New Providence High School Students to Receive iPads in 2013

Technology improvement is part of a district-wide curriculum upgrade. Plus, board awards $228K bid to Landsite Construction Company for Lieder Field Bleacher Renovation Project.

Freshmen, sophomores and juniors at  will each receive an iPad in February 2013, with the entire high school receiving the tablets in the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year. 

The upgrade is part of a push toward curriculum reform, which began in 2007 and encouraged technology in the classrooms, said Superintendent of Schools David Miceli. 

The iPads will be given to each freshman as they enter the high school, and will be their personal tablet for their time in the school through a lease program with Apple. This way, the school will constantly have the most updated technology as iPads are updated, Miceli said.

The program will cost $378,000 for the first-year implementation, including a $112,000 infrastructure upgrade to improve the servers and bandwidth to control the web speed for the technology. 

The following years will cost $261,000 for the district, which board members say will not affect the budget because $200,000 is already allocated in the budget for curriculum initiatives. 

The only cost to parents will be a $50 optional insurance fee that will protect the student if the iPad is damaged or stolen, Miceli said. 

The decision to add iPads to the district came after several focus groups were started in December where teachers integrated the iPads into classroom curriculum for two weeks to test how students would respond to the technology. 

"We're not just going out and buying iPads," Miceli said. "We are developing curriculum with the devices to make students acclimated to online platforms."

Miceli said standardized testing will be put on an online platform in 2014 so the technology will help students adjust to working online. Miceli also added that the technology will most likely reduce costs for notebooks, pens and calculators that parents buy at the beginning of each school year. 

At the end of senior year, the students have the option of buying the iPad or returning it to the lease program. 

In the classroom, the iPads can replace textbooks and workbooks, and enrich curriculum with Internet applications, he said. The iPads will also be monitored by a third-party company to ensure they are used for educational purposes. 

In other business, the board awarded a $228,500 bid to Landsite Construction Company for the Lieder Field Bleacher Renovation Project. The base bid is listed as $179,000, with a $10,000 contingency, and $49,500 for adding wheelchair ramps to the home side of the bleachers. 

The renovations will be made to the visitor's side of the bleachers this summer. Once that project is complete, the bleachers on the home side will be upgraded and include new railings, fences and ramps.

All bids were received in the office of the New Providence School Business Administrator/Board Secretary last Friday, May 11.


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