iPads at Westminster

Westminster 1:1 iPad Program

All 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students will be expected to come to school equipped with an iPad. Integrating technological devices such as the iPad is an important step in equipping students for learning, leading, and serving in the 21st century.


Update to iPad Parental Restrictions

Did you know that 46 percent of parents of teens aged 13-14 report using parental controls to help monitor their children’s use of mobile devices?  You’re not alone, and we want to support you and your students as he/she build healthy habits with technology.

Pew Research - Parental ControlsCurrent Restrictions

In iOS 11, parents manage their student’s Apple device(s) by setting up parental controls under Settings > General > Restrictions.  

When iOS 12 is installed on the iPad, it will remove parental control settings from the device, but it will offer parents detailed information and an even better tool to manage Apple mobile devices.

New Restrictions

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, said in a press release, “We first introduced parental controls for iPhone in 2008, and our team has worked thoughtfully over the years to add features to help parents manage their children’s content. With Screen Time, these new tools are empowering users who want help managing their device time, and balancing the many things that are important to them.”

Parental controls will be integrated with the new Screen Time app built into the operating system. Screen Time is account-based and works across all of a child’s iOS devices, so settings, reports, and allowances are based on their total usage. Parents will be able to configure Screen Time settings remotely for their child within the same Family Sharing group or locally on a child’s device.

Once Apple releases the new iOS and you download it, you can access Screen Time via Settings > Screen Time.  In addition, Screen Time works with Family Sharing.

Preparing for the iOS Update

Things you should do to prepare for the iOS 12 update:

  1. Back up your student’s iPad (Settings > Apple ID > Device Info > iCloud Backup > Back Up Now).
  2. Set up Family Sharing. This will enable you to utilize Screen Time effectively.

Update Parent Controls on iOS 12

View more information about setting up parent controls on iOS 12.

Need Help? Questions?  

Don’t worry, our first Monthly Memo meeting (Tuesday, Sept 18 from 7:25–7:45 am) will focus on the new iOS update and setting up these features.

Why is the iPad such a great tool for students?

We believe students today need a 21st-century communication tool that they can use to collect, synthesize, and produce evidence of their learning.

Westminster has been researching laptops for students since 2010 when it was evident that mobile technology was changing the social, economic, and educational landscape globally. As the iPad 1 was introduced, it was clear that education was on the verge of something uniquely compelling and different from the desktop and laptop computers. The improvements to the product and the global adoption of the tool make its integration into the educational life of students an obvious step for schools to take.

Learn More

Some key reasons that Westminster has chosen the iPad to be the device used in school are:

  • The long battery life means that students can make it through an entire school day without recharging.
  • It allows for easy face-to-face interaction, avoiding the barrier between students and teachers that occurs with a traditional laptop lid.
  • Drawing on the iPad’s screen is useful in a variety of disciplines.
  • Handwriting on the iPad’s screen is useful for quick note-taking in all classes.
  • Pen-based annotation of documents and books is quick and easy.
  • Reading textbooks and other long-form materials on the iPad is more comfortable than on a traditional laptop screen.
  • The iPad’s small size allows it to fit conveniently in student lockers and backpacks.
  • The broad developer base provides numerous discipline-specific apps.
  • The iPad’s instant on/off capability preserves class-time for meaningful learning activities.
  • The built-in camera takes quality pictures and movies and is easy to use for in-class activities. With one or two simple taps, the images taken by the camera can be accessed and integrated into a seemingly endless array of iPad apps.
  • There are fewer pieces and components on the iPad than on a traditional laptop, reducing maintenance.

What to Buy

Recommended Devices (one of the following):

  • iPad Pro (12.9 in or 9.7i n)
  • iPad

  • iPad Mini 4

Recommended Capacity: 32GB

The iPad must run 10.3 or latest iOS.

Connectivity: Wi-Fi

We recommend purchasing a Wi-Fi-only model. We do not recommend 3G/4G connectivity. The school does have control over the Wi-Fi network and can safeguard against inappropriate web access. The school cannot filter or control the 3G/4G cellular access.

