The on Monday unanimously approved a plan to lease iPads for all licensed staff and selected non-licensed staff starting with the 2012-13 school year.
The district will lease the iPads for three years at about $41,000 per year. There will be additional costs for purchasing software and for protective covers for the iPads.
It's the first big step for the Transformational Technology project, the brainchild of Superintendent Chris Richard and Matt Hillmann, district director of human resources and technology.
They're considering putting an iPad—a cross between a smart phone and a laptop—in the hands of each of Northfield’s 3,900 students and most of its staff.
The tablet would replace most items in a traditional classroom—textbooks, notebooks, quizzes, DVDs, handouts and just about anything else paper-based.
“This is just the next step in what I think is the natural evolution in the way we provide content to students,” Hillmann told Patch in April.
The hope is to roll out iPads for some, if not all, students for the 2013-14 school year.
"The School Board approved Phase I of our transformational technology project last evening," Hillmann wrote on his transformational technology project blog. "We now begin the process of ordering the equipment for staff and preparing training sessions for them. We'll also be setting up six task forces to get into even more detailed planning for our potential Phase II student implementation."
FOR MORE ON THE TRANSFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGY PROJECT