The Commerce Journal
Every Commerce High School student will have an iPad 24/7 thanks to community support and a recent grant awarded to Commerce ISD. The devices, coupled with a strong technology infrastructure, set CHS on course for essentially unlimited potential in terms of Internet and learning resources accessibility.
As a plan to bring more digital devices into school was formulated last spring, CISD administrators felt students would benefit most from owning their own device. To approach this goal, the Commerce Educational Enrichment Foundation pledged an initial amount of $30,000 to reduce the iPad cost from $379 to $300. An additional effort to gain support from individuals in the community, called the I Give for IPad initiative, raised over $6,900, which included a $2,000 contribution from Cypress Bank.
After their initial purchase, parents with more than one child at CHS could purchase an additional iPad at half price. Parents were told students would have access to an alternate device if they did not want to take the opportunity to purchase one.
Sales for the iPads took place over the summer with an initial order placed for 113 devices. Guaranty Bond Bank helped by financing the iPads at a low interest rate over the school year without regard for credit history. Students not buying iPads during the summer were given another opportunity during the first week of school for the full price of $359.75, which included insurance and sales tax. A total of 41 iPads were purchased during this offering.
Also during the summer, administrators applied for a Technology Lending Program Grant which would provide matching funds to purchase additional iPads. Through the $50,000 grant, which administrators learned they received on Aug. 31, and matching district funds, using the Instructional Materials Allotment, iPads will be available for every student at the high school who doesn’t already have one.
Students will be able to use the district-owned iPads at home during the school year, but only applications used at school will be accessible. The district is purchasing over $25,000 in apps (applications) for student use on the iPads.
“We are turning the page with our instruction this year. More teachers have been trained in electronic instruction and we expect that as the year progresses, we’ll see more devices in the classroom. We truly believe this approach will increase our academic achievement,” said Blake Cooper, CISD superintendent.
“IPads will make learning more relevant and help our students be more “future ready” for life after high school,” Cooper said.