Boyertown school board approves financing to lease more than 1,000 computers

Boyertown students will be getting their hands on some new technology next year.

The recommendation of the 2014-2015 HP Financial Computer lease was approved by the Boyertown Board of School Directors at their meeting Tuesday, April 8. The Technology Plan was presented to the Finance Committee in January of 2014.

These computers will be placed in all 10th grade classrooms and English classrooms within the high school.

According to the Superintendent’s Report, Hewlett-Packard/Compaq will be supplying 936 computers and HP Financial Services will provide financing through a lease not to exceed $598,967 for four years. The agreement also includes the lease of 250 netbook computers for a three year term. The estimated cost to lease the netbooks is $114,500.

The board approved the financing of the 1,186 computers for a cost not to exceed $713,467—subject to solicitor review.

The purchase of the netbooks is part of a plan to eventually give all Boyertown students individual laptops that they will be able to use in the classroom and take home with them, said Scott Major, Boyertown Area School District Director of Information Technology.

Here’s how the project will be rolled out:

2014-15: All 10th grade classrooms and English classrooms in every grade will receive a set of 30 netbooks. “This is to give teachers a chance to adapt their curriculum to a 1:1 environment.” Major said.

2015-16: The 10th grade students will each be given laptops that they can take home, and 1:1 classroom netbook sets will move up to 11th grade.

2016-17: Each 11th grader will be assigned a netbook, and 12th grade classrooms will have the 1:1 classroom sets.

2017-18: All students in grades 10 - 12 will be participating in 1:1.

The netbooks have a Quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, equipped with a touch screen and are Windows 8.1 ready, Major said. These devices will retain their value at the end of the 3 year lease, he said.

Under the program, students will still have option to bring in their own computer, as they do under the current Bring Your Own Technology program.

The 1:1 initiative will also help expand the hybrid learning program, which provides students with classes that are partly taught in the classroom and partly taught online. Right now, the district’s cyber program has 25 students but is projected to grow, Major said.

The district is also looking into online textbooks and e-books to be integrated with the 1:1 computers. However, “publishers are still behind the eight-ball in the world of text books,” Major said.

Boyertown CUB student reporters contributed to this article.

About the Author

Rebecca Blanchard

Rebecca won't hesitate to tell you that she has enjoyed writing throughout her entire life. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated from the professional writing program of Kutztown University in 2012. Rebecca joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in July of 2012 as editor of The Boyertown Area Times following her internship with the newspaper. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling and cooking gluten-free foods. Reach the author at rblanchard@berksmontnews.com or follow Rebecca on Twitter: @boyertowntimes.