IPAD PROGRAM Specifications 


Norfolk Collegiate is a one-to-one iPad® school in grades 6-12, and students in these grades should bring an iPad® with them to school each day. For returning students, there is no requirement to upgrade your iPad® provided it remains capable of managing all school required apps and textbooks.  New students purchasing an iPad® for the first time should purchase the newly released iPad® (64-bit, A10 Chip) in order to ensure optimal long-term functioning of the device for school use.  This iPad® was released in March 2018 and replaced the previous iPad® from 2017. Please note that the iPad® Pro is only suggested for purchase if a student is extensively engaged in the creation of digital art, photography, or video and desires a professional grade device with enhanced graphics and the use of the Apple Pencil.  If you are a new student and you already own an iPad, you do not need to purchase a new one for school as long as your existing iPad® is functioning and is able to update to the newest iOS n order to run apps and other programs needed for school. 

For current students using the older iPad® 3rd or 4th generation iPads® , it is becoming increasingly difficult for these models to manage the operating system upgrades necessary to run school required apps and textbooks. If you are currently experiencing difficulty with your iPad® running apps or textbooks with the most recent operating system upgrade (iOS 11.3), you will want to consider upgrading your iPad® for the 2018-19 school year.  If you have any questions about your current iPad® with regard to functioning with apps or textbooks for the 2018-19 year, please contact Mrs. Charlene Loope at cloope@norfolkcollegiate.org


Minimum SPECIFICATIONS FOR Student IPADs for the 2018-19 school year


   If you are purchasing a new iPad: iPad® (newly released in 2018), iPad mini 4, iPad® Pro (only if desired for graphics) 

   If you already own an iPad®: iPad® (2017 model), iPad Air 2

Connectivity        WiFi only; (WiFi with 3G/4G is allowed, but 3G/4G must be turned off at school)

    32 GB or higher







  • Please visit the iPad comparison page on Apple's website for detailed comparison information.
  • Storage:  While the 16 GB minimum storage will work for students who already have iPads® with this capacity, it is suggested that new iPad purchases have at least 32 GB of memory.  In fact, the new iPad® and iPad® Pro models are only available with the 32 GB minimum. We have found that the 32 GB iPad provides ample storage for most every student user.  Please see the FAQs about recommended models below for more information on storage management.
  • iPad: Apple released its newest iPad® model (simply called "iPad") in late March 2018 with a retail price of $329.  This model comes in 32 GB or 128 GB capacities.  We have found that the 32 GB capacity model of iPad® is sufficient for most student users. For students who prefer to keep photos, artwork, and other data on their iPads® , more storage space may be desired. Google Drive offers unlimited storage space through our school's Google Apps for Education account for students.  We are happy to work with students to assist them in moving data to Google Drive should they need to free storage space on their devices. The Apple Pencil is now also available for this iPad model; however, there is not a requirement that students purchase the Apple Pencil for school use.
  • iPad Mini 4: The iPad® Mini has all of the specifications and screen resolution of a full size iPad® , but the smaller screen will make the text and graphics appear smaller. The on-screen keyboard is also proportionally smaller, making a case with a keyboard highly recommended for this model.  Several e-books are used for classes in the middle and upper school.  While the iPad® mini is comparable in size to the Kindle reading device, students should carefully evaluate whether or not the iPad mini is the right choice for them.
  • iPad Pro: With the recent release of the iPad® model, the iPad® Pro is only suggested for purchase if a student desires a device for extensive creation of digital artwork,  photography, or video. The iPad® Pro offers enhanced graphics and the use of the Apple Pencil.  There are two models of the iPad® Pro available, a 12.9 inch model and a 9.7 inch version.  While the 9.7 inch model is the same size as the standard iPad, the 12.9 inch is much larger and provides a different experience for students.  If deciding between the two sizes of the iPad® Pro, keep in mind that students often transport their iPads in backpacks and bags,  and they often use the video and camera features of their iPads for class assignments.  The smaller version would be easier to manage with these things in mind. The 12.9 inch model is more laptop-like when used together with the Smart Connector Keyboard Case, making it an option for students who desire a laptop experience from their iPad. We anticipate that most students who choose the iPad Pro would select the 9.7 inch model for convenience and portability. 
  • Both the iPad® and iPad® Pro offer notable features worth exploring if this options appeal to your student:
    • Apple Pencil:  The Apple pencil now works with the new iPad® and iPad® Pro models; it allows students to write with ease on the iPad® , making the iPad® more like a virtual notebook;  the Pencil may be of particular interest to students who are visual artists as it is a superior tool for use with drawing and sketching apps;  the Apple Pencil costs an additional $99, so its usefulness to the individual student should be carefully considered
    • Smart Connector Keyboard: The Smart Connector allows the iPad® Pro to connect directly to a keyboard without using pairing and without the need to charge the keyboard. The Smart Connector is only available for the iPad® Pro models.


AppleCare+ coverage is highly recommended for your iPad® . Every iPad® comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary support. AppleCare+ for iPad® extends your coverage to two years from the original purchase date of your iPad® and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a $49 service fee plus applicable tax.  The cost for AppleCare+ coverage is $69. You may add AppleCare+ to an iPad® purchased from a reseller such as Best Buy or Target, by taking it to an Apple Store, or by calling (800) 275-2273, within 60 days of your purchase. 



