Students

Tech Info, Guides, and FAQS

Technology Overview for Students

Welcome to Newburyport Public Schools!

Newburyport Public Schools is a Google for Education district. You have access to all of the tools provided in Google Workspace, including Gmail for your school email, Drive, Classroom, Meet, and many others. Whenever possible, you are encouraged to use them.

We use a Single Sign-On (SSO) service for school accounts, called Okta, which syncs usernames and passwords across multiple applications. In effect, you have a single account for most apps and services. For example, your computer login and all the Google apps share the same account.


Setting Up Your Account

To get setup, please log into your new account on a school PC or school Chromebook. If you are using a personal device, you will need to complete this process by signing in through our SSO: sso.newburyport.k12.ma.us

Typically, your username is your first initial, last name, and the last two digits of your graduation year. For example, if John Smith was graduating in 2021, their username would be jsmith21. For this initial login, your password is identical to your username.

If you're having trouble logging in, you can submit a ticket to the NPS Technology Helpdesk.

When you log in, you will be asked to create a new password. It's entirely your choice, but please choose a password that is secure and can not be guessed. Your account is vulnerable to the whole world and the only thing securing it is your password. We recommend you visit How Secure Is My Password? and check how long it would take a standard desktop computer to crack what you've chosen.

After completing the following steps, in Google you can also turn on “two step verification.” This will send you a text message every time a new computer tries to access your account, giving you the opportunity to deny it.

If you're logging into a school PC, please open Google Chrome and go to our SSO sign-in page for the next step: sso.newburyport.k12.ma.us

If you're logging into a school Chromebook, or have already signed in through our SSO on a personal device, the next step is an automatic prompt.

After logging in, you will see a welcome message from our SSO portal that asks you to enter a secondary email and choose a security question and answer. Providing this information allows you to reset your password and unlock your account yourself. Your secondary email should be a personal account you have access to.

After you enter a secondary email and choose a security question, click on Create My Account. Our SSO portal, Okta, will send you an email asking you to confirm your secondary email.

Next, you will be prompted by Google to agree to their terms & conditions for Google Workspace. Once you accept, you will be redirected to Drive.

Your account is now set up and ready to use!


Resetting Your Password

If you are unable to access your account after it's been setup, you can unlock it or reset your password from any web browser using our SSO portal. Instructions are located on the How To Reset Your School Account Password page.


Email

Your email address begins with your username, and ends with the domain name @newburyportschools.com. For example, if John Smith was a student graduating in 2021, their email would look like this jsmith21@newburyportschools.com.

Gmail is used for all district email accounts. For clubs and extracurricular activities, teachers or staff may also send you emails or messages through Google Groups.

Every email account in the district is listed in contacts. If you start typing in the “To” box in Gmail, a search will begin. When you see the right account, click on the name and the “To” box will be filled in. To view all contacts, you can visit the Google Contacts page and click on 'Directory'.

Teachers and staff are all also present in contacts. All teacher and staff emails end with @newburyport.k12.ma.us, while student emails all end with @newburyportschools.com.


Follett Aspen

Aspen is our Student Information System (SIS). This is where your grades and class schedules are posted. You may hear teachers and staff refer to it by its old name, X2. For security purposes, Aspen usernames and passwords are maintained separately. There is no syncing between your Aspen account and your school account.

We try to make your Aspen username identical to your school username, but this is not always possible. The initial password is usually identical to your Aspen username. To request your Aspen credentials, or for help logging in, please submit a ticket through the NPS Technology Helpdesk.

When you first log into Aspen, it will make you create a new password. Please pay attention to the password requirements. You may also be asked to provide a contact email and a security question. This is used for resetting your password yourself. Information on resetting your Aspen password, or creating a new one, can be found in the Aspen section of this wiki: http://wiki.newburyport.k12.ma.us/books/aspen

Aspen is used by many schools, so you need to make sure you are logging into the one specifically for Newburyport. The correct link is: ma-newburyport.myfollett.com

If you need information on using Aspen, there is a 'Help' dropdown on each page. You can also visit Follett's 'Student & Families' page for Aspen video tutorials.


How To Get Tech Help

We have an automated ticketing system that will contact everyone in the tech department to ensure the fastest service. To get help, please submit a ticket through our NPS Technology Helpdesk.

While you can submit a ticket without signing into our Helpdesk, we recommend using the Google login option and signing in with your school email. This will allow you to track the status of your tickets, submit updates, etc., without anything getting lost in your inbox. Click on the following text for a direct link to the Google login option for our Helpdesk.

When submitting a ticket, please tell us what the issue is, being as descriptive as possible. Include any error messages and any troubleshooting steps you might have performed. Keep an eye out for emails and messages from the Helpdesk. They could be requests for more information, a request for you to perform a task such as rebooting the computer, or notification that your problem was solved.

If you need immediate support, our number is: 978-465-4440 ext. 5555. We do, however, recommend using our ticketing system in 99% of cases, as this will ensure the entire department sees your request and that it can be quickly directed to the right person.

Technology Helpdesk - Submit a Ticket!

If you're having technology trouble, need support or repairs, or have a question, please visit our NPS Techology Helpdesk and submit a ticket.

We recommend using the Google login option with your district email address to log into the helpdesk, as this will allow you to track the status of your tickets, submit updates, etc, without anything getting lost in your inbox.

