Below you will find important details about how to handle your files and accounts in eBackpack, Google Drive, and Veracross.  Please be sure to read the entire post.

*Access to eBackpack will end June 30th for Grades 6-9
*For students who are graduating or leaving Pike, all files will be erased after June 30th.  

For all returning students

  • Any file in the “My Files” area that students want to save should be moved to the E-Portfolio area.  All other files will be deleted.
  • If you want to save assignments turned into the teacher.
    • Navigate to that assignment.
    • Open the file that you turned in.
    • Click the “share square” and then move it to Notability or Google Drive.
  • Any file in the E-Portfolio area will remain available as read-only next year for returning students.

Google Drive Grades 3-9
*Access for graduating or leaving students ends June 30th
*Access for returning students ends August 25th – Between August 25 and the first week of school there will be no access so that we can change passwords and perform other maintenance

There are two options for saving files.

Option 1 – When you only want to save a few files.

  1. Log into your account on a laptop or desktop (not an iPad).
  2. Select the files you would like to save.
  3. Go to More Actions (three dots) > Download…
  4. Make the appropriate choices for file formats and then click download.
  5. This will download a .zip file containing your documents.  You can open these documents on a home computer.

Option 2 – When you want to save all of your files.

  1. Log into your account on a laptop or desktop (not an iPad).
  2. Then go to Google Takeout
  3. Under “Select data to include”, put a check next to Drive only.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click “next”.
  5. Click “Create Archive” in the “Customize download format” section.
  6. If you have a lot of files, this process will take a good bit of time.
  7. It will say that you will receive an email when it is finished but you won’t because students don’t have access to email.
  8. Instead return to Google Takeout later and choose “Manage Archives” at the top of the screen.
  9. Find your archive and click download.  Your files will be downloaded as a .zip file.  You can transfer these files to a home computer.

Veracross – all grades
*Access for graduating or leaving students ends June 30th

  • Reports must be printed before June 30th.  As of June 30th, 2019, there will be a $15 fee to receive a copy of your child’s report(s) if you did not download and save or print the report(s) prior to the parent report portal closing.  Please make your check payable to “The Pike School” and send it to the attention of Gale Mender.  After payment is received, you will be provided with a copy of the requested report(s).
    • Lower, Middle, and Upper School reports will be published on Veracross on Monday, June 17th.

Access to reports for returning students ends July 26th.

  • Reports must be printed before July 26th.  As of July 26, 2018, there will be a $15 fee to receive a copy of your child’s report(s) if you did not download and save or print the report(s) prior to the parent report portal closing.  Please make your check payable to “The Pike School” and send it to the attention of Gale Mender.  After payment is received, you will be provided with a copy of the requested report(s).
    • Lower, Middle, and Upper School reports will be published on Veracross on Monday, June 17th.

Why Technology?

If you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s Ted talk titled “Start with why” it is definitely worth a watch.  In it, he explains that most organizations know “what” they do and “how” they do it, but great organizations know “why” they do it.  Knowing “why” separates the great organizations from the ordinary organizations.  In the video below, I attempt to drill down to the core or essence of why we use technology in the classroom. It is my hope that this captures the rationale of what drives our program and brings a better understanding to our community about our technology philosophy at the Pike School.  If you have any “Why Technology?” thoughts please leave a comment or get in touch with the Tech Dept.

Parent Technology Resource: Common Sense Media

In the Pike School Tech Department we find that families are very interested in getting more information about media and technology for their kids related to using screens at home.  We often recommend the website Common Sense Media to Parents because we find it to be an excellent resource. With such a comprehensive website it can be hard to find the time to sift through to figure out exactly how it can be useful to your family.  To help with this, below are 3 easy ways that parents can get started using Common Sense Media immediately.

Apps, Movies and Television Reviews

Do you struggle to know which apps are right for your child and family? Common Sense Media’s App Reviews quickly show you the appropriate age, educational value, whether there is inappropriate content, reviews of what parents need to know and whether there are hidden in app purchases. My own kids know that I am going to check this before any app goes on our family iPad or if they want to watch a movie or new TV show and it has become a time saving resource for my family.  The same level of detail is provided for movie and television reviews.  In one place you can see information about the movie or TV show, with suggested talking points about your choice.

YouTube Reviews

YouTube Reviews on Common Sense Media provide a good way to get an idea of the quality and age appropriateness of some YouTube content.  It can be risky to just let your kids use YouTube without knowing exactly what they are watching since it is really easy to get sidetracked to inappropriate content and when the next video automatically plays parents can lose track of how long their kids have been using the app.   I have set up limits for how much time my children use YouTube with ScreenTime available in IOS 12 (<– Apple support page linked if you are looking for more information) and they use the YouTube Kids app (Ages 7 and up) which improves the likelihood that they will be watching kid-targeted videos.  YouTube’s curation process isn’t perfect so it is still recommended that you tune in to what your child is watching.  

