School board votes to go 1:1 iPads for K-8

Laptops for high school undecided for now

After lengthy debate at the regular meeting on Tuesday night, CCS school board members voted to approve purchasing new iPads with the intent to go to a 1:1 ratio for K-8.
The vote was 7-1, with board member Willy O’Neil voting against.
In order to go 1:1 for K-8, the school will purchase new iPads for grades 2-8.
“The iPads we do have will be used for kindergarten and first grade,” Supt. Randy Klooz said. “We have some iPads that are outdated and can’t be updated anymore.”
For high school, it was the administrators’ recommendation that the school move to MacBook Airs for all high school students, but many members felt that would be asking too much of taxpayers.
“I just can’t see that the benefits outweigh the cost of going with Airs for 9-12 when it doesn’t seem like we’re really getting much value out of the Chromebooks we currently have,” board secretary Sheila Stromberger said.
Based on last year’s numbers, the cost would be approximately twice as much to move to the Airs.
Discussion was back and forth about the benefits and downfalls of Mac vs. PC, a debate vice president Willy O’Neil mentioned has been the argument since they started.
“If today the Chromebooks are kind of a sticking point because of wasting tax dollars, would a year make a difference or are we going to be in the same boat a year from now?” O’Neil asked.
Board member Karl Meeske was concerned about extending financial agreements for computers. “If we aren’t buying new computers this year, we have money budgeted for technology we can use for other things,” he said.
“I feel it is important to support the administration’s decision,” Stromberger said.
“I appreciate where they’re coming from and I do want to support what their recommendation is,” she added, “but I also want to look out for what’s the best interest of the taxpayers of this district are. I can’t in good faith go to the taxpayers and say this is what we needed. I don’t know if I will be in a year from now.”
Stromberger felt the current Chromebooks are “more than adequate” for the majority of the 9-12 students.
“If there are classes that require the things that the Air can do,” she said, using Renae Bottom’s journalism and photo classes as an example, “then we need to get (the Airs) and have those in that classroom.”

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