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Google Apps and Chromebooks Program – A Parent’s Guide

What is a Chromebook?

A Chromebook is a very low cost Internet-dependent laptop that starts up super fast and is impervious to viruses. They’re very lightweight and powered by Google’s Chrome operating system and the only app natively stored that runs on the device is its browser. Everything else is composed of Web apps like Google Docs a part of Google Apps collection along with thousands of others apps that run while you’re connected to a network. Another unique feature to Chromebooks is that everything is saved on the Web and not on the device so it can be accessed from any computer.

Using Google Accounts on Home Computers

Students are assigned Google accounts by the district. This is not the same as a Gmail account, as the students don't currently have email access. When they want to log into their accounts from home, they can do so from up-to-date browsers on a Mac or PC that support Google Docs (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer). They do not have to download Google Chrome. If the students go to, or (if their teachers are using Google Classroom) then they will be able to log into their account to get their work. They can also download the Google Drive app on Android and iOS devices with updated operating systems. More information on supported browsers (as of 1/5/2015).


Some sites mimic things like Chrome or Internet Explorer and you end up getting a virus because you download a program from a site that looks like the official Chrome site, but is not. We recommend only downloading Chrome from the official Google Chrome page (as of 1/5/2015). Since Chrome is a Google product, if you go to a google search page and type in Chrome, Google will typically take you to the correct page as the top search result.


When you download chrome, under settings, you can add multiple accounts, with each account getting its own bookmarks, extensions, and apps. As a district, we push a number of helpful apps and extensions out to our students who log into their Chrome accounts. While it is helpful to be on Chrome, it is not required


PLEASE read if you are buying a Chromebook for home use!

If families purchase  Chrome devices for personal or home use, it is imperative to sign into the Chrome device with non-CUSD credentials the first time. The first account to log into a Chrome device becomes the primary on that device, and we feel that most parents/families would want a parent account to be the primary on the device. In order to do this:

  • A parent must first sign in to the Chrome device with their Google account or Google Apps username and password.
  • This adheres the device to the Domain holder i.e. Google.
  • Signing in for the first time using a student's CUSD Google credentials will adhere the device to the CUSD Google domain and its custom settings.
  • You will not be able to access your personal device and the Chromebook will then need to be deprovisioned and wiped.  

Google Apps for Education