Public Meetings Scheduled to Discuss iPads for Students

In this video, Superintendent Chris Richardson talks about the upcoming public meetings to discuss leasing and distributing tablet computers to the district's students.

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.

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Griff Wigley February 01, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Thanks for the article & video, Corey. The Transformational Technology project has a new blogsite. It's focused on getting public feedback & input on the proposal via a variety of online tools. Join us there! http://nfld.k12.mn.us/ipad/ Recent recent posts: * How is the online engagement part of the Transformational Technology project going to work? * Want to be kept updated on all things related to this Transformational Technology project? * Welcome to the new and improved Transformational Technology project web site * Help us design the Transformational Technology straw poll * Hillmann presents Transformation Technology proposal to the Northfield School Board
Tami Jane Spencer February 03, 2013 at 09:22 PM
I think the school has organized their plans well, as they have determined the variables involved in the said subject. Since they have set a budget for digital textbooks, I think they must first check online stuff since there are available online materials that are of high-quality but can be gotten for FREE. I'm actually referring to the e-books from bookboon. The site is a great place to find various e-books and they can be downloaded legally. Having to allow this one will let them save on some educational materials.
Griff Wigley February 05, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Lots happening for online citizen engagement on the Transformational Technology proposal this week, including tonight's 8pm webinar, tomorrow's noon live chat, and the ongoing blog discussion thread. Visit the blog at http://nfld.k12.mn.us/ipad/ and see these blog posts: * Live chat with Matt Hillman, Wed. Feb 6, noon * Opportunities for citizen feedback on the Transformational Technology proposal (week of Feb. 3) * Live webinar with Matt Hillman & Chris Richardson scheduled for Tuesday, Feb 5, 8 PM * Photos, Powerpoint, video: Matt Hillman’s community presentations on the Transformational Technology proposal * Take the Transformational Technology straw poll * Comment, ask questions, and discuss the Transformational Technology proposal here
Griff Wigley February 08, 2013 at 05:22 AM
The Transformational Technology proposal online straw poll and the blog discussion thread close around midnight on Saturday, Feb. 9. So if you’ve not taken the straw poll, now’s the time. And if you’ve got comments or want to discuss any aspect of the proposal, chime in with a blog comment ASAP! Visit the blog at http://nfld.k12.mn.us/ipad/ and see the recent blog posts below: * Transformational Technology proposal straw poll and blog discussion closing Feb. 9 * Video archive of Transformational Technology webinar and transcript of live chat are now available * Photos: Feb. 4 community meeting at the High School


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