Please acquire your student’s iPad no later than Monday, July 31, to ensure that all families can submit the required information on time and attend the mandatory iPad meeting fully equipped.

iPad Accessories

Case Options

We expect each student to protect his/her iPad with a case of some kind. When selecting a case, the three most important elements are:

  1. Impact protection at the corners
  2. Protection for the glass screen
  3. Ability to prop up the iPad at an angle for better typing ergonomics. Below are some case makes and models that have received positive reviews from students, faculty, and/or outside experts.
Learn More
  • GumDrop Cases
  • OtterBox
  • Black or Pink Survivor
  • Trident (currently used on Westminster’s iPads)

Stylus Options

A stylus is helpful in a variety of classes for drawing diagrams and handwriting notes. There are many options, but personal preference is key when it comes to this tool.

  • Cosmonaut
  • Griffin Stylus
  • AluPen
  • Bamboo Stylus
  • Boxwave Mini

Headphones/Ear Buds

We recommend that students have manageably sized headphones or ear buds for listening to audio files that teachers use during lessons in class.

Have questions about the best path for your family? Don’t hesitate to email Deana Vandegriff. We are happy to help you through this process.

iPad Acceptable Use Policy 2017-18

Westminster Christian Academy is committed to the effective and meaningful use of technology in the classroom. Our iPad program allows for the natural integration of technology into the everyday academic experience of WCA students.

The privilege of bringing personal devices to school requires students to accept ethical responsibilities surrounding their use. It is the student’s responsibility to treat technology and fellow users with proper care and respect. The general rules and principles of the school still apply as a basis for good decision making with regard to technology. The parameters agreed to by students and parents in the Westminster Internet Permission Form also apply to personal devices that students bring to school.

In addition, students and parents must agree to the following terms of the acceptable use for their device. The acceptable use policy (AUP) is laid out in question and answer format to provide clarity.

Accounts and Passwords

Do I need to password-protect my iPad?
Yes. You should password-protect your iPad because your personal information is stored on the device. Both the student and parent(s) should know the password and be able to access the iPad at all times.

Do I need to use my school assigned email?
Yes. Westminster will give each student a Google account that teachers will use to communicate and share documents.

Do I need to identify myself on my iPad?
Yes. Student iPads MUST display the student/family name on the home screen and in the iPad (Settings>About); both of these will be set up the first week of school or at the iPad Registration and should stay set the entire year.

Using your Device at School

When do I need to bring my iPad to school?
You will bring your iPad to every class every day and will be using it in many different capacities, so you must always be prepared. Teachers will direct and lead the use of the device in the classroom.

What happens if I have forgotten my iPad at home?
If an iPad is left at home or is not charged, the student remains responsible for completing all coursework as if they had use of their iPad. Malfunctions or technical issues are not acceptable excuses for failing to complete an assignment unless no other means of completion exist.

Who is allowed to use my iPad?
You are the only person allowed to use your device at school. Please do not share it, even with your closest friend.

What are the required Apple Classroom settings?
The Classroom app allows teachers to monitor iPad use in the classroom and support student learning. Your settings should always be: Join Classes – Automatically; Lock Apps and Device – Always; Airplay and View Screen – Always. In addition, your Bluetooth should be turned on.

What am I NOT allowed to have on my device?
While on campus, only school approved apps should be open on the iPad. Students may load apps not listed on the approved list for school projects only with prior approval from the grade level principal.

May I use my device for non-academic purposes (gaming and social media) at school?
Students are NOT permitted to use the iPad for non-academic purposes while on campus. We encourage students to use their off time to work on homework, get help from teachers, or have a conversation with a friend.

Where am I allowed to use my iPad during the school day?
iPads may only be used in supervised academic spaces while at school: classrooms, academic hub, and the commons. iPads should not be used in Chapel, the Cafe, locker rooms, bathrooms, or hallways.

