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Article posted: 7/12/2013 5:30 AM

Dist. 211 approves three-year lease for iPads

By Jessica Cilella

A shipment of 7,000 new, fourth-generation iPads is expected to be delivered to Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211's five schools by August.

The board of education approved Thursday a three-year lease agreement with Apple for the devices. The decision comes after the board agreed in February to expand the district's one-to-one program, which put an iPad 2 in the hands of 1,500 students last fall.

District 211 teachers who were part of the pilot program said the devices helped increase student performance and learning.

The lease amount will be about $1.13 million each year for the next three years, and the district will pay a total of about $30,000 in interest. At the end of the three-year term, the district will own the iPads.

The 2013-14 school year's leasing cost will be covered through the district's projected $2.75 million technology budget.

Also for the upcoming school year, the district will use a self-insurance model to replace the third-party insurance carrier parents and families had to obtain insurance from last school year. The premium will cost $25, and if the device has to be replaced there will be an additional $75 fee.

"I think from a family perspective, (the fee rates are) extremely reasonable for an opportunity like this," board Vice President Mucia Burke said.

Leasing, district officials have said, allows for more students to have access to devices immediately and provides a predictable expenditure amount.

Once the expansion is implemented, about 50 percent of District 211's students will be equipped with an iPad. There are hopes to have the program expanded to include every student in the district by the 2014-15 school year.

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