Will families be purchasing iPads® for their students?

Yes, families will need to purchase an iPad for each student they have enrolled at Norfolk Collegiate in grades 6-12.  Families may purchase iPads at the location of their choice.  Options for purchasing your student iPad include Apple retail stores  (nearby stores are located at MacArthur Shopping Center in Norfolk and Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach) and other resellers such as Walmart, Target or Best Buy. 

Are there discounts available for purchasing an iPad?

Unfortunately,  Apple does not offer discounts for iPad purchases to individuals with the exception of  purchases for college students.  Sometimes a back-to-school promotion may be offered during which customers receive an Apple gift card or other incentive for purchasing a product.  Please check the Apple website for such offers.  Resellers, however, such as Walmart or Target, often run back-to-school discounts on electronics including iPads.

Can students bring an iPad that they already own?

Yes.  As long as the iPad meets the minimum requirement (iPad Air 2 or the iPad® 2017 model), students may bring an iPad that they already own.  The iPad should be available for the student to use daily at school and at home for assignments.  Please note that any iPad older than an iPad Air 2 may begin to experience issues updating to the newer operating systems, so close attention should be paid to the functionality of older iPads for school work throughout the year.  Please contact Mrs. Charlene Loope at cloope@norfolkcollegiate.org if you have any questions about your current iPad's functionality for the 2018-19 school year.

Can two students in the same family share an iPad?

Our one-to-one iPad program is designed to give each student a device to use throughout the school day and for homework and projects, therefore, sharing an iPad will not work in our instructional model.  Students in the same family may, however, may share the same iTunes account which allows apps to be shared with up to five different iPads.  This means that apps only need to be purchased once.

Is there insurance available for the iPad?

We highly recommend that you purchase AppleCare + insurance for your student's iPad.  This insurance covers the iPad for up to two incidents of accidental damage due to handling. It also covers the battery and power cord. 

Are there finance options available?  

The Apple Store  often offers financing for the iPad with promotional offers for no interest financing if paid within a specified time period.  Check the store to determine their current financing options. 

What about students who receive financial aid?

Please contact Mr. Carl Bryant, Director of Finance & Operations, at 583-0919 for information about financial aid consideration for iPads during the 2017-18 school year.

What about used or refurbished iPads?

In the past, a refurbished version of the iPad Air 2 presented a good alternative to purchasing a new model of that device.   At this time, however, families may find that the price point of the newly released iPad ($329) is as competitive as any refurbished models of that device that may become available in the Apple Refurbished Store.  The original iPad, the iPad 2, 3rd and 4th generation iPads and iPad Air do not meet our minimum specifications, so use care in choosing a refurbished iPad for this reason.  While the iPad Air 2 is also available as a refurbished version,  we do not recommend purchasing this model for students who intend to use their iPads for several years at Norfolk Collegiate.  The upgrades to the iPad operating system will increasingly have difficulty running on older models. 

Apple has certified refurbished devices available for purchase in the Apple online store that are eligible for the AppleCare+ insurance.  Used and refurbished devices are also available from other online marketplaces.  Keep in mind that it is recommended that you purchase AppleCare+  insurance for your student's iPad.  This insurance may not be available for refurbished iPads from all online retailers, such as eBay or similar merchants.   

There are so many models available - do you have a highly recommended option?

There are several factors to be examined with your student in choosing an iPad –  processor, size of iPad, and storage capacity.  The newly released iPad is the most affordable model and offers excellent features, including the A10 processor.  The iPad Pro has a more advanced A10X chip and offers enhanced graphics for students who use their iPads for more artistic functions.

These newest processors, the A10 and A10X, are available only in the new iPad and the iPad Pro models respectively.  Because this is the newest processor on the market for iPad, it should be expected to function with new iOS updates for longer than older models.  While Apple does not guarantee that a device will work with operating system updates for a specific amount of time, the useful life of a device is maximized by purchasing the newest processor available at the time. 

With regard to storage, the minimum specifications that we have identified will be sufficient with the understanding that students will need to pay close attention to the amount of data being stored on the iPad.  We will work with students to make sure that they know how to save older data that they want to keep in their Norfolk Collegiate Google Apps for Education accounts.  Choosing to purchase the 32 GB or higher capacity model will provide a cushion for data storage management. 

Choosing the mini over the standard size is also a matter of family preference.  We investigated the requirements of a number of schools with iPad programs in place and discovered that many of them allow the iPad mini as an option.  Clearly, the standard size iPad offers a larger screen and virtual keyboard, or keyboard case, which may be preferable for some students.  We suggest that the mini be considered carefully before purchasing and that students and parents look at the two options side by side, if possible, before making a selection.

What kind of accessories are required?

While we do not require any specific type of case or keyboard, students must have a sturdy, durable case for their iPads.  Some examples of durable cases include, but are not limited to, those by Vargus, Speck and Otterbox.  It is highly recommended that the case you choose has both a cover for the front and back of the iPad, and is made of a sufficiently padded or durable material to protect the iPad when being carried in a backpack or other type of bag. 

Similarly, we do not require students to use a keyboard case or separate keyboard with their iPads.  Some students prefer to use a keyboard case, while others feel that they are more proficient with the virtual keyboard on the iPad.   For examples of different types of keyboards and cases that students have found useful, please contact Ms. Charlene Loope at cloope@norfolkcollegiate.org.