By Julie Ann Madden
At a special meeting, June 3, the Akron-Westfield School Board unanimously approved by a vote of 4-0 to lease computer equipment from Apple Inc.
Board Member Nick Schoenfelder made the motion, which included the master lease agreement, amendments and exhibits, and Board Member Jodi Thompson seconded it. Board Members Deb Jordt, Josh Martinsen and Phil Parks were absent.
The motion authorized the district to spend $282,030.51 for Macbook Air laptop computers and iPads for the next three years.
This lease price included a discount of $15,671.49 off the total educational list price of $297,702.
A-W Business Manager Jodi Ryan noted the price will be split over three years, which means it’ll cost $95,800 annually. The district’s voter-approved Physical Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL) revenues will be used to pay for this technology.
She also told the board an attorney had reviewed the lease paperwork and wrote the resolution for this agreement.
The computers and iPads will be delivered in mid-July, said Shared Superintendent Randy Collins.
At the board’s May 15 meeting, Grades Preschool-Grade 6 Principal Cathy Bobier had informed the board A-W faculty had received their laptops and iPads or mini-iPads the first week in May. This will allow them to use them this summer.
On Aug. 16, faculty members will have an in-service training with Apple Inc. trainers. Then after using the devices in the classroom the first semester, the faculty will have another day of training with Apple personnel.
Starting this fall, Grades Dk-3 will have 10 mini-iPads for each classroom, explained Bobier. Grades 4-5 will have Mac Notebook laptop computers that were purchased earlier this year; each Grades 6-8 student will have an iPad and each high school student will have a Macbook Air laptop computer.
After making the annual payment of $95,800, the district will still have about $80,000 to spend annually on technology, said Bobier.
“We’re getting a lot of bang for our buck,” said Collins. “I’m excited.”
Three of staff attended 1:1 training to impact classroom instruction, and Theresa Ferguson, who provides tech support for faculty, attended professional development training for Technology & Early Childhood Education.
“It’s exciting,” said Schoenfelder. “It’s a huge step for our staff and students.”
“We’re learning as we go,” said Bobier. “Not everything is perfect.”
“That’s what this technology is always developing and changing,” said Schoenfelder. “You may think you have gotten it today but it’s not going to stay that way.
“It’s a very strong point of our school district now,” said Schoenfelder, “and I’m excited to see what everybody can do with it come the fall.”