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Theft doesn't deter school district




PHILLIPSBURG -- School starts Monday, and there will be iPads -- thief or no thief.

According to the Phillips County Sheriff's office, in the early morning hours Thursday, suspects broke in to Phillipsburg High School and took approximately 150 iPads, 160 iPad chargers and 90 iPad cases from the computer lab.

The entire school district, from kindergartners to seniors in high school, is part of the iPad initiative, which will start this fall. The high school students will be able to take their iPads home with them.

Phillipsbrug USD 325 Superintendent Mike Gower said iPads that were to be used at the elementary school will be used at the high school. The stolen iPads were insured; the school is waiting on the settlement, which could be as soon as next week.

"I don't know when we'll have them set up, ready to go for all the elementary kids, but we're going to have them all ready for the high school kids," Gower said.

The school district has a three-year lease agreement to use the latest version of the iPad.

"We just think today's day and age, that our mission is to prepare our high school students for college," Gower said. "That's what we're being told they're using at the colleges and vocational schools.

"It's our job to have our kids prepared, so that's what we're going to try to do."

The school's technology director was the first person to learn of the thefts.

"It's disappointing that that kind of activity can take place here in small town USA," Gower said. "We're over the initial shock, and we've moved on to focusing on the beginning of school."