What happens if I am caught using my device in the wrong place, at the wrong time or for the wrong task?
Teachers have the discretion to deliver appropriate consequences – these include, but are not limited to, any of the following: teacher detention, parent communication, pink slip, conduct detention, or confiscation of the device.

Can I lose the privilege of using my device at school?
Yes, students with repeated AUP infractions may lose device privileges. A student may also lose device privileges for Type A behaviors (see Westminster Student/Parent Handbook).

Photos/Social Media/Music

May I listen to music on the iPad?
Yes. Students may listen to music before or after school only (as long as they are using earbuds).

May I use the camera on the iPad during the school day?
Student may access the camera feature ONLY when assigned or directed by a teacher for educational purposes. Students may not take, distribute, publish, post, email or share images and/or videos of students, Westminster personnel, or the campus beyond the scope of an academic assignment.

May I use iMessage app on my iPad?
Yes. Students may use it before or after school hours only. iMessage should be turned off during the school day.

May I use the media capabilities of the iPad?
Yes. But the iPad media capabilities may only be used when assigned or directed by a teacher for educational purposes. Using the iPad camera, video, FaceTime or other apps in any way that is offensive, profane, threatening, obscene, or damaging to another person is prohibited at all times.

Required iPad Apps 2018-19

Please view the list of apps that students in grades 7-9 will use with their iPad. In order to start the year off right away, we ask that students load all the apps listed below (paid and free) on their iPad before the start of the year.

View the list of required iPad apps


Parent Controls

As we equip students to use technology in a wise and healthy way, we must engage and support them in the process, so we encourage you to consistently check in on your child’s online activity and technology use. Talk to your children about your expectations and set ground rules regarding the use of technology.

The iPad and iPhone parental controls have been integrated into the new iOS 12 Screen Time app (Settings > Screen Time). The Screen Time app empowers you to understand and make choices about how much time you and your family spend using apps and websites. In fact, this app allows you to see the usage of both an iPad and iPhone.


Screen Time app description (source)

Use your family’s Apple IDs to set up Screen Time for your kids to keep an eye on how much time they spend on apps and websites. They can request more time for you to approve.


Get reports weekly or check Today View anytime to see app usage, notifications, and device pickups.

App Limits

Set the amount of time you and your kids can spend each day on specific apps and websites.

Down Time

Set a specific time, like bedtime, when apps and notifications are blocked. You can choose which apps are on and off limits.

Always Allowed

Create exceptions for apps you’d like your kids to have access to even during “Downtime,” such as education apps.

Content & Privacy

Set up an internet filter, prevent web history clearing and account changes.


General tips for every level:

Limit Use Areas

Limit the areas that your student is allowed to use the iPad to the common (public) areas of your home—kitchen, living room, etc. This will allow you to monitor how the device is being used in person.

Touch ID & Passcode  – Settings > Touch ID & Passcode

Parents:  To give you access to the device, add your finger to the Touch ID. Set it to unlock the iPad.

Below, three levels of parental controls and general monitoring suggestions are set out. How you use them depends on your requirements and the maturity of your child.

Level 1

This level represents a minimum level of settings/restrictions that will allow you to monitor the use of an iPad/iPhone. It allows you to access the device at any time, limit adult content on Safari, allows the student to purchase and install apps with your permission, and allows the student full access to all apps on the device at any time.

We recommend that you start with level one and monitor the usage report over several days. This will give you a complete picture of how the device is being used and enable you to have a meaningful conversation about your student’s usage of the device and why you are choosing to add limits.

Read more

Turn on Family SharingSettings > Apple ID > Family Share
This must be in use for Screen Time to connect with your children’s device

Set up family share
Each child should have their own Apple ID.

Steps to set up Family Sharing on iPad

  • Settings > Apple ID > Family Sharing > Shared Features
  • Parent  selects “Purchase Sharing.” Turn on.
    • This allows students under the age of 13 to have their own Apple ID connected to a parent’s credit card.  
    • All family members can share app purchases.
    • Students can freely download and install apps with a parent’s permission.

