Purdy School District signs deal with Apple

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3rd-graders and up to receive iPads in September

The Purdy School District has made a major commitment to technology and signed a $359,800, three-year deal with Apple Computers.

The decision will bring new devices to Purdy for the opening of classes in August.

School board members liked the groundwork laid by Superintendent Dr. Steven Chancellor and chose to take immediate action at the June meeting.

Under the deal, the district will receive 580 iPads for all students from third grade through high school. The older students will receive 280 iPad Air models, the newest design with 32 gigabytes for more memory. The younger students will receive the 300 remaining iPads with 16 gigs of memory, since they will have less need for storing data. The purchase comes with 300 keyboards.

"This is not a project or an initiative," said Superintendent Dr. Steven Chancellor. "This is just how we're going to be doing business from this day forward.

"The board said we need to do this for our kids. They're excited about it. Everyone knew we were building up to something like this."

Chancellor, school board members Randy Henderson and Ronnie Veith, along with Instruction and Curriculum Coach Mindi Gates, went to Apple headquarters in California in January in advance of the undertaking.

"We tried to put a lot of thought in it so we would be one of the successful schools," Chancellor said. "That's why we did the program and curriculum changes. We're trying to make all right decision so when students come to class they're not going to be distressed."

The contract comes with supporting devices and technical advice. Apple has begun coordinating installation of the units with the district's technical support service, K12ITC. School staff will have to unbox the devices as they arrive.

Chancellor will meet with a team of Apple representatives in Purdy for an iPad management workshop on July 14. Faculty members will receive their own iPads on Aug. 4, prior to the first day of school on Aug. 12. The first staff in-service on the devices will begin on Aug. 8. A parent meeting to explain how the new devices will affect learning and how to use them will be held on Sept. 23. Students should receive their iPads at the end of September.

"I had done a lot of meetings with the Apple people so we can reduce the variables by partnering with them," Chancellor said. "They've done this many times and know what has to be done to be successful."

Board members drew from their building fund to pay for the deal entirely from savings. Once a year, the district can set aside 7 percent of its general fund resource improvements. In June, the board approved transferring $310,000, the maximum amount, into that reserve fund.

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