Students in Grade 8 and High School are required to provide their own laptops for use during school.
St. Mary’s does not specify which type of PC or operating system students must purchase. Windows and Macs are both fine choices. Instead, we specify minimum requirements that the laptop must meet. Almost any laptop purchased within the last two years will meet these specifications. Please ensure the following, however:
- It must have modern Wi-Fi capabilities (G, N and AC protocols).
- It must have an English OS: Windows 10 or MacOS are recommended.
- Microsoft Office is also a requirement but the school provides a free copy to all enrolled students.
- We have Apple TVs in each classroom that allow for collaboration among the students and teachers. Any recent MacBook Air or MacBook Pro will be compatible. For Windows, a third-party utility such as AirParrot or AirMyPC is needed to use Apple TV (but this is not a school requirement).
Windows vs Mac
The choice comes down to the individual student and his needs. The majority of our students (about 95%) currently choose Macs. Those that choose Windows tend to do so for one of three reasons:
- They like the particular model or brand.
- They find that a Windows laptop offers more value for money.
- Students who have a high interest in computer programming, robotics and technology sometimes choose Windows as it is arguably better suited for this due to compatibility with software and hardware.
At St. Mary’s we make every effort to ensure that our curriculum is suitable for either Mac OS or Windows student laptops.