NEWS: District Votes to Transition to iPads

Starting in the fall, high school students will be provided with iPads in place of MacBooks.


Chloe Cook

USD 497 Board of Education president Shannon Kimball, speaks at last nights board meeting.

Allison Mayhew and Lilly Wall

Last night, the USD 497 Board of Education voted to transition high school student devices from MacBooks to iPads in the fall. The vote passed six-to-one. 

The USD 497 news release from last night’s meeting stated that Technology Director David Vignery concluded that the transition will have an estimated cost savings of $4 million in capital outlay funds and $600,000-$750,000 in general fund repair costs over the three-year lease. 

Starting in the fall, students will be supplied with iPads, keyboards, cases, trackpads, and pens. Vignery also recommended providing alternative device options for classes with specific needs. 

“I’m a firm believer that one device doesn’t fit everybody’s needs,” Vignery said in the USD 497 news release. “I think we just have to get creative.”

Additionally, the board members heard public input from students, teachers and community members. 

“In many ways iPads are a glorified cell phone, it’s not really that effective when writing long essays,” Lawrence High senior Kayleigh Gill said.

At the meeting, USD 497 Board of Education President Shannon Kimball said that she understands concerns about the device change, and acknowledged that the decisions the district has to make are difficult.

“It really comes down to what can we afford, and how can we provide what we can afford to move forward in education and make it successful,” Vignery said.