TURN ON Screen Time for Family

  • Parent selects “Screen Time.” Turn on.
    • This enables the Screen Time for Family members to be viewed and controlled by parents.

Set up Screen Time for student (family member):

  • Settings > Screen Time > Family > Select Family Member > Turn on Screen Time
  • A Screen Time Dialogue window will appear. Select Continue, then…

Downtime > Not Now

App Limits > Not Now

Always Allowed > Not Now

Content & Privacy Restrictions > Continue

Parent Passcode – set your 4 digit code. DO NOT LOSE THIS CODE.

  • Now, Screen Time is turned on for that family member. Repeat for each family member.


Screen Time usage reports

Parents can now view daily reports (or reports for the last seven days) of how the student is using the device. The report shows:

  • Screen Time Totals – by category
  • Most Used Apps
  • Selecting the app lets you see when it was used during the day
  • How much time was spent on the app
  • Pickups
  • Number of times the device is picked up
  • When it was picked up
  • Notifications
  • Number of notifications received
  • When they were received


Content & privacy restrictions

  • Setting an internet filter on the device.  
    This filters most adult content, removes the private browsing feature and disables clearing browsing history allowing parents to review browsing history in Screen Time and in Safari.

    • Settings > Screen Time – Select Family Member > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Turn on Content and Privacy Restrictions > Content Restrictions > Web Content > Limit Adult Websites


Level 2

This level has all the features of level 1 and adds time limits to selected apps and websites.  

This level works well when your son or daughter is making good decisions about using the device while at school, and you want to limit the amount of time they are allowed to utilize apps during the week.

Read more


View the daily report for your student

  • Settings > Screen Time > Family Member > (under Screen Time) > Tap device


Adding time limits to specific apps and websites

Select the app from the Most Used list in the Screen Time Usage Report

  • Tap Add Limit, swipe to set the daily time limit
  • If you want to customize the daily time limit – Select Customize Days. This allows you to increase/decrease the app limit for each day of the week.  
  • If you select Edit Apps, you can apply the SAME time limit to multiple apps at once.
  • Follow the same procedure to add time limits to specific websites.


Level 3

This level includes all of the features of levels 1 and 2, and it uses Downtime to control the apps that are available during the school day and restricts the ability to change accounts and passcode on the device.

This level is helpful for students who need extra support and accountability—they may be utilizing non-WCA apps during the school day, distracted by apps while doing school/homework, changing passcodes to prevent you from accessing the device, actively disobeying your limits, or continually making poor choices.

Read more
  • Settings > Screen Time > Family Member > (under Screen Time) > Tap device

Set up Downtime to match the school day 7 a.m.–3 p.m. This will allow you to control the apps that are available during the school day.  

  • Tap > Downtime > Turn on Downtime > Start – Swipe to set 7 a.m. End – Swipe to set 3 p.m. (The start and end times can be changed at any time from your device to enable you to limit app availability after school.)


Set up Always Allowed

  • Tap > Always Allowed
  • You see two (2) lists: Allowed Apps and Choose Apps. 
  • Add the approved WCA apps to the Allowed App list.
  • Subtract (remove) the apps that you do NOT want your child to access during Downtime (the school day).


Content & Privacy Restrictions

Control app access to Contacts. This prevents any changes to apps that request access
to Contacts

  • Tap > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Contacts > Don’t Allow


Control device Passcode

This will prevent the student from changing the device passcode.

  • Tap > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Passcode Changes > Don’t Allow


Control account changes on the device

This will prevent the student from signing out of the apple id on the device and restrict
changes (install/deleting) to the email accounts on the device.

  • Tap > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Account Changes > Don’t Allow

What kinds of iPad skills will be taught?

As students become familiar with the iPad through the course of the school year, they will learn a wide range of skills.

It is our goal for each student to have a strong working knowledge of the functionality and capability of his/her digital device. Although this is not an exhaustive list, we have outlined some baseline skills for both device usage and a few key productivity apps that will be utilized across the curriculum.

