Laptop Program

Students in the Catlin Gabel Upper School are required to own a laptop for use during classes as well as after school hours for homework and special projects.

If you have any questions regarding the laptop program, please contact Daisy Steele, Director of Technology.

At Catlin Gabel School we integrate and adapt technology for instructional use to:

  • Ensure access to digital tools, where appropriate, to enhance and transform daily learning
  • Guide students in appropriately selecting and using digital tools for their own learning needs
  • Provide opportunities for discussion and practice of digital literacy and digital citizenship principles

May 24, 2016 Laptop Information Slideshow

Ordering Laptops

Purchasing New
Families purchasing a new laptop should purchase models that meet the minimum recommended laptop models. If you've purchased a PC, please contact Johny Nguyen to have him configure the laptop for our network before an account is created.

Using a Pre-owned Laptop
For families who already own a laptop, that laptop should be less than three years old and in good working condition. It's recommended to have a minimum of 4 GB of RAM and 256 GB of hard drive space. For Apple laptops, the machine needs to have either Mountain Lion or El Capitan installed. For PCs, the minimum operating system requirement is Windows 10 PROFESSIONAL Windows Home and Home Premium do not work in our enterprise environment. If you've purchased a PC, please contact Johny Nguyen to have him configure the laptop for our network before an account is created.

Purchase a Sturdy Case
A laptop case that fits on the actual laptop will help protect against drop damage. Otherwise purchase a case that has sturdy corners.

Consider Purchasing a Second Power Adapter
It's a lot less hassle to keep one power adapter and home and one in the backpack.

In mid-July, your child will be emailed a link that will provide access to all the necessary school software. This includes curriculum-based, anti-virus, network management, and backup software. When receive your new laptop, please create an account using your child's Catlin Gabel username. Typically, this is the child's lastname and first initial of their formal first name. If you've purchased a PC, please contact Johny Nguyen to have him configure the laptop for our network before an account is created.

Your Catlin Gabel account will be assessed a technology fee to cover the cost of school-owned software and cloud-based student backups. This fee is $250 for the 2016-17 school year. Additional specialty software such as the Adobe Creative Suite or Logic Pro that is required for a specific class is assessed an additional fee. The cost for Microsoft Office (approximately $60) will also be billed to your account.

Recommended Laptop Models

The models recommend below are minimum recommendations. Some of these are not standard configurations which means you will need to change the default selection to the recommended specifications.

For Apple products, no upgrades are available after purchase. Upgrading RAM and hard drive space is recommended if your child will be running intensive applications such as the Adobe Creative Suite or Logic (music composing software).


13" MacBook Pro Retina
2.7 GHz/8GB RAM/256GB SSD

13" MacBook Air
1.6 GHz/8GB RAM/256GB SSD

13" MacBook Pro
2.9 GHz i7/8GB RAM/256GB SSD
This is the only model that includes an optical drive (CD/DVD read/write)

If you have questions about specific laptop models or would like to browse selections before making an Apple purchase, please call the Business Team at the Apple Store at Washington Square at 503-495-2083 to set up a personal appointment.


The Dell links below show business pricing. Please email Andrew Thomas for specific Dell education pricing.

Dell Latitude 5000 Series or above
Intel Core i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD
Windows 10 PROFESSIONAL or higher

Dell XPS Series
Intel Core i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD
Windows 10 PROFESSIONAL or higher


T-450 series or better
Intel Core i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD
Windows 10 PROFESSIONAL or higher

Lenovo Yoga S1
Intel Core i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD
Windows 10 PROFESSIONAL or higher


Surface Pro 3 or better
Intel Core i5/256 GB Storage
Must purchase type cover



Catlin Gabel School requires all students to use the cloud-based backup system, CrashPlan Pro Enterprise version. We will install this backup on your child's laptop and the entire hard drive will be backed up to the cloud. Students are able to restore files on their own or we can assist if necessary. Cost of the backup is included in the technology fee.


  • Purchasing a minimum 3-year warranty is recommended
  • Manufacturer's warranties only cover laptop failures. Not accidental damage (drops, spills, etc.), loss or theft.
  • Additional Accidental Damage Protection warranties can be purchased at the same time you purchase a Lenovo or Dell. Apple does not sell Accidental Damage Protection warranties.
  • Square Trade sells laptop warranties that will cover failure and accidental damage, but not loss or theft.
  • Check adding a rider to your homeowner's insurance for laptop loss or theft.

Technology Responsible Use Agreement

Both Upper School students and their parents are required to sign our Technology Responsible Use Agreement prior to accessing the Upper School software link. This agreement was distributed at Laptop Orientation on May 24, 2016. Below are copies of both agreements.

Upper School Technology Responsible Use Agreement (Student)

Upper School Technology Responsible Use Agreement (Parent)

Upper School 101 August 18, 2016

Students and parents are required to attend Upper School 101 held from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. on August 18. A parent session will include information from many parts of the Upper School including College Counseling, Clubs and Activities, Athletics, the Learning Center, and Counseling.

The student session will include a laptop orientation. Students need to bring their fully charged laptops. Topics will include:

  • A software check to ensure everything was installed and things are working properly
  • Email Etiquette
  • Accessing information on our Intranet
  • Accessing our Learning Management System Haiku
  • Digital Citizenship
  • A tour of GoogleDocs


Digital Technology Use at Home is a website filled with good information on managing digital use at home.

There is a parent concerns section and a family guides section. Downloading and discussing the Customizable Device Contract is a good way to start the conversation on rules you will agree on in your home.

The reviews section can help inform your decisions on appropriate apps, movies, games, websites and more.


Classroom Technology Use in the Upper School

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