Stevenson High School plans purchase of 800 iPads for next school year
Stevenson High School student Kevin Hautzinger, of Prairie View, uses an iPad in the library at Stevenson High School in October. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 1, 2013 6:49AM
LINCOLNSHIRE — Parents of future Stevenson High School students: hold off on buying that iPad for future Patriots.
The school is picking one out already.
A new technology program that goes into effect this fall will put 2,000 of the Apple tablets into the hands of next year’s freshmen and sophomores. After graduation, the hardware might be theirs to keep, and the classes below them will receive products of their own. The program is set to be funded through textbook fees, and will be spread out through four school years.
“It’s one of those things that’s catching fire,” said Mark Michelini, Stevenson’s assistant superintendent for business, at the Feb. 11 School Board meeting. “They ask ‘How come my class doesn’t have iPads?’
“We’ll equip each student in those classes,” he continued. “We’re going to pass those costs onto the students, in the form of textbook fees.”
The School Board approved the latest, $1.8 million phase of the Stevenson Mobile Academic Real-time Technology program during that meeting. The devices will be last year’s iPad 2 models as the district purchased 800.
The one decision yet to be finalized, however, is if students can keep their four-year-old tablets after they leave Stevenson.
“We have not decided whether students will keep their iPads when they graduate,” spokesman Jim Conrey wrote in an email Monday. “It has been discussed.”
Each device will cost Stevenson $658, with Apple’s two-year warranty. Board President Bruce Lubin said Monday that while the school expects to break even, the major overhaul should result in major savings in paper consumption, computer maintenance and more.
“Right now, the district has over 1,500 computers for student use,” Lubin said. “This could get rid of 1,200 of those 1,500 computers. We’re not doing this to save money, we’re doing this for the kids.”
Tablets are sweeping through schools nationwide, in part because of their capabilities with audio and video as well as reading, and in part because of their handiness. Students can carry their entire year’s worth of books in their hand.
Stevenson also plans to buy 280 MacBook Pro laptops for classrooms, and 20 iMac desktop computers earmarked for special education.