April 24, 2014

Intermittent clouds

Medina Schools to buy $220K worth of Apple laptops

MEDINA — The Medina Board of Education on Tuesday approved spending about $228,620 for Macbook laptops and another $182,857 to replace the field house floor at the Medina Community Recreation Center.

During its work session, the board unanimously approved a $228,619.70 contract with Apple to lease 190 Macbook laptops for three years. The school district has the option of purchasing the computers for $1 each at the end of the lease.

Board members stipulated the money would come from the capital improvement account, funded by the county sales tax, instead of from district operating funds.

“If we’ve got the capital funds to spend, I think I’m more OK with that,” board member Bill Grenfell said. “I can’t use those for sports, for activities or for teachers.”

Kris Quallich, director of educational services, said leasing the computers was cheaper than buying them outright.

The computers will be used this coming school year for a pilot program called “project-based learning,” meaning the students would work on projects in class instead of just listening to a lecture.

“The idea is to get more kids involved in hands-on learning,” she said.

About 44 percent of district students would have access to the computers, Quallich said.

The computers also are needed to deal with upcoming requirements for computer-based state testing, board President Karla Robinson said.

“We’re going to be doing state testing on computers,” she said. “The devices we have now are not up to the task.”

The board failed to approve the contract during a special meeting last month where two of the five members were absent.

At the time, Robinson said the computer contract was on the agenda because the administration had negotiated a $15,462 discount from Apple if the contract was approved by June 30.

“We’ve been trying very hard to keep voted items off our special meeting agendas if possible,” she said.

Also Tuesday, the board approved a resolution to award a bid to Dynamic Sports Construction to replace flooring in the recreation center field house for $182,857.

The contract needed to be in place so the work could be done during the center’s yearly shutdown in August, said Jon Burkhart, director of business affairs.
The school district owns the recreation center building and the city leases and operates it.

Half of the cost of the flooring will be covered by the school district and the other half by the city.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.

  • Traci Rydbom Monroe

    Nothing but continued waste of taxpayer dollars.

  • Adam

    Wow. $1000 a piece for laptops for high-schoolers. Good job getting caught up in the Apple hype. You could have gotten comparable Windows laptops for half the cost, and since most corporations us PC platforms, you would be better preparing students for the real world. But keep crying about Stepp’s contract. Seems the district is absolutely determined to burn money, one way or another.

  • OF81

    Sure glad these folks don’t oversee my household budget! GEEZE!

  • Big Mac

    How many of the 190 new laptops are for Heritage Elementary? Oh that’s right…

  • Medina retiree

    $1203 per a laptop. Corruption at its finest. And Medina residents will pay for it through sales taxes.nAnd those silly residents were outraged by $80K Stepp’s bonus? BoE pulled simple trick: distract the crowd with Stepp’s fiasco and quietly steal $220K under pretense “it’s for the children”.

  • Tired of it all

    Oh the silliness of it all…..

  • Jack

    Fix the glitch! Correct the restriction that prevents the system from using the tax collected from sales taxes so that it may be used for operating expense rather than wasted on floors and unnecessary Apple Tech Jewelry. Seriously folks, if the IT staff can’t keep what they already have working well enough to provide a platform for testing they too should be replaced.