Parkview School Board OKs borrowing $391,000 for iPad plan
ORFORDVILLE The Parkview School Board on Monday approved a plan to borrow $391,000 to put iPads in the hands of all seventh- through 12th-graders and to create one mobile elementary lab in the next three years.
The 1:1 computer initiative would begin with teacher training this spring. Seventh- and eighth-grade students then would receive iPads in fall.
The board voted 6-0 with board member Elizabeth Brockwell absent.
Board President Clay Hammes said the move was a major investment and that it would be foolish to think the district won’t have issues. But, he said, the board has talked with other districts that have gone the same route, meaning Parkview will have data to tap into to help avoid some of the pitfalls.
“We’re talking about doing this with a deficit, and that’s a hard thing to do and to try and justify,” he said. “However, investing in the future and investing in a quality education, I think this kind of speaks for itself. It’s an opportunity.”
Hammes said he wanted the district to be in front of the trend rather than waiting for everyone else and then playing catch up.
Parent Randy Tison, who has two students in the district, spoke in support of the plan. He said he’s traveled to five of the seven top-ranked countries for education.
“We are woefully behind in technology,” he said, noting that other countries use webcasting in the classroom so students who miss days still can attend and ask questions.
“We need technology like this to assist our students,” he said.
“I couldn’t agree more,” Superintendent Steve Lutzke said.
The board also approved borrowing for the project, which it hopes to pay for with a State Trust Fund Loan.
The board can borrow without going to referendum by posting a notice to the community about its intentions within 10 days. If residents want a referendum on the issue, they must submit a petition containing at least 460 resident signatures within 30 days.
Administrators have identified $135,000 annually that would be used to pay off the loan, including cuts to printed textbook and desktop computer purchases.
Each iPad is $379 and each case is $50 under the district’s plan.
Here’s the plan:
-- Phase 1: The district would buy iPads and cases this spring for teachers, and they would begin learning how to best use them.
-- Phase 2: This phase involves professional development for teachers, including voluntary professional development at least twice monthly after school. Peers would present training and employees would select topics, according to a memo from Lutzke to the technology committee.
This summer, two full days of mandatory paid training would be provided to all teachers. Training would continue during the 2013-14 school year, and teachers would be required to attend a set number of unpaid trainings after school, according to the memo.
-- Phase 3: In September, iPads with cases would be given to seventh- and eighth-graders, and a mobile iPad lab of 30 devices would arrive at Parkview Elementary School.
Each seventh- and eighth-grader would receive an iPad after the student and a parent attend a meeting, sign an acceptable-use agreement and pay a $25 user fee. Students that qualify for free or reduced lunch would not be required to pay the fee.
-- Phase 4: In January 2014, the district would buy 150 iPads and cases, and each ninth- and 10th-grader would receive one.
-- Phase 5: In September 2014, the district would buy 75 iPads and cases, and each incoming seventh-grader would receive one.
-- Phase 6: In September 2015, the district would buy 75 iPads and cases, and each incoming seventh-grader would receive one.