2017-02-17 / Local

Troy SD moves to make iPads available to students

By Russell Pekelnicky

Staff Writer

Troy Area School District’s board of education voted Tuesday night to approve the purchase of several iPad tablets for students.

Traci Gilliland, business administrator for the district, said they will be providing one-to-one iPads for students grades 5 through 12, plus an additional iPad cart for students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

“Students in grades 7 through 12 will be allowed to take the iPads home after school,” she said, while fifth and sixth grade students would have to leave their tablets at school.

She said the cost of the iPads, roughly 900 units, would be approximately $87,000, plus an additional $33,000 for insurance and cases for the iPads for students only in grades 9 through 12.

She said the total estimated cost for the 2017-2018 budget is $120,000.

“After the first year, the annual cost going forward is estimated at $87,000 per year,” she said.

Originally, she explained, the idea was to purchase iPads for every student when they entered seventh grade, which would have cost an estimated $60,000 per year.

She said the plan was changed to lease the iPads over a 4-year period but provide them to all students who are in 5th through 12th grade and double the access available to students in grades K through 4, which increased the cost of $60,000 in the 2017-2018 school year and $27,000 each year after, which will allow one iPad per student in eight grades and increased access for five grades.

Gilliland said students currently in seventh and eight grade will be allowed to keep their iPads after they graduate, but students beyond this group will not be allowed to take the devices with them.

The district plans to pay for this, Gilliland said, by leasing the iPads in the spring of 2017 or the 2016-2017 budget in order have the time necessary to prepare the iPads for distribution in August 2017. Because of this, some hardware replacements slated originally to be purchased in the spring of 2017 will be delayed until August-September 2017 or the 2017-2018 budget.

Russell Pekelnicky can be reached at (570) 265-2151, ext. 1627, or email rpekelnicky@thedailyreview.com.

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