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CHHS students will receive iPads

Published 11:00pm Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Students at Charles Henderson High School could have iPads as soon as mid-September, thanks to a new technology initiative.

The Troy City Schools Board of Education voted Tuesday morning to approve a three-year lease program that will put iPads in the hands of all students, teachers and administrators in grades nine through 12.

“I commend the board on their support in allowing me to continue with these initiatives,” said Superintendent Lee Hicks.

Hicks said he supported the technology initiative, modeled after similar programs in Huntsville and Baldwin County schools, because it provides both technological advantages and the potential to minimize capital expenditures.

The district will pay approximately $113,000 per year for the next three years to lease the iPads. By utilizing iPads, the district can now purchase digital versions of textbooks, downloading them onto the iPads for students, instead of having to purchase full sets of hardbound textbooks each year.

Mickey Daughtry, chief financial officer for the district, said the district pays an average of $70 to $75 per student per textbook. In 2014, when the district expects to issue a trio of new language arts textbooks, the district likely would spend about $135,000 to purchase the traditional textbooks. The cost of purchasing digital versions of the textbooks will be only about $27,000.

In addition to the access to textbooks, students will be able to use the iPads to communicate with teachers via school networks, conduct research, complete classwork, and possibly even complete tests. Helping teachers develop ways to incorporate the technology into their classwork will be a key training focus of the district, Hicks said.

“We’re moving from the industrial age to the information age,” said Wally Lowery, board member. Lowery said he had received overwhelming support from the community regarding the initiative. “I was at the ballpark last night and all the middle school students wanted to know when they were going to get their iPads, too.”

Hicks said plans call for adding iPads for seventh- and eighth-graders in the 2013-2014 school year.

In addition to the technology initiative, the district approved three new hires: Michelle Hicks, special education teacher at Charles Henderson Middle School; Michalyn Hope Hinson, English/Language Arts teacher at Charles Henderson High School; and Rachael Victoria Taylor, general science teacher at Charles Henderson High School.


  • Kelly

    Lawdy mercy. I’d hate to see the condition of those I pads when they are turned in next spring….

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  • Bill_OReally

    So instead of spending $135,000 for new books two years from now, they are spending $339,000 over the next three years for i-pads plus the $27,000 in 2014 for just one set of new books.

    And of course, in three years, the i-pads will be trashed and need replacing to handle newer software.

    Oh yeah, this makes sense.

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    • Kelly

      The Ipads won’t be trashed by 2014, Bill… They will be trashed by this Christmas break. That is, the ones that even come back. Many will simply disappear… The rest will be used to play games in class. And Shame on You, Beth, if you think anything else, any other outcome, will occur. Our educational system is just as corrupt as any other government run agency. Shame on you, Beth, and Shame on the school system for throwing our money away.

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  • Omelas

    “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.”–Ronald Reagan

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  • bethechange

    Invariably there will always be those whose glass is half empty. God forbid Troy City Schools move forward by spending money on Techno learning resources. This is cutting edge educational spending, which one with any knowledge of how the leading schools in this country are actually earning such high honors, would not only know, but applaud their superintendent and school board for making this happen. Thank you Lord for such leadership, which is giving the children, my children, the opportunity to learn in ways most would only dream of. If this expenditure pays such dividends as have been proven over and over again, who cares what the ipads look like next spring, or if they have to be trashed because of outdated software, and new ones purchased. I find it hard to believe there are such doubters who actually have children who would benefit from this decision, if so SHAME ON YOU!

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    • Bill_OReally

      You must think ipads are gonna be some sort of magic wand that is gonna miraculously make kids smarter. Psh-yeah! That is hilarious. You do realize we are talking about Troy City Schools, right? The other schools in the state using these are in Baldwin County and Huntsville; two areas with a LOT of very gifted youngins who come from very wealthy homes.

      Here’s an idea: how about we take that $113,000.00 each year and instead of buying a bunch of play purties, we use it to reward highly motivated teachers with cash bonuses?

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  • tchr01

    In my humble opinion, it won’t matter how much money is being spent or not spent — textbooks are unncessary. Yes, I said it. With iPads and the authoring softwares out there, we should no longer depend on a publisher providing a textbook. The teachers — the experts on the subject — should be helping write interactive textbooks. This is what is making a difference in schools — interactive texts. We must meet the generation we are currently educating where they are: in the 21st century.

    Another thing, these iPads unless utilized in a meaningful way in the classroom will turn into a way to distract the students. Teachers must learn to implement the iPads in a way that gives students a way to create and not consume information. If this is merely a way to reduce textbook costs, then it is taking a step in the WRONG direction. If it is a way to help students become creators of information and learning rather than consumers, then I say Troy City Schools is going in the right direction.

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