A four-year lease for 150 MacBook Airs and a three-year lease for 850 iPads for use at the high school and middle school, respectively, were approved Monday night by the Lexington School Board. Annual payment for the laptops will be $29,637 and $85,275 for the tablets, according to the lease agreement.
“Starting next year the district will begin the transition to using tablets in all the schools,” noted Erin Heineman, district finance director. “The high school will continue to use laptops for the 2018-19 school year, then the following year will transition to iPads as well. The Middle School will go to iPads for the coming 2018-19 school year.”
The 2018-19 school year will begin the third rotation of laptops for every student in grades 6-12, noted the administration. Reevaluation of what device best fit the needs of students was prompted by the fact that a laptop model similar and affordable to the current MacBook Pros in use was no longer available. Budget projections forced the district to look at how to meet student needs at a lower cost to the district and this is where the iPad came in, noted the memo presented to the board.
Cost per iPad is just under $300; roughly one-third of what a laptop now costs. All Middle School teachers will be participating in voluntary summer training, as well as technology professional developments during the school year to facilitate this transition. High school teachers will also have training during the coming school year and have voluntary training with a stipend next summer to prepare for the transition at that level.
Elementaries will continue to use mobile computer labs in their respective buildings, said Heineman.
In other business Service Master was awarded a three-year contract to provide custodial services across the district. “They can do it way cheaper than we could in-house,” said Heineman.
The monthly billing for services at the four elementary schools, high school, middle school, alternative education, career academy and administration buildings comes to $52,806 for 2018-19, and there is roughly a one percent increase per year the following two years, said Heineman. Additional cleaning charges are incurred for the school’s portion of Orthman Community YMCA and at the district owned Majestic Theatre totaling just over $4,000 a month for 2018-19.
Under the consent agenda the board accepted the following resignations: Monica Jasper, Sandoz second grade; Jess McHargue, high school English teacher (he indicated in his letter he plans to continue as head coach of the LHS boys soccer program); Meggan Messersmith, Sandoz third grade teacher; and Neil Risinger, seventh grade science teacher.
New teacher hires that were approved include: Amber Brown, middle school special education; Josi Bruning, Sandoz second grade; Madison Costello, Sandoz third grade; Mikaela Hoxmeier, Pershing fifth grade; Melissa Mann, Sandoz third grade; Amanda Ogden, high school math; and Erin Hanna was given a contract extension for media specialist duties.
A PowerPoint presentation at the end of the meeting by Audrey Downey, Amber Burson and Erica Brockmoeller highlighted the training and duties of the district crisis team. “We have about 40 members that compose the crisis team. The team goes into action for a variety of reasons ranging from severe illness or injury like a bus accident, the death of student or staff member, a natural disaster, an active shooter incident or world crisis. The take away is that we have staff that takes training and develops steps and protocol to respond to crisis situations,” said Heineman.
The board also went into an executive session to negotiate the Superintendent’s contract for 2018-20. No action was taken during the executive session.