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iPad Cases and Keyboards

Case Options

St. Mary’s Academy does not provide a case with student iPads. We would like students to be able to tailor their school iPad with their own personality – the case provides the best platform for this individualization.

Over 700 look-alike student iPads will make identification just slightly more difficult. All students, however, must have a case. An iPad will not be distributed to student until they have a case. In selecting a case, the three most important elements are:

1 - Impact protection for the corners, sides and back (rubber or plastic is best).
Fabric/Leather cases do not last or protect well at all so do not get them!
2 - Protection for the glass screen when not in use.
3 - The ability to prop the iPad up at an angle for better typing ergonomics.

There are many protective cases on the market and you are welcome to choose them as long as they satisfy at least #1 and #2 above at minimum. A good case will help protect the iPad all 4 years. You may email Tech Help @ SMA if you are not sure of a case you are looking at will be adequate. Whether a student chooses to use the on-screen keyboard or an external keyboard (optional) is a matter of preference. We STRONGLY recommend the cases and keyboards below.

Protective cases

iPad Generation 4 (A1458)

iPad Air 1 (A1474)
GumDrop Ruggedized (Gen 4)

GumDrop Ruggedized (Air)
Otterbox Defender (Gen 4)

Otterbox Defender (Air)
Speck FitFolio (Gen 4)

Speck StyleFolio (Air)
STM Dux Rugged (Gen 4)
STM Dux Rugged (Air)


iPad Air 2 (A1566)

iPad Generation 5 (A1822)

GumDrop Ruggedized (Air 2)

GumDrop (Gen 5) - excluding FoamTech model

Otterbox Defender (Air 2)

Otterbox (Gen 5)

Speck StyleFolio (Air 2)

Speck Balance Folio (Gen 5)

STM Dux Rugged (Air 2)

STM Dux Rugged (Gen 5)


Keyboards (work with all iPads)
* Secure Wired Keyboard for iPad® with Lightning™ Connector
* Wired Tablet Keyboard w/ Stand for iPad (Lightning Connector)
* Apple Wireless Keyboard MC184LL/B

Protective cases with keyboard built into case.
* We do not recommend any cases with keyboards built in at this time.

We currently have four different models of iPads at SMA; iPad 4 with Retina Display (Generation 4), iPad Air (Generation 1), iPad Air 2 and iPad (Generation 5). All of these are full size Wi-Fi iPads with lightning connectors and at least 32GB of storage. If you are not sure which model you have or will be assigned contact Tech Help @ SMA and we will let you know. Note: The students for the incoming class of 2021 will all be receiving model iPad Generation 5. Transfer students will receive a different model.

Stylus Options (Optional)

A stylus is helpful in a variety of classes for drawing diagrams and hand-writing notes. Below are some recommendations.

If you have any questions about this page please contact Tech Help @ SMA (tech.help@stmaryspdx.org).