At Sandy Spring Friends School, we believe technology should support critical thinking, research, and academic success. Technology supports educational goals, facilitating collaboration and interdisciplinary, inquiry-based learning.
Teachers integrate technology into curricular activities fostering a growth mindset to prepare students for the future. Our Information Technology (IT) Department and the Inquiry Guides team (IG) work collaboratively to guide the SSFS community of learners in becoming caring and intentional users of ideas and information. Drawing upon the Quaker value of simplicity, we strive to provide collaborative, streamlined, and impactful systems.
The SSFS Tech Partnership: Information Technology (IT) and Inquiry Guides (IG)
Technology at SSFS is supported by the Information Technology Department (IT) and the Inquiry Guides team (IG). The IT Department is responsible for the infrastructure of the school: the hardware, systems, and device management that makes learning possible. The IG team is the Library and educational technology staff who are responsible for developing, integrating, and managing the educational technology at SSFS. IG provides resources, guidance, and tools for the effective use of information in its many forms.
At Sandy Spring Friends School, technology is integrated by teachers in assignments and projects across the curriculum for each grade level. Laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads are used extensively as tools for exploration, collaboration, communication, and for creating content to demonstrate learning. Students use teacher-selected apps and online resources as learning tools to help them acquire developmentally-appropriate learning skills. Across all three divisions students utilize technology to research and analyze information, create presentations, videos, podcasts, and more. Computer science curriculum includes coding, Lego robotics, engineering, intro programming, and AP computer science.
Every student at SSFS—Preschool-Grade 12—is equipped with an iPad, Chromebook, or laptop, based on the age-appropriate capabilities and curricular activities of each grade level:
- All students in PK3 through 1st Grade are issued iPads. All students in Grades 2 through 5 are issued Chromebooks. The devices, apps, and other necessary technology are all provided and maintained by the School.
- Middle School (Grades 6-8): All Middle School students are issued Chromebooks. The School provides all Chromebooks, apps and other necessary tech to students. The only accessory that families need to supply is a compatible headset: wired or wireless headphones or earbuds, including a microphone.
- Upper School (Grades 9-12):
Upper School has a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) program. All student-owned devices are purchased by the family from an outside retailer. Please see the Upper School BYOD requirements for more details. While managing repairs is the responsibility of the family, loaner laptops are provided by the School if/when a student device needs repair.
In addition to the 1:1 program, the IT Department also supports the School’s WiFi network, Makerspaces, digital photography lab, print/scan services, theater AV, robotics, and coding curriculum. The School’s learning management system is Canvas, which serves as the hub of online instructional content, assignments, and grading. Parents have observer accounts within this system via single sign-on from the School’s student information system.