Participate in the Employee Laptop Program

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SummaryInformation regarding the laptop program for employees
AuthorMaintained by Matt Ringh
HelpGet help with this article
StatusUp-to-date for the 2023-2024 school year.

This program exists to encourage and empower creative education and more flexible computing. Self-managed laptops empower our teachers to incorporate new ideas and methods of teaching and learning as quickly as they discover them, and empower our administrators to untether themselves from their desks. And while the Tech Department can provide high reliability and availability on centrally managed computers, we can also be a bottleneck to productivity and creativity while our employees wait for software to be tested and installed.

Moreover, using their own laptops allows teachers to prep lessons (potentially their whole day) outside of class, then just plug in when they get to a classroom. And it allows administrators to take laptops to meetings. This is a wonderful thing for anyone who works anywhere other than a single desk.

The terms of the program are described in full below. Please read all aspects carefully before applying. A link to the application is at the bottom of this article.


Are you a Riverdale teacher, part or full time? You need a laptop, tablet computer, or other mobile device for classroom use -- for attendance, projection, interactivity, or anything else you do with a computer in a classroom.

Are you an administrator or administrative staff? In most cases you will use a self-managed laptop and in very limited circumstances an RCS-managed desktop.

We're sorry but we do not currently provide laptops to members of Security, Maintenance, Food Services, Housekeeping, Grounds, Coaches, or other staff positions.

Available models

  Model    Operating system
ChromeBook* Lenovo Chrome OS
Mac laptop* MacBook Air macOS
PC laptop* Dell XPS-13 256 GB Windows
  • Exact specifications will vary depending on availability at time of purchase.

Riverdale will pay for the base-level models of the above. In certain cases, when required for curricular work, Riverdale will pay for upgrades to these computers. Unfortunately you cannot pay for your own upgrades (e.g. if you want a faster computer but it is not required for your work) due to ownership and tax implications.

Ownership and financial responsibility

A few of our faculty laptops are insured against manufacturing defects and accidental damage (including water and breakage). Some are warranted by AppleCare. The rest are not. Your financial obligations are as follows:

spring 2015 +   your obligation
Initial cost of laptop $0
Insurance cost $0
Software provided by school $0
Ownership of laptop RCS owns it
Warranty repair/replacement of laptop or peripherals     $0
Repair/replacement of laptop due to drop/damage/liquid spill     $0 *
Replacement of laptop or peripherals due to theft (if you have a police report and have proper security measures installed) $0 **
Replacement of laptop or peripherals due to theft or loss (with no police report and/or no security measures installed) $0 *

* we expect a laptop to last 4-5 years, so replacement or repair of your laptop during that time will be capped at the cost of a new laptop; if you cost us more during that period you will be issued an older laptop instead of a new one

** we require that you have Find My Mac or another tracking software installed and operational at all times. Go here for information on installing tracking software."

Repeated cases of damage or replacement may result in termination of participation in this program, in which case you would have to bring your own laptop.

The laptop is Riverdale’s property and must be returned if you are no longer employed by the school (you may keep it while on leave or sabbatical). While participating in this program, you must maintain possession of the laptop and are expected to use it at school and home regularly as part of your work.

After about four years, Riverdale may offer you the option to re-enroll in this program. At this point your laptop will be replaced with a new model. Participants who remain in good standing in this program can expect to successfully re-enroll.

Other responsibilities

You must follow our advice to "Secure, and prevent a catastrophe, with your laptop, ChromeBook, and phone", on every RCS-issued device.

You must bring in your device for physical inventory at least once each year as part of Riverdale’s standard audits of technology equipment. We'll let you know when to do that, don't worry.

Self-management, maintenance and technical support

Employee laptops are self-managed. This means you install your own software; you troubleshoot when things go wrong (with our help, if needed); you call for warranty or insurance repairs; and basically you treat this as if you'd purchased it for home use.

  School    Employee
Initial setup all
Additional software installation all
Ongoing software maintenance all
Authorizing payment for repairs all none
Warranty arrangements partial partial
Insurance arrangements partial partial
Data recovery costs all*

* since you'll be backing up your laptop regularly and following our protocols, there shouldn't be any need for forensic data recovery; if there is, you'll need to pay for it

One purpose of this program is to empower its participants. Riverdale’s technology staff will provide initial training for all participants. Best practices in maintenance will be taught and encouraged. Riverdale’s technicians will consult on how to resolve technical problems, and can walk you through them at a help desk or by appointment. In some limited cases Riverdale will not perform technical support, maintenance, or repair of these laptops.

