Report: Students have lost more than $120K of district iPads, MacBooks

photo by: John Young

Apple iPads sit on the library counter of Deerfield Elementary School's newly renovated media library center, Sept. 28, 2016.

The district technology director will present the Lawrence school board a report Monday that suggests options that would require middle and high school students to help with the cost of replacing computing devices and accessories they lose.

The district has provided iPads to middle school students the last two years, and it started providing all high school students MacBooks last year. A report that Ellen Willets, district director of learning and technology, will share with the board states that the district cost to replace iPads and MacBooks and associated accessories lost last school year will be from $121,781 to $135,011.

The report states that 26 iPads given to middle school students were lost during the 2017-2018 school year, and another 42 weren’t checked in by the due date and may be lost. It will cost the district from $8,190 to $21,420 to replace the iPads and another $30,600 to replace lost power cords and other accessories. High school students lost 77 MacBooks, at a cost to the district of $51,000, and 650 power cords and other accessories with a replacement cost of $32,000.

Willets’ report presents the board options on how the district could recoup some of the cost of replacing lost devices and accessories. Options include:

• Requiring students to purchase an insurance policy when receiving a iPad or MacBook. The board is presented the option of the district managing a self-insurance program or contracting a private insurance company.

• Requiring students to pay a fee when receiving devices.

• Requiring students to pay the cost of replacing lost devices and accessories, or repair cost.

Willets does not make recommendations in the report on how much the district should charge for insurance premiums or device checkout fees.

Willets also presents a report on the year-round issuance of iPads and MacBooks to students. Twelve-month distribution would allow students to use the devices for summer school or online classes. Willets proposes a committee be formed to consider year-round use and that students be surveyed to determine their interest.

The board also will consider approving the 2018-2019 budget, which would decrease the mill levy by 1.324 mills.

The proposed budget establishes maximum 2018-2019 total district expenditures at $170.8 million. The budget also establishes a 54.626 mill levy, which will raise $63.39 million in property tax revenue in 2018-2019 for the district. With the district’s 3.5 percent increase in overall evaluation, the district will collect about $1.25 million more in property taxes in 2018-2019 than the previous year despite the mill levy decrease. At 54.626 mills, the district’s share of taxes on a $175,000 home is $1,053.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.


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