Learn More

Device Usage

File Management

  • Find, open, save, and close local files located on the tablet

  • Find, move, copy, open, and save files stored in the cloud

  • Create new folders, and navigate through nested folders

  • Follow standard filename conventions

  • Change existing file and folder names

Network Skills

  • Identify key features and practices of email etiquette

  • Locate and select network printers

  • Change printer settings (e.g. duplex, portrait vs. landscape printing)

  • View classes and assignments via Veracross

  • Download attachments and post to forums

  • Use myWestminster to view announcements, school schedules, and access classes

  • Learn how to access information through student portal on school website

  • Learn how to change passwords

Productivity Skills


  • Bold, italicize, and underline text

  • Change font style and size

  • Change the alignment of text

  • Change the default document template

  • Adjust page borders

  • Insert page numbers

  • Insert footnotes

  • Insert and format a table

  • Insert and format an image

  • Create columns


  • Insert and format text

  • Sort by columns

  • Graphing


  • Select a predefined theme and apply it to all slides

  • Insert and format text

  • Insert and format an image

  • Insert and format a table

  • Change font style and size

  • Bold, italicize, and underline text

  • Record voice-over narration

  • Insert a hyperlink

  • Insert a video clip

  • Build elements onto a slide

  • Transition between slides

  • Insert and format shapes

Google Apps

  • Send and receive email through the iPad Mail app and through the website link

  • Setup iCal to access their Google Calendar

  • Add and edit events in iCal/ Google Calendar

  • View Google Docs


  • Film video

  • Insert video clips and still images into a movie

  • Insert text

  • Apply transitions between scenes

  • Record voice-over narration

  • Insert a song or recording

  • Export video to Google Apps for Westminster’s private YouTube


  • Use note-taking apps (e.g., Notability)

  • Annotate PDFs and other documents

Digital Citizenship

Students should be familiar with the attitudes and behaviors associated with positive participation in online activities related to:

  • Intellectual property rights, plagiarism and illegal downloading of music and video files

  • Responsible posting of messages and pictures to social networking sites and email

  • Understanding and responding to cyber bullying

  • Balancing appropriate amount of screen time with other activities

  • Using proper methods for documenting and attributing content


Why does every incoming middle school student need his/her own iPad?

Simply stated, with the iPad, classroom walls are virtually removed. Both inside and outside of the school building, each student can seamlessly maintain and extend the learning process. Additionally, each student will have access to his/her own particular device and be able to customize it based on his/her own individual educational and organizational needs and preferences.

Learn More

The device itself allows students to engage learning in a 21st-century context. The iPad is a device that is:

  • Connected: The Internet and its expansive information is a touch away.

  • Mobile: Learning, information, and communication is possible any time, anywhere.

  • Collaborative: Social media enables students to join global discussions.

  • Resourceful: Students can build their own library of thousands of resources such as online books, textbooks, and audio and video files – all at their fingertips in a wide range of engaging formats.

  • Ubiquitous and Equitable: All students have access to the same resources of everyone else around the world.

  • Personal: It is a tool that allows for individual customization, integration, and responsibility.

Why does the device have to be an Apple product, and specifically, an iPad?

By requiring all students to use an Apple product, the educational experiences can be shared by everyone. The receipt and submission of material can be accomplished more seamlessly, as well. We are strongly recommending the iPad over an Apple laptop because of the app features associated with the iPad. MacBooks and other laptops will not support the app features. While there can be some alternative projects and assignments given, this will significantly limit and change the learning experience the student receives and, at times, could be frustrating.

The iPad is currently the most versatile and highly effective product for what we hope to achieve in the classroom. Additionally, the long battery life, touchscreen format, and vibrant app developer make this product appealing. Finally, our teachers and students have been using Apple products for a number of years. Utilizing the mobile device created by Apple streamlines the training and implementation of the technology within classrooms.

What happens when the next version of the iPad emerges or something better than the Apple iPad comes out?

