd Events Calendar. Subscribe to the O’Dowd Google calendar for our most up-to-date version of ongoing school events. It also contains our bell schedule, which varies from day to day. Please refer to this page for details on which “type” of day refers to.

I can’t log into Schoology or PowerSchool.

Please email techsupport@bishopodowd.org, and one of our tech support members will assist you in locating an existing account, creating a new account, resetting passwords, and/or adding students to your parent accounts.

Why are there grade discrepancies between Schoology and PowerSchool?

A number of our teachers choose to enter grades in Schoology and sync it to PowerSchool, but not all. For the most official, accurate, and complete attendance and grade record, please visit PowerSchool.

I need to schedule a doctor’s appointment for my child. How should I go about figuring out what class(es) my student will miss?

1. Identify the “type” of day it will be using the O’Dowd Events Google Calendar.
2. Check the bell schedule to see what time correlates with each period.
3. Follow appropriate attendance policies and procedures in the Student-Family Handbook (Chapter 4).

How can I help my student stay on track if they miss a day?

The best way to clarify the work is to contact the teacher directly, however, there are steps your student can actively take to gain a sense of what occurred during the class period. In Schoology, the overall calendar will display the assignments that were due on each day. Some teachers will also post a “Today in _______” calendar event (see below) that briefly describes the different topics and assignments that were covered during class. To view assignment details, the student can either:

1. Click on the assignment from the overall calendar OR
2. Navigate to the course and click on the assignment from the course-specific calendar OR
3. Navigate to the course and locate the specific assignment through the appropriate resource folder.

My child breaks their computer all the time. How can we prevent this?

When purchasing the laptop, we highly recommend investing in a warranty which covers damage protection. Because we often see many damaged computers from accidental drops, we also recommend investing in a softshell laptop case. While our Technology team can repair a number of specified hardware items, we cannot guarantee that we can fix all damages. If for some reason your child needs a laptop while it is out of commission, we have a number of limited laptops that we can loan out.

How can I help my child manage their distractions?

While there are many parental control apps on the market, we focus on developing student initiative in managing technological distractions in hopes of preparing them for their time post-O’Dowd. Sometimes this lesson comes from “learning from one’s own mistakes” and other times it comes from exploring different tools that are available.

One of the ways in which we support students in this endeavor is by installing an app called Self Control on student laptops during their freshman year. This app requires students to blacklist or whitelist any websites that they personally know are keeping them from completing their responsibilities.

Still Need Assistance?

Have a question about O’Dowd technologies or want to learn more about ways we incorporate it into the school? Our team would be happy to help! Email the technology department »