The Jasper City Board of Education approved a three-year lease agreement with the Apple Corporation for 2,280 iPads.
Superintendent Robert Sparkman said the students will receive the tablet computers at the start of the second semester.
“That will be a nice Christmas present for the students when they get back,” said Board President Rene Simmons.
The annual payments for the contract will be $540,329.
Sparkman said all of the funds for the new hardware will come from the school district’s capital projects fund, which is estimated to have a balance of $5.8 million on Oct. 1.
Sparkman added that the purchase includes chargers and an Applecare protection plan, which covers a warranty and technical support.
The board voted unanimously to approve the lease agreement during its scheduled meeting on Monday.
In other business, the board:
•Heard the continuous improvement plan for Maddox Middle School. The CIP serves as a strategy for meeting benchmarks set by the No Child Left Behind Act. Principal Patsy Stricklin said the faculty hopes to improve in the area of special education — the only section in which the school did not meet its benchmark (Maddox has 54 special education students, and most schools with more than 40 do not meet the national benchmarks).
She said teachers at Maddox hope to accomplish those gains by introducing new material and classroom instruction geared toward special education reading.
•Heard the continuous improvement plan from T.R. Simmons Elementary School principal Suzanne Snow. Though the school hit its national benchmarks, she said teachers and administrators hope to maintain all areas as well as improve in special education.
Snow said they hope to accomplish that by using online monitoring tools that give teachers instant test data to help tailor instruction to each student. In regard to special education, Snow said administrators hope to use a collaborative classroom instruction model between standard K through 12 teachers and special education teachers.
•Discussed several chapters of Robert J. Marzano’s “What Works in Schools,” about which the board is doing a book study.