Chandler school board approves $2.74M for student devices
Courtesy of Chandler USD
Colleen Flannery, Chandler Unified School District’s director of technology services, presents during a recent Governing Board meeting. She outlined a contract the board approved with Apple for 5,200 devices for use in kindergarten and first-grade classrooms.
With a unanimous vote at a recent meeting, the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board agreed to one of its biggest student technology purchases of the 2022-23 school year.
The board voted to spend about $2.74 million with Apple Inc. on 5,200 devices for about one-third of CUSD’s kindergarten and first-grade students.
Colleen Flannery is the district’s director of technology services. She said the devices will be distributed to K-1 classrooms to increase engagement in small-group structures and to provide interventions and extensions in reading. The goal is increased student proficiency.
Board member Kurt Rohrs asked what the district plan is for the remainder of the more than 19,000 CUSD elementary students.
Flannery said she’s working with chief finance officer Lana Berry to create a refresh cycle where the district spends significantly each year to replace some of the devices, but avoids the every-third- or every-fourth-year burden of a huge bill for replacing all district devices at once.
“Also, there isn’t the support staff to roll out 44,000 new devices at once,” Flannery said.
Berry told Rohrs that he and the rest of the board have been kept informed of the district’s capital spending plan by Superintendent Frank Narducci in a regular communique.
Flannery will make a presentation to the board on the district’s overall technology plan at its April 12 meeting.
Board member Patti Serrano asked if there are changes planned for parent accountability for lost or damaged Apple devices.
Flannery said elementary (K-6) students don’t take devices home. Grades 7-12 have a reduced cost and a pricing schedule for supplies and repairs. Repairs and replacement are built into the district’s contract, but parents have the option to purchase an Apple accidental damage plan as well.
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Jason W. Brooks is an associate editor for the Daily independent.
He covers the Buckeye area and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Brooks is a well-traveled journalist who has documented life in small American communities in nearly all its time zones. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised there and in suburban Los Angeles, he has covered community news in California, New Mexico, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska.