WCCSD approves iPad program lease

At Monday’s meeting of the Webster City Community School District Board of Directors, the board approved a lease agreement for the district’s one-to-one technology initiative.

Superintendent Mike Sherwood said a conflict arose with planned funding for the lease agreement. The initial plan, which was a lease to purchase agreement, could not be funded through the instructional support levy that the district initially planned to use for funding.

“It had to be a true lease agreement,” Sherwood said. “Which means, at the end of the four years, we will be returning 1,639 iPads to Apple.”

Sherwood said the technology initiative planned to reassess what technology it would use after four years, so the agreement fits well with that plan.

In total, the lease agreement will cost the district $906,661, which will be paid over the four years of the lease. The first payment will be sent on July 1 at the start of the new fiscal year. The first payment of $222,131.95 will be paid for using instructional support levy funds as well as funds the school had previously set aside to replace desktop computers in the district.

The initiative, which will be rolled out this coming school year, will put iPads in the classrooms of every grade in the district. Pre-kindergarten classes will have classroom sets of iPad minis, a smaller model, and kindergarten and first grade classes will have an iPad mini for each student to use. Children from second grade to twelfth grade will have regular iPad models for individual use.

Sherwood said if iPads are lost, stolen or damaged, they will have to be replaced. He said at the end of the lease agreement, they will have to send back the same number of iPads that they were sent.

The board also reviewed the year end report from Heather Kierzek, the junior court liaison officer for the district. Sherwood said Kierzek worked with about 200 students this year, as junior court liaison and also homeless liaison and truancy officer, her referral rate was down 30 percent from last year with 26 high school referrals and 13 middle school referrals this past school year.

Sherwood noted that some of those referrals may have been repeat referrals. He thanked her for her work with the district’s administration. Board president Pam Hayes also noted the positive effect that Kierzek had on the students she worked with.

“52 percent of the students she worked with increased their GPA,” Hayes said.

In other business, the board approved a safe surface purchase agreement for Sunset Heights Elementary and Pleasant View Elementary schools. Sherwood said he toured the schools with representatives from National Safe Surface to make sure they had enough safe surface and were compliant with safety regulations.

A new piece of equipment, a chain climber, is being added to the project. Mostly, the project will put safe surface tiles under the existing playground equipment. In total, the project will install 468 square feet of safe surface combined between both schools and has a combined cost of $46,729 to install. Sherwood said construction work has begun at Sunset Heights, and the hopeful completion date for both projects is Aug. 1. If that date is not met, Sherwood said the projects will be done by the start of the next school year.

The next board meeting will be July 8 at 6 p.m. at the school administration office board room.