Belding school board approves sale of used iPads to the community

By Emilee Nielsen • Last Updated 3:46 pm on Friday, February 19, 2016

Stacks of iPads at the end of their cycle of optimum usefulness to the Belding Area Schools district wait for the upcoming sale to the community. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

BELDING — Used iPads will soon be for sale to the Belding community.

The Belding Area Schools Board of Education on Monday approved the sale of surplus technology to the committee. No date has yet been set for the sale.

“We are looking at offering some technology to the community as opposed to trying to recycle it and not getting much out of it,” Central Office Director Adrienne Barna said.

Currently, high school students are part of a 1:1 program with iPads. Each student is issued an iPad to enhance their studies and streamline the educational process. As the equipment reaches the end of its lifecycle for the school district, the board authorizes the superintendent to sell, donate or dispose of it in accordance with federal guidelines.

“If they’re still working and still useable, they might be a good option for community members,” Barna said.

Technology like iPads are on a five-year use cycle for the district.

“We will advertise more on the (sale as the time approaches),” said Val Clementz, executive administrative assistant to Superintendent Sara Shriver.

The school’s technology department recently went out for bid to replace its wireless network so as to take advantage of some funding granted by FCC’s Universal Service Fund (USF). Funding would allow the school to spend $150 per student over the course of five years.

“It was recommended we move forward and apply for that funding for this upcoming school year to spend on updating our wireless technology, routers and servers,” Barna said.

The school had already planned to start replacing its wireless technology when the new funding structure came in, so the extra funding from the USF will help to alleviate the cost of the upgrade.

“Assuming we receive a funding commitment, then we’ll build the necessary funds into the budget to move forward,” Barna said. “The total project is somewhere around $230,000 but we’ll get almost 80 percent of that back so we’ll only be spending about 20 cents on the dollar but getting over $200,000 worth of technological upgrades.”

The school board also approved an additional budget amendment for the current fiscal school year. The bulk of the changes come from a decrease in actual enrolled students versus what was expected.

“We had less students than we had planned for in June by about 36,” Barna said.

Contract settlements and other operational costs also contributed to the budget amendment.

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