Here is a letter sent to parents before the start of school so they show up with their email and Apple ID ready to go:
Setting Up an eMail Account
Before your student even walks into school on the first day, they should have an email address and an AppleID already set up. This will make it much easier for them to set up their school-issued iPad and will reduce the amount of class time spent on the setup process.
Setting Up a Free Email Address
Although parents are welcome to set up an email account for their child with any provider they want, the school highly recommends using Gmail (http://www.gmail.com/) for your free account. Gmail has basically unlimited space, plenty of great features, and can be synced to an iPad with almost no hassle. Please follow these steps to set up your free account for your student:
Go to http://www.gmail.com and click “CREATE AN ACCOUNT” in the top right corner.
Fill in all the information in the form. Some reminders:
Your child very well might use this email address for years to come, so MAKE IT FORMAL (Common formats for the example name James Smith would be: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.). Try to avoid numbers, nicknames, your city or state of residence, or random combinations of words (LightningCoolSC2001@gmail.com is really a bad idea)
Make sure the password contains at least ONE capital letter, ONE number, and is at least 8 characters long or longer. (Ex: “Michael8435551916” Capitalized middle name of student plus a parent or home phone number the student has memorized)
Make the password something your child can remember (middle name + house number, initials + parent’s cell phone number, etc.). You will want to use the same password for the AppleID when we create it. Also, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE PASSWORD so you can keep an eye on your child’s email. DO NOT LET THEM CHANGE THE PASSWORD AND KEEP THEIR COMMUNICATIONS PRIVATE FROM YOU UNTIL THEY TURN 18!!!
PUT THE PARENT’S BIRTH DATE INTO THE FORM as Gmail will block you from creating an account if you use the birthday of a child under the age of 13.
Once you have completed the process, you are good to go. Make sure both you and your child know the email address and have the password memorized.
As a parent, you might want to setup some additional security features: for example, add the email address to your smart phone’s email app so your child’s emails get forwarded to you, turn off any of Google’s tracking or social networking features (under settings), etc. This helps keep an eye on your child and ensure they aren’t communicating with anyone they shouldn’t be.
Setting Up an AppleID
You will need an email address for this step, so it is important you create that first. Once your child has an email account (whether Gmail or other), follow these steps:
Go to https://appleid.apple.com/ and click “Create an AppleID”
Use THE EMAIL ACCOUNT YOU JUST SET UP as the “AppleID”
Use THE SAME PASSWORD FROM THAT EMAIL ACCOUNT for the AppleID password (so your child need only memorize one thing)
Once again, USE THE PARENT’S BIRTHDATE FOR THE APPLEID as Apple will not only block a child under 13 from creating an account, they will ban the email address forever. If you accidentally use your child’s birthday, Apple will tell you NO and then you will have to create ANOTHER new email address. So don’t forget to USE THE PARENT’S BIRTHDATE.
Apple will send a confirmation email to the email address you just created/used for the signup process. Check your email to confirm the address and finish creating your AppleID.
Please note that you should set up the AppleID through a web browser so that you are not obligated to connect a credit card to the account. If you try to set up the AppleID through an iPad or iPhone App Store, it will potentially require you to input a credit card.
Remember, providing this AppleID with credit card access is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. It is NOT required for students to buy any apps or spend any money on the app store. If you link a credit card to the account and your child spends money without permission, it is NOT THE SCHOOL’S RESPONSIBILITY.
If you want to give your child some money to spend without giving them unlimited credit card access, buying iTunes gift cards allows them to input a code that will give them $5, $10, $20 credit, or whatever other value.
On The First Day of School
Once your child is given their iPad by the school, the teachers will help them do the following:
Connect their iPad to their AppleID (which allows the App store to work, iCloud document backup, Find My iPad feature, and more)
Set up the iPad’s settings correctly (WiFi, security, notifications, location services, etc.)
Link their email address with the Mail app on the iPad so they can easily check their email.
Some parents want to use their own AppleID on the child’s iPad. That is fine, but they will still need the AppleID password to download apps (even if they are free apps). They will also have access to your documents, iMessages, and credit card (if linked to the App Store). This is why the school HIGHLY RECOMMENDS that students have their OWN AppleID and do not use a parent’s.
Some parents want to use ONE AppleID for ALL their children (if they have multiple kids with iPads in the school). This is also okay, but be aware that all the children will be sharing a single pool of iCloud storage space (which might fill up quickly) and they will all have access to each other’s documents and work. This can lead to siblings deleting each other’s work. Once again, the school HIGHLY RECOMMENDS that each student have their OWN AppleID.
The school has its own AppleID account which we sometimes use to download paid apps onto the students’ iPads. When we do this, the student is not charged but still receives access to the app. However, when they try to update the app, it will ask for the school’s AppleID password. Students do not know this password and will need to give a teacher their iPad so the teacher can input the password for them.