BOILING SPRINGS — South Middleton School District might launch an initiative next year that might offer a laptop computer to every Boiling Springs High School student.
Assistant Superintendent Joseph Mancuso III outlined a plan Monday in which the district could lease up to 800 computers for four years at a maximum annual cost of $132,600 or a total of $530,400 through 2018-2019.
The plan is to issue a computer to each of the 685 students projected for next year and to every high school teacher, Mancuso said. He added any spare computers can be made available for a program to loan to students while their computers are being repaired.
The district has solicited preliminary quotes from three vendors who offer a line of laptop computers designed for public education, Mancuso said. The highest of the three quotes call for a yearly lease of $132,600 or a cost per computer of $663.
Before a recommended quote could be finalized, the district wants to “test drive” laptops from each vendor by putting a device in the hands of a select group of students and faculty members, Mancuso said. The quotes include a four-year warranty on each laptop and a high-priced durable carrying case that would enclose the laptop.
If implemented, this one-to-one digital conversion project could be start in August with an orientation program for students before the laptops are issued, Mancuso said. Students would have to turn in their laptop computer at the end of each academic year.
There is talk of charging each family an annual fee to help defray the maintenance costs of the laptop computers, Mancuso said. He mentioned a preliminary number of $20 to $25, but district staff has yet to finalize a recommendation on what to set this fee.
Mancuso explained how the district would be able to afford the annual lease by “repurposing” the $210,000 line item it budgets every year for replacement computers.
Leasing laptop computers for a one-to-one initiative at the high school would free up older model laptops computers that could be transferred on mobile carts to the Yellow Breeches Middle School, Mancuso said.
The computers moved to the middle school will only be for use in the classroom and will not be issued to individual students to take home, Mancuso said. Should this initiative go forward, the district will have a blended learning one-to-one digital program in every core content classroom in grades six through 12.