Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Encouraging respectful collaboration in the technology era.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Fairfax County Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and robust digital environment to support student learning and success, and we make FCPS student devices available for check-out to students who need them. Thanks to the evolution of web-based applications in FCPS, we also welcome families to choose to have their students use a family-owned device for learning, also known as BYOD. If your student wishes to use a family-owned device, follow the procedures below.
What To Do If You Want Your Child to BYOD
- Ensure that your family device meets the following criteria:
- The BYOD device must be a laptop equivalent with a screen and keyboard. Smartphones, smart watches, and other wearable technologies are not considered acceptable laptop equivalents. Note that PreKindergarten and Kindergarten students are typically provided with an iPad for learning in FCPS.
- The BYOD device should be able to connect to the FCPS WiFi to access learning resources. Cellular device connections are not acceptable while on FCPS property.
- The BYOD device must be able to run Google Chrome, the FCPS-approved internet browser.
- If your family device meets the above criteria, reach out to your school to let them know you would like your child to use your family device for learning, and discuss whether any non web-based applications will be needed. FCPS software licensing agreements do not permit installation on personally-owned devices. While most core FCPS applications are web-based and accessible on any device, parents should double-check with the school to determine if they need to purchase and install software on that device to facilitate their student’s learning.
- Once you have confirmed necessary applications with the school, log into your ParentVUE account and select “Opt-out of FCPS device.” This indication will let us know that we do not need to check-out an FCPS laptop to your child.
- Make sure you and your child have reviewed the SR&R, which includes the acceptable use policy for students on the FCPS network. This policy applies to any personal devices on our network as well.
Be aware that some standardized tests require the student to test on an FCPS-owned device. We will have an FCPS device available for your child to use during testing periods.
FCPS Policies Around BYOD
Registering the BYOD Device at School
FCPS has an established process for onboarding BYOD devices onto our network. Onboarding guides for different devices can be found on the BYOD Configurations page. FCPS tech support specialists can assist students with onboarding their BYOD devices.
Policy for Caring for Personally-Owned Devices
All devices should come to school fully charged for the day. FCPS is not responsible for providing charging stations for personally owned devices. Families should ensure the device remains in good working order and the operating system is up-to-date, so that it can run modern applications. FCPS does not perform repair or maintenance on personally-owned devices.
Security, Theft, or Damage
Personally owned devices, including secure storage and care of those devices, are the sole responsibility of the student. FCPS is not responsible for the security or safety of personal devices, nor for any loss, damage or theft of those devices.
If a Device is Damaged at School
FCPS is not responsible for damage to personally owned devices. If a student’s personally owned device is damaged at school, the student should put the device away and let the teacher know. FCPS can provide a temporary loaner device to students to continue their learning. The student should take the personal device home at the end of the school day, so that the student and parent can troubleshoot the device. FCPS does not provide tech support or repair for personally owned devices.
Internet Content Filtering
To facilitate instruction and practice internet safety, FCPS’s internet connection is protected by firewalls and internet content filtering. Per the Acceptable Use Policy in the Student Rights and Responsibilities document, students should only use the FCPS WiFi internet connection, not their cellular data connection, with their BYOD device while on FCPS property. This includes the use of a cell phone as a personal hotspot.
Capturing Information from BYOD Devices
The BYOD wireless system, FCPS Onboard, is used for device registration. It provides an easy-to-use mechanism to register BYOD devices to grant them permission to access the FCPS network.
During the registration process, information such as IP address and MAC address are collected and logged to allow the network to recognize the device and its connection point for future logins. This information could also be used to look for a missing device, or to identify the source of any inappropriate activity discovered on our network. FCPS does not actively monitor the content on BYOD devices, however FCPS does reserve the right to investigate all potential Acceptable Use Policy violations occurring on our network, including all FCPS and BYOD devices, to determine if any wrongdoing occurred.
Considerations When Purchasing a Device for Your Child
While FCPS cannot recommend specific technology products, we support the use of multiple platforms, including Windows devices, MacBook devices, iPads, and Chromebooks. We encourage parents to consider the following when purchasing a device for students:
- The size, weight, and durability of the device. Remember the student will be taking the device back and forth to school.
- The battery life. Devices should come to school fully-charged each day and need a battery that will last most of the day.
- The included software. Consider whether the device needs additional software appropriate for the class/courses the student is taking.
- The available discounts. Many companies offer discount programs for student device purchase. Also, the federal Affordable Connectivity Program provides eligible households with a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.