This school year, third- and fourth-graders began using iPads at Leavenworth public schools. And the program will be expanded this fall to fifth- and sixth-grade classes.
This will be the second phase of what school officials call a digital transition plan.
Earlier this week, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education approved the purchase of 571 iPad 3 devices for use at West Intermediate School.
There will be enough devices for one to be available to each fifth- and sixth-grader at the school.
Kevin Hansford, director of elementary education for the district, said teachers at West already have been working with iPads this school year in preparation of the expansion of the program to their classrooms.
"They have developed projects that students will be doing," he said.
He said the students' math textbook materials now can be accessed on iPads.
"That will prevent them from having to carry around (math) textbooks," he said.
Hansford said the availability of the iPads to all students at West also will make it easier for them to do research.
Hansford said students will not be taking the iPads home, at least for now. He said this is something that has to be looked at if the long-term plan is to make the iPads the students' primary learning devices. He said officials have been looking at how other districts handle the matter.
The total price tag for the purchase of iPads for West Intermediate School as well as cases and other accessory items is $258,917.
The district is purchasing the iPad 3s used from the Goodland school system. The devices are each are a year old.
District officials said it would be cheaper to buy the used iPad 3s than to purchase new iPad 2s.
Some of the devices being purchased will be turned over to teachers at Richard W. Warren Middle School in preparation for what would be the next phase.