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USD 355 making plans for iPad rollout
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ELLINWOOD — Ellinwood School District USD 355 will begin implementing its iPad student initiative with a partial rollout for the last quarter of the school year for 5th and 12th graders and a full roll-out from k-12 this fall.
“We’ll use the pilot to collect data for a full deployment next fall,” said Ben Jacobs, superintendent of USD 355. The information learned will be used to “create policies and procedures for next fall.”
The fifth graders will not be taking their iPad’s home while the 12th graders will.
“The goal is to engage students in higher cognitive learning,” said Jacobs. They want to engage students in interactive programs at their level, promoting critical thinking instead of a one size fits all approach.
Teachers have been trained and having also spent time with the students preparing them for digital citizenship.
Jacobs said the district has invested time and resources in preparing for the rollout. One-half of the students in 5th and 12th grade will receive an iPad mini and the other half will receive an iPad Air.
At its regular meeting last week, the USD 355 school board approved the  order of 40 iPad Minis at $299 each; 35 iPad Airs at $499; two carts;  two Mac Minis, and one Mac Mini with a server to accommodate this rollout. The total equipment cost would be $36,458.90. This price is guaranteed through the state contract and does not require the solicitation of bids.
In other business after executive session, the board accepted the resignation of district library media specialist Sharon Sturgis, grade school aide Regina Rose and custodian John Bryant.
Administrative Contracts
Administrative contracts for the next school year for Shawn Henderson, Eric Sjogren, Kip Wilson, Brian Elliott, Wade Doonan, Susie Batchman and Ryan Koetter were approved.
In final business, the board:
• Approved a change order for the door replacement project. The project will cost $3,250 less than originally anticipated for a total cost of   $153,682.40. This includes 23 doors and wiring and software.
•Recognized district custodians for their dedication to keep schools clean and safe.