Final touches are being put into place for the lease of 440 Apple iPad tablet computers for Archbold High School students.
The Archbold Area School Board approved the plan at its Monday, March 19 meeting. Under the plan, the school district will lease the tablets for three years.
It was estimated the an- nual lease payment would be $79,138.43; the total cost of the lease, over three years, was estimated at $237,415.29.
At the end of the lease, the school district can purchase the iPads for $1 each.
Royal Short, principal of Archbold High School, said four dates have been set for parents of AHS students.
All meetings will be held at the AHS auditorium:
•Thursday, Aug. 16, 11:30 am.
•Saturday, Aug. 18, 10 am.
•Monday, Aug. 20, 7 pm.
•Tuesday, Aug. 21, 7 pm.
School starts Wednesday, Aug. 22.
While AHS students may be anxious to get their hands on the iPads on the first day, they won’t receive them for 14 to 18 days.
Once delivered, it will take about a week for Brent Gnagey, school district technology coordinator, to load software and prepare the iPads.
Students also will need to sign loan agreements, acceptable use policies, and other documents before they receive the iPads.
“Even if we had gotten them a month ago, I’m not sure we would have turned them out the first day,” Short said.
Short said the school district will lease the tablets from the Northern Buckeye Educational Council, or NBEC.
He said while school district officials chose Apple iPads, some of the related products– cases, cords, software, etc.– came from other suppliers.
Some of the non-Apple products were better and/or less expensive.
As a result, the district couldn’t use Apple Finance for the lease.
Therefore, NBEC, an arm of the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center, was chosen.
Short said once the lease agreement is finished, a special meeting of the Archbold Area School Board will be called to approve it.
In the time period between the start of school and when students receive their iPads, they will work from conventional textbooks.
Short said high school offi cials planned to use regular textbooks as a resource throughout the school year, so there will be no wasted time between the start of school and when the iPads are issued.
One question on everyone’s mind: what happens if a student drops or loses an iPad?
Short said the district has set up a “technology protection fund.”
If students want to take their iPads home at the end of the day, they are required to pay a $50 nonrefundable deposit.
That, Short said, means that students will need to put some money toward their device.
The money collected in the fund will be used to “self-insure” the iPads against damage or loss.–David Pugh