In this video, Superintendent Chris Richardson talks about the upcoming public meetings to discuss leasing and distributing tablet computers to the district's students.
The proposal includes a 1:1 tablet computer initiative for students in sixth through 12th grade and a pod-based approach at elementary schools using a ratio of one device for every three and a half students.
Faculty and staff have been using tablets—iPads—this school year. The school board last year approved a plan to integrate tablets into the district. District officials were hopeful to eventually get a tablet in the hands of every student.
The meetings, both to be held inthe Northfield High School auditorium, are scheduled for:
- Saturday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to noon
- Monday, Feb. 4, from 7-9 p.m.
The earliest the board could vote on the proposal is at their Feb. 11 meeting.
The follow information was provided by the district.
Proposal by the Numbers
This proposal requests the Board of Education consider authorizing the lease of 2,700 student devices for a three-year period beginning with the 2013-14 school year. The lease would include:
A 1:1 initiative using the iPad 2 at Northfield Middle School, Northfield High School, and the Northfield Area Learning Center. Each student would be assigned an iPad 2 for school use. The District would encourage students to take the devices home with them. A plan to include three percent more devices than students will allow for a “rapid response” strategy to ensure students have access to a working device if their iPad becomes inoperable. The District would initiate an annual $25 per student insurance fee ($20 for those eligible for reduced lunch, $15 for those eligible for free lunch) with a family cap of $100 per year.
A “pod based” approach of approximately 140-162 iPad Mini devices each at Bridgewater, Greenvale Park, and Sibley Elementary schools. This approach would provide four-to-six devices per classroom based on one device per 3.5 students. No student insurance fee would exist at the elementary schools since devices will not be brought home.
Budget for $12 of apps per device at the District level. These apps would be focused on content creation and not be subject-specific. Subject-specific apps may be purchased by classroom teachers through their own classroom budgets, by application through the District curriculum budget, or by application through their building level budget.
Funding for an average of three digital textbooks for secondary students at $14.99 per book per year. Digital textbooks will not immediately replace traditional, paper-based textbooks. This allocation will allow us to address the move to digital resources in an orderly and planned fashion.
Funding for a mobile device management system ($4 per student per year) that will allow the District to monitor and manage the iPads from a central location. It will also allow the District to manage the privileges students have to use the device. This could be used to allow certain groups (such as High School students) to have a greater amount of flexibility to manage their own device and install their own apps. A student who misuses the device could be restricted to school-based apps for a period of time. It would also allow the District to apply our web content filtering standards anywhere the student has the device, not just within the school walls.
Funding for a learning management system ($8 per student) that will allow teachers to post digital content, facilitate online discussions, assess their students using a variety of tools, as well as collect homework and other documents using an online submission folder.
Funding for a $60 case per device. The District has not selected a targeted case yet as new options are routinely coming forward. We believe that $60 will allow for the purchase of a sturdy case that will protect the devices.
Our total anticipated annual cost, combining the lease and other costs, is projected to be no more than $550,000 per year for the next three years, inclusive of an approximate 8% contingency. The case and the iPad are included as part of the lease. Other costs, such as the cost of apps, textbooks, the mobile device management system, and the content management system are not part of the lease but will be budgeted for on an annual basis as part of the $550,000 budgeted amount.
The District is proposing a self-insurance plan that would charge an annual fee for students who take the device home with them. The proposed fee would be $25 ($20 for students eligible for reduced lunch, $15 for students eligible for free lunch.) We propose a cap of $100 per family. By current numbers in Grades 5-11 (next year’s 6th-12th graders), this fee would generate $49,785. This could completely replace 199 devices each year @ $249 each, or roughly 9% of the annual inventory.
At the elementary level, we propose to budget for repairs in a similar manner. However, there will not be a student fee since the iPads would remain in the classroom. The projected repair budget at the elementary level will be $11,525 per year. This would allow for the replacement of 52 devices, or roughly 11% of the inventory.
In setting up an agreement with Apple, broken devices would be returned via mail and a replacement device shipped to the District.