Riverdale will provide a loaner laptop to an employee whose laptop requires repair or replacement. Depending on the circumstances (think vacation), it may be the employee's responsibility to pack, send, and track their own laptop, as well as to set up the loaner for use. Generally, Riverdale will handle those logistics however.

Depending on his/her level of existing computer knowledge, a participant may be required to attend some amount of training.

Warranty and insurance information

Here's what you should do if you encounter a problem:

  1. First: submit a tech support request with a description of the problem or come to our helpdesk. We'll help you determine how to proceed.
  2. If it's a manufacturer's warranty issue:
  3. If it's an insurance issue:
    • After you submit a tech support request, the Tech Department will initiate the claim and hand it off to you once you can send in your laptop. But here's their contact number, just in case: 800-620-2885.

When are laptops handed out?

Laptops for new employees will be handed out at New Faculty Tech Orientation. Dates, times, and locations are listed in the table below.

New Faculty Tech Orientation (Division)   Date Loacation
Lower School Monday, August 19th (as part of LS New Faculty Orientation River Campus - Room TBD
Upper School/Middle School Wednesday, August 21st, from 8:30am to 10:30am Mayo Lab (Hill Campus).


Riverdale is committed to providing introductory training directly to program participants.

Please note: Riverdale cannot support long-term personal training or in-depth support for laptop recipients. Our goal is to empower our teachers to self-manage their laptops. Riverdale Tech Department members will provide ongoing consultation services, but substantial technical support from us will not be possible.

Getting Started Site

We have created a website that will help you get started with your Riverdale account and the common systems we use. If you are new to Riverdale, this is a great place to start.

New Faculty Tech Orientation

These sessions are intended to quickly review basic laptop setup, then introduce you to effective ways of working and teaching with your laptop.

New Faculty Tech Orientation (Division)   Date Loacation
Lower School Monday, August 19th (as part of LS New Faculty Orientation River Campus - Room TBD
Upper School/Middle School Wednesday, August 21st, from 8:30am to 10:30am Mayo Lab (Hill Campus).

Tech Helpdesk

Got questions? We've got answers. Come to our Tech Helpdesk or call x50 and see if they match.

Curricular integration

Riverdale expects its investment in laptops to enhance integration of technology into the curriculum. Participants are expected to develop curricular materials or plans to initiate or improve integration of technology in their teaching. To support their implementation, participants are expected to meet with RCS Academic Technology Specialists several times yearly while enrolled in this program.

Connecting to Riverdale’s resources

High-speed wireless access is available throughout both campuses. For security reasons employee laptops must operate wirelessly at Riverdale; no wired connection is available or allowed for these laptops.

AV connections and other peripherals will be provided for recipients who wish to control their classroom projectors or interactive whiteboards from their laptops.

Your laptop will be able to access any web service used by Riverdale. This includes Schoology, Google Apps, Google Mail, FAWeb, our library databases, the Riverdale website, Lower School websites, or for that matter any web page you can find use for!

You should store your Riverdale files in Google Drive; that way they'll always be available to you, from any computer.

Because Riverdale owns the laptops, our licensing permits us to install any software running on Riverdale campus computers. A list of campus software is available in Self Service, which you should install (if you have a Mac).

If you find that you require other software, please complete the Technology Purchase or Upgrade Request Form. Riverdale may agree to purchase software for your use. You are also free to purchase any software for yourself.

Can I buy a personal laptop through this program?

No. Sorry. This would have tax implications for the school that could utterly destroy space and time as we know them.

The bottom line

Faculty must use self-managed laptops. The vast majority of Administrators and Administrative Staff do as well, and others can opt into this program.

What should I do if I'm upgrading or returning my laptop?

  1. (Mac only) Go to System Preferences > iCloud and uncheck all options, then Sign Out of iCloud.
  2. Ensure any data you want to keep is backed up or copied somewhere
  3. Delete any sensitive data and clear your trash
  4. Either:
    • Create a new admin account with password abcd1234!
    • Change your laptop's admin account password to abcd1234!
  5. Return it to us

There is no need to uninstall anything.

We will either delete your laptop's admin account (which will remove your home folder and any personal data) or restore your laptop to factory settings.

How do I request a laptop?

New Employees

Fill out this form.

Current employees

Submit a Tech request like this:
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