Fee increase would let Dist. 214 students keep iPads

Updated 2/21/2017 6:39 PM

A proposed fee increase would allow Northwest Suburban High School District 214 students to keep their district-issued iPads when they graduate.

The plan calls for students to pay $25 more for a yearly technology fee -- for a total of $60 -- that will cover insurance for the device and support the district's digital infrastructure.


The first class that would be able to keep the devices is the current junior class.

"The only pushback we're going to get is from this year's seniors because they won't have that same option, but we needed to start at some point," Superintendent Dave Schuler said. "We're thrilled we were able to pull this plan together."

The district fully implemented its 1-to-1 technology plan two years ago, providing an iPad for every student. Since then, students have been asking if they could keep the devices after graduation.

Some 75 percent of the student population already pays $35 a year for an optional iPad protection plan that allows them to receive a new device if the old one is damaged. The current practice is for the district to collect all iPads when students leave, then sell them back to Apple for what amounts to a $50 residual value per device, according to Keith Bockwoldt, the district's director of technology services.

The district pays $429 for every device and carrying case for some 13,000 students and teachers districtwide.

Officials are still working on a plan that would allow transfer students to keep their iPads when they graduate.

The school board plans to vote on increasing the technology fee at its March 9 meeting. All other fees -- including the $360 registration fee, $65 co-curricular participation fee and $190 parking lot fee -- will remain constant.

Families will pay fees during registration for the 2017-18 school year starting in June.

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