Lawrence school board approves purchase of iPad 2s, tax rebate for Masonic Temple

Juniors in American literature classes at Free State and Lawrence high schools soon will be reading classic stories in a decidedly state-of-the-art manner: on iPads.

And a downtown property owner will be getting a property tax rebate on his planned overhaul of the Masonic Temple, 1001 Mass.

Monday night, members of the Lawrence school board agreed to buy 172 iPad 2s and related hardware, software and training services from Apple for $122,230. The board also approved a plan for Consolidated Properties to receive a rebate on an estimated $800,000 in upgrades to the former temple, so that it can be used by Maceli’s for catering and events.

The iPads will be divided up for three uses: to gather and utilize data collected from “walk-throughs” of teacher classrooms by other teachers; students studying media in the high schools; and juniors in literature classes, so that they can read stories available for free electronically instead of lugging around large texts.

“Reading literature out of a book is not where our students are anymore,” said Kim Young, a curriculum specialist for language arts.