UPDATE: The school district will be leasing 2,750 iPad Air 1s, not iPad Air 2s.

After the release of the iPad Pro and not a smaller, more affordable model, Northfield Public Schools is looking to reevaluate its transformation technology plan.

Northfield Public Schools had originally planned on leasing a newer version of what is currently being used. But, with Apple only releasing the iPad Pro, and the end of the contract with Apple nearing, a few adjustments were needed.

Currently, students in grades six through 12 are using Apple’s iPad Air 1s, while younger students are using iPad Mini 2s.

Since Apple released a bigger iPad called the iPad Pro, costing about $800, the school district needed to adjust its current plans to make sure the iPads are both affordable, but still supply the students with technology to advance their learning.

According to Kim Briske, director of technology services, the school district was planning on Apple releasing a newer version of the iPad Air, which would cause a price drop in the iPad Air 2. The iPad Air 2 is an upgrade to the current system that students in grades six through 12 are using.

The leases for the current devices will expire in January. At that time, the school district will lease a new set of iPad Air 1s and switch out the devices students are currently using.

Over the course of four years, each iPad Air 1 will cost the school district $103.69. According to a PowerPoint presentation presented at the school board meeting Monday, this is the same cost the school district had estimated iPad Air 2s would cost this year.

Although the devices may be different from what was planned, the district is spending the same amount of money that was originally proposed in April.

The district will be leasing 2,750 iPad Air 1s in January of 2016 and 300 iPad Minis to account for increase in enrollment and the ending of its previous four year lease. The school district will spend about $400,000 on iPads and iPad management, which is within their $415,000 budget.

Director of Administrative Services Matt Hillmann estimates that the district will receive the new iPads between the end of December and the beginning of January. A plan will be in place for students to switch iPads during the beginning of 2016.

Brittney covers education and youth-related issues in Rice County. Reach her in Northfield at 507-645-1115, in Faribault at 333-3132, or follow her on Twitter @BrittneyNeset.

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