There is no doubt Apple will continue to roll out newer versions of iPads regularly. We will not ask families to upgrade every year a new model is launched. Any required iPad model upgrades would be passed along to an incoming 7th grade class.

It is a common perspective that most laptops begin to wear down and/or fall behind technologically after approximately three to four years. It appears that the iPad is similar to the laptop in this way. It is likely that families will need to consider if a newer model of iPad would be necessary for their student after three to four years of use.

There may eventually be products that are or will be better than Apple’s. However, as long as Apple remains one of the forerunners in technological advancement, we will not need to change the product of choice. If its products are significantly surpassed in an educationally meaningful way, we would consider switching a class of incoming 7th grade students to the new device at that time. For us, the device is just that: a tool to be used in the service of teaching and learning. The education must always come before any particular educational tool, whether a desk, textbook, ruler, or an iPad.

Are families paying for the iPad?

Yes. This is because the iPad should, ideally, be personalized by each family to be an effective and positive tool for both home and school life.

Can a student download games or social media apps on his/her iPad? Will the school monitor what is being downloaded to the iPad?

As of the fall of 2016, students will no longer be allowed to have games or social media on their iPad.  At the completion of our three year iPad pilot program, we gathered feedback from parents, teachers, and students. While the vast majority of feedback was positive, distractibility was the primary concern raised. So in an effort to support families and learning, the iPad must be for school use only. It is important to us to partner well with families and to respond to their concerns. While the school will not be actively monitoring the apps on each students iPad, students will be held accountable for having unapproved apps on their iPad should they be discovered.

How will the school handle the theft or physical damage of a device?

The iPad is your family’s personal device. It will be the student’s responsibility to ensure its protection and security. When purchasing the iPad, insurance against damage is available. Additionally, there are apps that will track and locate misplaced or taken devices. iPad covers and protectors are also available for purchase.

How will you make sure that students don’t spend too much time using technology and social media?

We recognize that technology and social media can become an excessive, even obsessive, element of life for anyone. We will make it our job to educate students about these pitfalls. We want students to become wise, godly users of their computing devices. Our teachers are vigilant and thoughtful about how to use the right tool at the right time, but this must be a partnership. Westminster cannot set family rules and parameters for technology and media in the homes, nor can our voice be as strong or impactful as the parents’ voice in the life of their child. Having a balanced and biblical view of life in regard to technology will require parents and the school to work together. We believe God will work through our committed partnership.

What are the learning benefits of the iPad?

With the iPad, focused learning can happen all the time, in all places, with the most current information. Students will have a wide variety of learning tools available for use at all times (e.g., note-taking ability, calendar and planner, word processor, presentation applications, videoconferencing, file storage/management, etc.). Students will also have access to instant feedback through both formative and summative assessments. The availability of this data will enable teachers to develop more focused, individualized, and collaborative learning experiences for students (e.g., using applications such as Pages, ePub, Notability, iBook, iMovie, Keynote, etc.). Furthermore, teachers will be able to upload documents and tasks to iBooks, and students will be able to download them onto their iPads to better manage all of their materials in one central location.

What kinds of activities are prohibited in the classroom?

The general rule is simple: the student should be using the iPad productively and for his/her learning. If an activity does not fall into this category as determined by the teacher, it is not to be done. As you might suspect, activities like playing games, using Facebook/social media, watching videos, or taking pictures outside of a teacher’s lesson plan would not be allowed.

Are there system safeguards and filters at the school to keep out inappropriate content?

Yes. We will continue to use the same safeguards and filters that we currently use to protect students from inappropriate content. Please note that this is why it’s important that you purchase an iPad with Wi-Fi connectivity. We strongly recommend you not buy a model that offers 3G connectivity. While the school has control over the Wi-Fi network and can, for the most part, safeguard against inappropriate web access, we cannot filter or control the 3G/4G access. NO filter, including ours at Westminster, is guaranteed to be 100% effective. We recommend that you occasionally review the content on your student’s iPad (such as Internet history and messaging) and other Internet devices.