Advice for Parents

Looking for general advice about certain topics to help you navigate issues related to parenting and technology? Common Sense Media has advice that is broken down by Age, Topic and more.  For example, this is where you might go if you are trying to decide what the right age is for a device in your family and you want to lay the groundwork for responsible use and manage the challenges and opportunities that come along with using a phone or iPad.  There are many more topics and guides that can be helpful to your family in the Advice for Parents section.

All of these suggestions allow you to take in the parenting information that you need, while encouraging conversations and connection within your family about difficult topics.  There is so much more available on Common Sense Media when you have more time to explore. If you are looking to stay connected with their timely blog posts you can subscribe to receive email updates on The Common Sense Media Blog or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.  If you have any questions or find any interesting discoveries that you want to share please let the Tech Department know.

Digital Citizenship Week for Families

This week is Digital Citizenship week!  We hope that you will find the below resources useful as you encounter this topic at home with your children.  

The Common Sense Media Blog has a lot of information that can be helpful with Digital Citizenship discussions.  In honor of Digital Citizenship Week you may be interested in taking their Device Free Dinner Challenge with more Device Free Dinner Suggestions here.  

We also highly recommend creating a Family Media Plan with the American Academy of Pediatrics Family Media Plan with Media Time Calculator so that everyone in the family is on the same page regarding expectations.

If you have more questions Upper School Head, Colleen Welsh and Aaron Hovel gave a talk about Raising Children in the Digital Age.  We also have a Parent Resource Page with more information on this blog.  In addition, please feel free to reach out to the Tech Department at any time.  


Tips for Handling Distraction at Home and at School

Let’s be honest, devices can be distracting for everyone, not just students.  Who among us hasn’t had trouble ignoring the buzz in your pocket during a conversation or a task that needs your focus.  The problem is that focus when learning is critical. Contrary to popular belief research has shown that it is not possible to multitask while learning new information.

So how do we deal with distractions in the classroom when students have devices. Common Sense Media has a great web page with lots of resources for teachers, students, and parents.

Have you mastered distractions in your classroom.  What techniques work well for you.  Do you see something on this website that you want to try?  Share them in the comments section.  


Seesaw @Pikeschool


For week 5 of our Learn | Try | Amplify initiative, we are sharing a couple of videos (4 minutes) about how 1st and 3rd grades are using Seesaw as a digital portfolio app to engage parents, teach digital citizenship, and encourage students to reflect on their learning. Seesaw is one of the best educational apps to come out in the last couple of years so, I encourage you to carve out some time to check it out. Are you using Seesaw? Share how you’re using it in the comment section.

1st Grade Seesaw Video

3rd Grade Seesaw Video

For more See Saw activity ideas in Grades K – 2 click here.

For more SeeSaw activity ideas in Grades 3 – 5 click here.

Parenting and Technology Post

Check out our recent Tech Dept. blog post via the Pike Perspectives blog.

by Jennifer Zacharis

The thoughtful integration of technology by teachers in all of our classrooms at Pike has enhanced our student’s ability to learn, connect, create and collaborate with technological ease.  This comes naturally to a generation who has always been surrounded by quickly evolving innovations.  Technology is so deeply woven into our students’ lives that they aren’t even aware of what life could be like without it.   The reality exists that as technology changes we constantly need to adjust as parents and educators.

The many benefits of a more connected classroom are paired with the fact that we must equip students with the confidence to navigate issues such as cyberbullying, privacy, safety and other potential digital conflicts.  In order to promote a positive digital culture, Pike has continued to integrate parts of Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship Curriculum across the grades.  This program empowers students to think critically, behave safely and act responsibly online.  In addition, our students participate in many projects throughout the year that model good citizenship beyond this curriculum.  These projects create real learning opportunities in a safe environment where students can eventually become responsible independent learners.

Since most online use by students tends to happen at home the need also exists for parents and children to stay in conversation and keep working together for safe and responsible behavior online.  An ongoing dialog is necessary as your child grows and their digital life evolves.  To help families navigate issues related to parenting and technology we have listed many realities, issues and solutions on the parent section of our Tech Department website, All Things Tech.  Common Sense Media is an excellent resource for Parents with information about the powerful tools their kids are using and how to help their kids make good choices online.  Their Connecting Families Program has many resources for families to address important topics and prompts for meaningful conversations about making good decisions.  The Pike Library has hard copies of the excellent government publication Netcetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online which is also available as a dowloadable PDF.  Parents may also attend an upcoming session with Upper School Head, Colleen Welsh and Director of Technology Aaron Hovel on November 3 from 8:30 – 9:00 am about making sense of the digital world as a parent.

Technology Guide for Parents

To help families navigate issues related to parenting and technology we have listed many realities, issues and solutions in the parent section of this blog including:

  • Useful resources and suggestions
  • Tips and Strategies for Parents
  • Helpful Settings and Distraction Tips
  • Internet skills our kids should learn

To access this information click here or you can click the Parent link on the upper navigation bar.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact the Tech Department.