All sixth, seventh and eighth graders in Derby Public Schools will soon have iPads to use for class.
The school board recently approved more than $1.2 million for the purchase of iPads and computers for students’ academic use.
“We are talking about a significant purchase for the district,” said Drew Lane, district technology director, at the school board meeting on Aug. 27. “This is pretty new for our district. It’s pretty new for our teaching staff. It’s pretty new for our students.”
The purchase is part of the district’s capital outlay plan, which includes a technology upgrade.
The plan includes an iPad for each student in those grades, as well as support software and additional computers and laptops for lab areas for completing the Kansas Computerized Assessment and other online curriculum-based programs and classes.
Within the next five months the district will purchase 1,590 iPads and 356 portable computers from Apple for $1,265,972.
Derby Middle School will get 980 iPads, and 560 will go to the Sixth Grade Center and The Dell. The district will also purchase an additional 50 iPads as spares. The district will also look into purchasing protective covers for the devices before they are handed out to students.
Lane expects the process to take the rest of the semester. The total purchase will be split into two increments. The district will train the teachers first, and then gradually roll out the devices by grade level.
“We hope to have everything here deployed by the time the end of February 2013 rolls around,” Lane said.
The district will also look into a process for checking the iPads in and out during the school year, and if certain grade levels will be allowed to take the devices home. That will be determined at a later date by school administrators, he said.
“At first, they will not be taking them home. We’d like to take this one step at a time and test those waters,” Lane said. “Eventually our students will be taking them home at some point. We’ll have to take a look at what happens if one of these goes home and never reappears. Those types of things will need to be addressed.”
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