More school-owned iPads for Sprague students

  • District 103 Superintendent Scott Warren demonstrates one of the iPads that first-graders at Sprague School will use this fall.

      District 103 Superintendent Scott Warren demonstrates one of the iPads that first-graders at Sprague School will use this fall. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted3/23/2016 5:05 AM

More Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103 students will be assigned district-owned iPad computers starting this fall, but not as many as originally proposed.

All first-grade students at Sprague School in Lincolnshire will receive iPads, under a plan approved by the District 103 board Tuesday night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The tablets -- models already owned and used by the district -- will be available for classroom use only.

All second-graders initially were to get district-owned iPads this fall, too, but officials scaled back the proposal for the upcoming school year.

Second-graders will use personal iPads in class during the 2016-17 term, but they'll be able to bring computers from home if their parents prefer that option.

That's the current policy for first- and second-graders at Sprague.

District leaders tweaked the plan to accommodate parents of current first-graders who bought iPads for their kids to use this school year and next, Superintendent Scott Warren said.

"We want to make it as smooth a transition for families as we could," Warren said.

Next year's first-graders will have iPads when they progress to second grade, officials said. So, starting in fall 2017, all first- and second-graders will have district-owned iPads.

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District 103 has three schools: Sprague School, which is for prekindergarten classes, first-graders and second-graders; Half Day School, which is for third- and fourth-graders; and Wright Junior High, which serves fifth- through eighth-graders. Next year, fifth-graders will move to Half Day School.

The district launched an iPad program in 2013 for students in the second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh grades. It expanded to all other grades, except kindergarten, over time.

Students can rent iPads from the district or bring them from home.

Under the district's plan, students at Half Day and Wright will continue to have the choice of bringing iPads from home or using district-owned computers.

While some first- and second-graders at Sprague now have district-owned iPads, most bring family-owned tablets to class, district officials have said. The diversity of hardware and software options can cause delays and other problems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sprague students receiving district-owned computers will be assessed annual $125 technology fees to cover maintenance and other issues. The fee initially was to be $150, but it was reduced because the students won't be allowed to take the computers home, Warren said.

Parents who want to buy the computers for their children instead can pay $200 annually in a rent-to-own program.

Public and private schools in Gurnee, Mundelein, Palatine and other suburbs have similar one-to-one computer initiatives. Some use iPads, while others use different tablets or laptops.

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