Sandy Spring Friends School

 

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Technology

At Sandy Spring Friends School, technology tools are used in the development of critical thinking, research, and academic skills. Technology supports 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 Department and the Inquiry Guides team 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 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. The School's productivity suite is Google Workspace which enables robust collaboration via Google Documents, Gmail, and related tools. The School's Veracross student information system provides a centralized hub of information for parents, including streamlined access to calendars, academic information, and much more.

 

Tech Support and Curricular Integration

Technology at SSFS is supported by the Information Technology (IT) Department and the Inquiry Guides (IG) team. The IT Department is responsible for the infrastructure of the school: the hardware, systems, and device management that make learning possible. The IG team consists of the Library and educational technology staff who are responsible for developing, integrating, and implementing educational technology curriculum and pedagogy at SSFS. The Inquiry Guides provide resources, guidance, and tools for the effective use of information in its many forms.

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 and create presentations, videos, podcasts, and more. The computer science curriculum includes coding, Lego robotics, engineering, intro programming, and AP computer science.

LS - Chromebooks

1:1 Program

Every student at SSFS is equipped with an iPad, Chromebook, or laptop, based on the age-appropriate capabilities and curricular activities of each grade level:
 

  • Lower School (PK3-Grade 5): Students in PK3 through 1st Grade use shared sets of 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. 

Technology Resources

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.