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. Laptops are purchased by families. Families who apply for financial aid may be eligible for laptop financial aid in addition to tuition assistance.

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

Acquiring a Laptop

Purchasing New
Families are responsible for purchasing a laptop for their child. There is no purchasing program via Catlin Gabel. 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 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of hard drive space. For Apple laptops, the machine needs to have the Sierra Operating System. For PCs, the minimum operating system requirement is Windows 10 PROFESSIONAL Windows Home versions 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 $245 for the 2017-18 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 recommended 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. All prices subject to change without notice.

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
2.7 GHz/8GB RAM/256GB SSD

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

While the MacBook (not the Pro or the Air) is very light and has been recently upgraded, we feel it is more limited in its flexibility due to its lack of peripheral ports requiring additional connectors. 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.

14" Dell Latitude 7480
Corei5, 8GB RAM, 256SSD $1500 with 3-year warranty

13" Dell Latitude XPS (non-touch)
Corei7, 16GB RAM, 512SSD, $1820 with 3-year warranty


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

Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256SSD with type cover, $1420 with 2-year warranty (includes damage protection)

Microsoft SurfaceBook
Corei5, 8GB RAM, 256SSD, 2-year warranty with damage protection, $1948

Microsoft Surface Laptop
Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1-year warranty (recommend 2 year), $1299



Catlin Gabel School requires all students to use the cloud-based backup system, BackBlaze. Students will be given instructions on how to install this on their laptop. 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 Orientation

New students and freshman will be provided a technology orientation on the first day of school. 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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Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

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