PORTAGE | If everything falls into place, all Portage Township Schools students in grades six through 12 will be using iPads in their English and math classes next fall.
Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia outlined the financial plan to move the district along in 1:1 technology Thursday night during the School Board's discussion meeting.
Frataccia said the district has about $3 million in unexpended appropriations. He will present a resolution at the board's March 20 meeting to move $2.5 million of that money to the rainy day fund for purchasing carts of devices and related equipment and to pay for wall repair projects at Willowcreek Middle School and Portage High School West. The additional $500,000 will be used to increase the district's cash balance.
Frataccia said it costs about $15,000 for a cart of 30 iPads for each classroom and an additional $2,300 for additional equipment for each classroom. The 1:1 technology project will be placed in about 60 classrooms in the two middle schools and the high school.
In addition, Frataccia said the district has approximately $750,000 from a common school fund loan and an anticipated $100,000 from a Portage Redevelopment Commission grant to pay for the technology.
Director of Technology Jay Drew said the technology committee has recommended using Apple iPads as the classroom device. The problem is that the devices will have to be purchased directly from Apple because there is no other supplier, he said.
In an unusual move, the board approved a resolution allowing Apple to be the sole supplier of the devices.
The board does not usually take votes at discussion meetings. Attorney Ken Elwood said while not common, there is nothing that prevents the board from taking a vote at a discussion meeting, which is a public meeting.