USD 489 elementary students to receive new iPads


Tiger Media Network

USD 489 Board of Education approved a $604,695 bid for 1630 iPads and cases for K-5 students and staff. Devices are updated on a rotating schedule. 

“It doesn’t seem like it’s been four years, but we’re back to elementary iPads,” Technology Director Scott Summers said. 

Most devices are replaced every four years, with some devices, like Apple TVs and computer lab devices, being replaced every six years. 

Device Refresh Schedule

Unlike the middle and high school devices, these iPads are not sent home with students but rather are solely for classroom use. The new iPads will be Generation 9 iPads, which are the same as the iPads currently used at the middle school. 

Summers said the IT team looked into Generation 10 iPads, but those iPads do not have headphone jacks, meaning the district would need to get adapters or headphones with a USB-C port. 

“We thought we can kick that can down the road another four years so that we don’t have our K-5 teachers managing adapters,” Summers said. 

Normally, device refreshes are presented to the board later in the spring, but Summers said Apple is running a deal that expires at the end of the month and wants to capitalize on those savings. In total, the district will save over $30,000 by ordering early. 

After devices are replaced, the old devices are sent to a recycling company in Oklahoma City. Typically, the district receives about $50 in reimbursement per device, depending on the condition.

The devices have a one-year warranty. The iPads at the middle school have additional protections with AppleCare, however, that was funded primarily through a federal grant. Summers said without the grant, AppleCare is about $100 per iPad and the district does not typically spend anywhere close to $100 in repairs per iPad. 

“The bang for a buck, it just doesn’t work for us,” Summers said. “We come out money ahead just by repairing.” 

This year, Summers said he estimates only about 10 elementary iPads have broken.

The board unanimously approved the bid.

Other action items included: 

  • Unanimous approval of the graduation requirement changes discussed at the previous board meeting 
  • Unanimous approval of bid from Sunflower Restaurant Supply for $26,750 for an outside walk-in freezer at Hays Middle School
  • Unanimous approval of a bid from Midwest Energy for $214,120 to provide permanent power and electric meters to the new Hays High site.

The next board meeting will be 6:30 p.m. on April 8 at the Rockwell Administration Center.