We've also included a ticket form below, for ease of use:

Computer Purchasing Guide [Updated 5/2021]

Chromebooks

 

Pros: Great Battery life, low cost, ease of use, does productivity work efficiently.

Cons: Not ideal for GPU based workloads such as nonlinear video editing, CAD, and software development.

Use case: General Computing (eg. word processing, web browsing, media viewing)

 

Specs

  Minimum Recommended
RAM 4gb 4gb
Screen Resolution 1366x768 1920x1080
Storage 16gb 32gb
End of auto-update 2025 2026+

 

14" Screen: Lenovo 14e gen 2


11" Screen: Lenovo 100e mk2

 

To see how long a specific Chromebook will continue to receive updates, please refer to Google's auto-update policy support page.


Windows Laptops

 

Pros: Can do almost any computing task, huge software catalog, large variety of form factors and models to choose from. 

Cons: More expensive than Chromebooks, cheapest options can be a poor experience, Windows is less intuitive than ChromeOS. On average poorer battery life.

Use case: General Computing, CAD, programming, Video Editing, Graphics work

Specs

  Minimum Recommended
RAM 8gb 16gb
Storage 256gb SSD 256+ SSD
CPU Intel i3, or AMD Ryzen 3 Intel i5, Intel i7, AMD Ryzen 5, or 7
Graphics  Intel integrated Ryzen Vega/RX, Nvidia GTX/RTX graphics
Operating System Windows 10, or Linux  

 

Lenovo Ideapad Series *preferably with Ryzen CPU (low cost for good performance)

Acer Nitro 5 Series: affordable entry level to mid range gaming/CAD/Graphic design capable laptops)

Lenovo Thinkpad L,T,X,P lines 

Dell XPS 13 and 15 lines: (Focus on portability and battery life over raw performance)

Asus TUF line (mid to high end gaming/CAD/Graphic design laptops)

Razer Blade line (high end gaming/CAD/Graphic design capable)


Mac Laptops (Apple)

Pros: generally good build quality (dependent on model), High end specs compared to low cost PC/Chromebook options, excellent battery life on M1 equipped devices

Cons: Higher cost of entry than PC alternatives, compatible with less existing software than windows, limited choice of devices. Limited ability to run major enterprise and engineering software (eg. Creo, Solidworks)

Use case: Using apple exclusive software (eg. garageband, iMovie), General Computing,programming, Non Linear Video Editing, Graphics work.

General Computing Graphics Work  Nonlinear Video Editing Programming
M1 device M1 Pro M1 Max + 512gb storage M1 device

128gb SSD minimum | 256gb recommended


 
Glossary of terms

CPU: Central processing unit (aka processor). Runs programs and executes any general computing task. A faster CPU means things tend to open faster.

GPU: Graphics processing unit (aka video card). Used to render 3D images and do video work. Very important for CAD, graphic design, non-linear video editing, and, to an extent, software development.

RAM: Random-access memory. Temporary storage for running tasks. A common example of a RAM dependent task is having many tabs open at once in your web browser.

Non-Linear Video Editing:  Professional video editing software such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere. Requires a high end computer and is vastly more demanding and capable than very basic editors such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.

General Computing:  Document / presentation / spreadsheet creation, email, anything that can be done in a web browser, etc.

How to Clean Your Devices

Cleaning your device

Cleaning your devices is simpler than you’d think. The most important thing to remember is you don’t want ANY liquid to get inside a laptop, keyboard, or device of any kind. Electricity and water are a bad combination. You should also NEVER use general purpose cleaning products on a monitor or screen.

  1. Turn off and unplug your chromebook, laptop or device.
  2. You can use any mild cleaning liquid you have on hand, but use common sense. Isopropyl alcohol, bleach or alcohol wipes, a mix of bleach and water, etc, are all okay to use.
  3. Wet a cloth with the cleaning liquid.
  4. Wring out the cloth until it’s damp, but not wet.
  5. Gently wipe down the exterior of your device. For example, for a chromebook or laptop, wipe down the case, keyboard, and touchpad. Avoid getting any of the cleaning liquid on the screen, but cleaning the bezel around your screen is fine.
Cleaning your monitor and screens

To clean the screen on your chromebook or laptop:

  1. There are many computer screen cleaners on the market, but warm water is usually all we use. You can prepare a solution that is one part dishwashing detergent with five parts water, if needed.
  2. Use a lint-free or microfiber cloth, and dampen it with water or the solution.
  3. Make sure it’s damp, but not wet. You don't want dripping.
  4. Wipe the screen down gently, ensuring you don’t scratch it.
  5. Follow with a dry, lint-free or microfiber cloth.

For screens on smartphones or tablets (such as iPads), you can use isopropyl alcohol or alcohol wipes. That's because these screens are made of glass. However, if you are unsure if your device has a glass screen, err on the side of caution and just use water.

How to Sign into Google

Go to http://sso.newburyport.k12.ma.us

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Enter your username (not your email address) and password.

For students, your username is your first initial and last name followed by the last two digits of your graduation year. (e.g. Jane Doe, class of 2022  = jdoe22)

After a successful login, you will be redirected to Google Drive. From there you can use the “waffle menu” to access the other Google Workspace applications.

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Note the slider to the right, to move the menu up and down so you can see all the applications.