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HHS students to get new iPads
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HOISINGTON —  For the 2012-13 school year, each Hoisington High School student will get a new iPad2 to use during their high school years, the USD 431 school board approved Monday night after extensive discussion.
“We need to do what is best for students,” said Superintendent Bill Lowry. “It will impact a lot of kids.”
Lowry said the iPads will engage students who have a hard time learning in the traditional classroom. Council member Dean Stoskopf was concerned about the cost.
The superintendent said that the district has built reserves over the past five years, and could write a check for the total amount. However, he also said that the accountants usually recommended going with a lease program to spread the expenses out.
“Most of our kids don’t use technology in school because of availability,” said Lowry.
The board approved the lease program for three  years with a total cost of $150,140.85.
The district will begin working on usage policies.
The district will work on a new green policy for vehicle idling around the schools to keep cleaner air.
“There is proven research that it is more efficient to shut down and turn a vehicle back on if you have to idle more than one or two minutes,” said Lowry. The district is applying for a grant, and the idling reduction information will be used for the grant.
The district approved an agreement with Central Kansas Christian Academy to send students to HHS for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th periods. Lowry said that it won’t affect staffing or class size. The school will receive .5 FTE. The school plans on three students next year and eight to 10 the year after.
The school calendar for the 2012-13 school year was approved. The first day of school will be Aug. 22 with the first full day of school Aug. 23. The last day of school will be May 14, 2013. The number of half-days has been slightly reduced.
In final business, Andrea Willesden was approved as co-cheer sponsor for 2012-13.