The Commerce Journal

Local News

June 13, 2012

CISD offers iPads to students at reduced cost

COMMERCE — As schools move from textbooks to technology, many school districts are purchasing or leasing laptops or other digital devices for students. Commerce ISD has chosen another route to ensure high school students have access to the internet’s abundant instructional resources.  

Every high school student will have the opportunity to purchase an Apple iPad 2 at a reduced cost. The device becomes the student’s property to use at school and at home and it is theirs to keep when they move or graduate.

District administrators negotiated a lowered price of $379 for Apple iPads and the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation has committed $30,000 to reduce the price of each iPad to $300. Parents may purchase the iPads outright for $359.75 or finance through a local bank. Guaranty Bond Bank has offered to finance 200 devices at a low percentage rate over six months.  A down payment of $100 is required to cover taxes, insurance and a bank processing fee.

Superintendent Blake Cooper believes Commerce ISD has a unique plan to allow students to own their device.

“We believe students will take care of their own equipment better than if we just give it to them,” he said. “We just couldn’t see using taxpayer funds to purchase the devices.  We’ve had a great response to the initiative thus far.”

Several parent meetings were held in late May to explain the initiative.  Additional meetings will be held June 11 and June 18 at 5:30 p. m. at the CISD Administration Building at 3315 Washington Street.

“We know students respond well to technology,” Cooper said. “A survey we conducted last fall showed us that a majority of CHS students owned a cell phone and 75 percent had internet access at home. We won’t be asking students to ‘power down’ as they come into our classrooms. These devices help engage our students in learning and we expect academic performance will improve because of them.”

If parents choose not to purchase a device, students will be able to access technology using other devices available in their classrooms.

The District is preparing to lower the cost for parents who have multiple children at CHS by offering iPads for $150. An “I Give for iPad” campaign will solicit funds from other community sources including businesses and individuals. Residents are encouraged to donate to the “I Give for iPad” campaign by making contributions to the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation directly. Donations earmarked for iPads should be designated as such and mailed to the CISD Administration Building at 3315 Washington Street.

Several teachers in core subject areas have volunteered to shift to this new mode of instructional delivery. For the change to be successful, the teachers are attending intense training in using iPads as instructional tools conducted onsite by Apple.

CISD staff will also have an opportunity purchase iPads for personal use through payroll deduction.

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