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Schools Closer To Individual iPads

SchooliPad_062014AThe Great Neck School District is moving closer to its goal of providing a one-to-one iPad initiative at the district’s secondary schools.
At a recent Board of Education meeting, the school board voted to approve and sign an iPad lease agreement with the Apple Financial Services Master Lease Purchase Agreement. Signing this lease will enable the school district to lease 940 specific iPad tablets beginning with the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.
Those 940 iPads to be leased for September will be used by secondary level students at Great Neck North and South middle schools and high schools.
For the past three years, the school district has moved incrementally in the direction of one-to-one iPad distribution for secondary level students.
The district has implemented various iPad pilot programs, including department class sets, grade level team sets and high school alternative program one-to-one roll-out programs.
In addition, the district has focused on growing its human and technical readiness for such a large-scale initiative by installing wireless networks in all of the schools, restructuring technical support staff, implementing mobile management solutions for a wireless app deployment and offering professional development opportunities during the school day and beyond.
The effect of these initiatives has been positive and constructive.
After studying the budget impact, trustees concluded that the most cost-effective way to begin to expand such programming was to switch from a multi-year procurement model to an overlapping lease model for devices that will be assigned to individual students on a daily basis.
By doing this, the school district can obtain the devices it wants in the quantities needed without an upfront cost.
It also allows the district to earn interest on money in the bank (as opposed to paying the full cost up front). The arrangement can end at the end of the lease period, with no extra cost to the district.
In order to go through with this school board-approved iPad lease, in accordance with the New York State Education Department, the Board of Education had to first gain written approval from the SED commissioner.
The lease is based on discounted pricing obtained through a state contract.
The lease will be funded through the school district’s technology budget and will begin July 14, 2014 and will be paid off by July 15, 2017.