Tech Info, Guides, and FAQS
- Technology Overview for Students
- Technology Helpdesk - Submit a Ticket!
- Computer Purchasing Guide [Updated 11/2022]
- How to Clean Your Devices
- How to Sign into Google
- Office 365 Information
- Graduation - Transferring Content From Your School Account
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 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 2028, their username would be
jsmith28. For this initial login, your password is identical to your username.
When you log in, you will be asked to create a new password. Please choose a password that is secure and unique. We recommend you use a password strength testing tool and check how long it would take to crack what you've chosen.
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.
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 2028, their email would look like this
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
Aspen is our Student Information System (SIS) from Follett School Solutions. 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 or by emailing: email@example.com
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.
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 Technology Helpdesk and submit a ticket.
Computer Purchasing Guide [Updated 11/2022]
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)
|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.
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
|Minimum (general use)||
Recommended (graphics/gaming/Video editing)
|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|
Recommended Models (sorted from lowest to highest starting price)
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.
Recommended Models: Like a windows PC it depends on intended task.
|General Computing||Graphics Work||Nonlinear Video Editing||Programming|
|M1/M2 Macbook Air||M1/M2 14" macbook Pro||M1 Max + 512gb storage||M1/M2 14" macbook Pro|
Minimum recommended Specs:
8GB RAM recommended
256gb storage 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.
- Turn off and unplug your chromebook, laptop or device.
- 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.
- Wet a cloth with the cleaning liquid.
- Wring out the cloth until it’s damp, but not wet.
- 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:
- 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.
- Use a lint-free or microfiber cloth, and dampen it with water or the solution.
- Make sure it’s damp, but not wet. You don't want dripping.
- Wipe the screen down gently, ensuring you don’t scratch it.
- 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
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.
Note the slider to the right, to move the menu up and down so you can see all the applications.
Office 365 Information
We have setup Office 365 access for all staff and students.
This account will allow you to use Office 365 online tools not only on regular computers but also on devices without a standard OS like Chromebooks. It will also allow you to download and install it on your personal computers PC or MAC. To gain access go here:
Your username is the same one you use to login to your computers and email with the addition of @newburyport.onmicrosoft.com. Using my username as an example:
The password is the same password you use to access your computers and email.
(if you land on your account page simply Click Office 365 on the top left)
After logging in you will see the landing page:
PLEASE DO NOT INSTALL OFFICE ON SCHOOL COMPUTERS
We are providing this access to give you as many tools as possible. We are NOT looking to replace Google Workspace.
Graduation - Transferring Content From Your School Account
Student accounts are disabled at the end of December after you graduate. You will lose access to your email and any files or content you have in your Newburyport Public Schools Google Account.
Google does allow students to copy content, including emails, from a school account to a personal one. This service is called Google Takeout: https://takeout.google.com/transfer
We recommend that all seniors use Google Takeout shortly after graduation to make sure they keep any files or information they need. Information on this process, and how to proceed, can be found on the following Google support page: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6386856
We do keep accounts intact past December (at least one semester, if not more), so you can request a temporary account reactivation if you forgot to transfer your files before your account was disabled. To request this, please submit a ticket by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org