BY KARISSA MILLER

Iredell-Statesville Schools Interim Director of Digital Teaching and Learning Jackie Parker shared an update with the school board Monday night regarding the device refresh for the district.

On May the task force heard presentations from Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo, Parker said. All presentations, except the HP presentation, were in person.

The task force will now take into consideration the following data points:
♦ Teacher surveys;
♦ Cost and durability of individual devices;
♦ Cost of switching platforms from Mac to Windows;
♦ Cost and time teachers and schools have invested in running MacBooks and iPads, learning the platforms and features, teaching their students the platform, and creating lessons utilizing the Mac platform;
♦ Repair costs and accidental damage programs for the different devices;
♦ Residual value of devices when it is time to refresh; and
♦ Professional learning available for staff.

The board is jumpstarting the process of purchasing the next wave of devices that are slated for the 2022-2023 school year. All four computer companies will be considered for the four-year lease agreement cycle.

At their last board meeting, the school board members recognized that electronics have become necessities for students. 

They have started to question whether students need Apple Macbook Airs or iPads to learn effectively. Board member Doug Knight also expressed concern that some programs that are essential for the workplace aren’t found on Apple products.

On Monday evening, board member Ken Poindexter mentioned that he’d like for the task force to look into the feasibility of rolling out a 1:2 device deployment for K-1 and a 1:1 device initiative for grades 2-5.

Board member Sam Kennington reminded district leaders that he would like to get all the schools on the same four-year lease cycle. Furthermore, he hopes the technology initiative will serve as a tool to help close equity gaps and questions whether it was a good move to send home devices to fully virtual students.

“Kids who came in-person in October full time didn’t have an individual computer. They still had to share. They couldn’t take it home,” he said. “I see a double standard — a fallacy with it. We are providing virtual students in K-5 with their own iPad.”

Kennington said he believes it’s important for students to return to the classroom for learning.

“I think we’ve broken a paradigm, broken a window that’s going to be very hard to close with virtual students. I don’t want to make it easy for students to be a virtual student. I think there’s something in a classroom that can’t be gotten anywhere else,” he added.

Another topic for discussion was the issue of reissuing devices to students who have not paid for a lost or damaged device.

Parker explained that often times another device is issued because it is a necessity for learning. For example, it is the text book. She said that some schools will issue a device and that student is only allowed to be a “day user,” which means that they aren’t allowed to take it home with them.

As a separate matter, Parker asked the board to consider purchasing 4,000 iPads for elementary school students next year. The cost is approximately $1.5 million, which includes Apple Care and a case.

The board will vote on this recommendation at their next meeting on June 14.

According to Parker, last spring when schools were closed at the start of the pandemic, students were in a bind when scrambling to learn remotely.

“We were sending iPads out. Some of those kids never came back in the fall. So we never got those devices back from them,” Parker explained. “We did have to purchase some more devices so our kids that did come face-to-face would have some.”

The district is currently in the process of collecting and counting the devices at each school. They did not do a count last year due to the pandemic so the principals realize why this year’s count is so important, she said.

“Throughout this whole lease,” Parker said, “we’ve had to purchase more devices.”

Iredell-Statesville Schools Interim Director of Digital Teaching and Learning Jackie Parker shared an update with members of the school board Monday night regarding the device refresh for the district.

Parker said that in May the task force heard presentations from Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo. All presentations, except the HP presentation, were in person.

The task force will now take into consideration the following data points:

• Teacher survey data;
• Cost and durability of individual devices;
• Cost of switching platforms from Mac to Windows;
• Cost and time teachers and schools have invested in running MacBooks and iPads, learning the platforms and features, teaching their students the platform, and creating lessons utilizing the Mac platform;
• Repair costs and accidental damage programs for the different devices;
• Residual value of devices when it is time to refresh; and
• Professional learning available for staff.

The board is jumpstarting the process of purchasing the next wave of devices that are slated for the 2022-2023 school year. All four computer companies will be considered for the four-year lease agreement cycle.

At their last board meeting, the school board members recognized that electronics have become necessities for students. 

They have started to question whether students need Apple Macbook Airs or iPads to learn effectively. Board member Doug Knight also expressed concern that some programs that are essential for the workplace aren’t found on Apple products.

On Monday evening, board member Ken Poindexter mentioned that he’d like for the task force to look into the feasibility of rolling out a 1:2 device deployment for K-1 and a 1:1 device initiative for grades 2-5.

Board member Sam Kennington reminded district leaders that he would like to get all the schools on the same four-year lease cycle. Furthermore, he hopes the technology initiative will serve as a tool to help close equity gaps and questions whether it was a good move to send home devices to fully virtual students.

“Kids who came in-person in October full time didn’t have an individual computer. They still had to share. They couldn’t take it home,” he said. “I see a double standard — a fallacy with it. We are providing virtual students in K-5 with their own iPad.”

Kennington feels it’s important for students to return back to the classroom for learning.

“I think we’ve broken a paradigm, broken a window that’s going to be very hard to close with virtual students. I don’t want to make it easy for students to be a virtual student. I think there’s something in a classroom that can’t be gotten anywhere else,” he added.

Another topic that came up about the devices is the issue of reissuing a device to a student that hasn’t paid for a lost or damaged device.

Parker explained that often times another device is issued because it is a necessity for learning. For example, it is the text book. She said that some schools will issue a device and that student is only allowed to be a “day user,” which means that they aren’t allowed to take it home with them.

As a separate matter, Parker asked the board to consider purchasing 4,000 iPads for elementary school students next year. The cost is approximately $1.5 million, which includes Apple Care and a case.

The board will vote on this recommendation at their next meeting on June 14.

According to Parker, last spring when schools were closed at the start of the pandemic, students were in a bind when scrambling to learn remotely.

“We were sending iPads out. Some of those kids never came back in the fall. So we never got those devices back from them,” Parker explained. “We did have to purchase some more devices so our kids that did come face-to-face would have some.”

The district is currently in the process of collecting and counting the devices at each school. They did not do a count last year due to the pandemic so the principals realize why this year’s count is so important, she said.

“Throughout this whole lease,” Parker said, “we’ve had to purchase more devices.”

1 thought on “I-SS board considering swapping out Apple devices for PC brands during next refresh

  1. I would like to know why the insurance coverage on the computers expired a good two months before the school year was done. This was ridiculous, I paid for the school year 2020-2021 school year coverage (9 months coverage not 7 months). One would think coverage would be from the issue date to the last day of school it was needed.

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