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MACCRAY ready to upgrade iPads

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CLARA CITY — An area school that led the way in placing Apple iPads in the hands of its students is ready for its first big upgrade.

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The MACCRAY School District has received a $191,600 quote from Apple Computer for a three-year lease for 400 iPad minis, Interim Superintendent Loren Hacker told school board members on Monday.

At the end of the lease, the district can purchase the tablet computers for $1 each.

The school will also need to purchase cases for the iPads, bringing the overall estimated cost closer to $200,000, according to discussions on Monday.

The district’s three-year lease on 440 of the iPad2 model of the tablet computers expires with the end of the school year. School board members discussed making the district’s first iPads available to all elementary students.

The new iPad minis that the district will lease will have 32 gigabytes of memory, which will accommodate a wide range of uses.

If iPads are available to students in all grades, the district will be poised to completely end its purchase of printed textbooks, the superintendent noted.

“That’s going to be a really hard shift for people coming,’’ he said of the phase-out of printed textbooks.

Unfortunately, it won’t be easy on the school’s finances either. The superintendent noted that the cost for electronic textbooks used on the iPads is roughly the same as the printed versions.

In other business, school board members announced they have named three finalists for the district superintendent position.

They are Beckie Simenson, assistant principal, Willmar Middle School; Brian Koslofsky, superintendent, Bertha-Hewitt Schools; and Belinda Selfors, principal, Sauk Centre Schools.

Board members traveled to the Bertha-Hewitt and Sauk Centre Schools on Tuesday and previously made a trip to Willmar.

They hope to pare the list of candidates to two before holding a final round of interviews.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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