The Hays USD 489 school board will consider three options for replacing student devices at Hays Middle School at its regular meeting Monday night.
The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Toepfer Board Room of the Rockwell Administration Center, 323 W. 12th.
Last year, the district created a four-year cycle for replacing student and staff devices, beginning with Hays High School. In May of last year, the board approved the purchase of 850 Dell Latitudes at a cost of $335,750.
For the middle school, the district’s technology committee has offered the board several options:
• 680 sixth-generation Apple iPads with Logitech cases for $238,000
• 720 Dell 3189 Chromebooks with Gumdrop cases and management software for $267,048
• 720 Windows Dell 3190s with Gumdrop cases for $306,712.
The Chromebook and Windows purchases would include 40 devices for the teachers. If the iPads are purchased, teachers would retain their current devices.
In a survey by USD 489 IT Director Scott Summers, HMS teachers indicated their needs for student devices. The top five needed capabilities were classroom monitoring software, web browsing for research, Learning Management System tools, word processing and touch-typing on the screen.
Summers’ report includes a cost comparison of the three devices. Many of the required or desired attributes — such as classroom monitoring, PDF annotation software and video editing — are either included in the iPad cost or are already owned by the district, the report indicates.
The Chromebooks and Windows devices would require additional software for some of those functions:
• DyKnow for device monitoring would cost $6 per device per year, plus a $495 activation fee for each device.
• The Chromebook would require Kami for PDF annotation at a cost $3,000 per building per year. OneNote for Windows would be free.
• WeVideo for either device would cost $4.30 per device per year.
In addition, the staff already has continuing training on the iPads. Chromebooks would require an additional two days professional training at a cost of $9,600 while the Dells would require one day of training at a cost of $4,800, according to the report.
The resale price of iPads in four years is projected to be higher, at $60 per device, compared to $10 for the Chromebooks and $40 for the Dells.
On warranties, the the Chromebooks and Dells include a three-year onsite warranty in the purchase price. The iPad includes only a one-year warranty. Summers’ report notes that repair costs for kindergarten through eighth grade iPads over four years has been just over $27,000. Purchasing AppleCare on new iPads for HMS would cost $60,000, the report said.
In other business on Monday’s agenda the board will:
• vote on the capital outlay fund, which proposes to keep the mill levy at 8. The resolution must be renewed every five years.
• review $29.4 million in proposed facilities improvements from DLR Group, Nabholz and PiperJaffray.
• consider approving the superintendent, board attorney and interim executive director of finance and support services as negotiating agents with the Hays NEA for the 2019-2020 year.
• hear the financial report from Keith Hall, interim executive director of finance and support services.
• review contracts for building-level administrators for 2019-20.
• discuss using interest-based bargaining with its negotiations with HNEA.
• review the 2019-20 calendar.