From classroom trends to school board decisions, Class Act will keep you updated on all the school issues followed by the Star Tribune’s education reporters. Contributors include Alejandra Matos, who covers Minneapolis; Kim McGuire, who covers the west metro; Erin Adler, who covers the south metro; Anthony Lonetree and Libor Jany, who cover St. Paul and the east metro, and Shannon Prather, who cover the north metro.

St. Paul District names initial schools to get student iPads

Posted by: Anthony Lonetree Updated: July 23, 2014 - 1:28 PM

Every high school student in the St. Paul School District will have an iPad in 2014-15, according to the list released Wednesday of 37 schools in which the devices initially are to be distributed.

The district had yet to finalize the list of first-round recipients when the school board voted in June to make St. Paul the largest district in the state to put iPads in the hands of all students.

Students at the 37 schools will begin receiving the devices this fall during hand-out events that also will include information for parents, the district has said. Students at the remaining schools -- there are to be 61 sites altogether -- will have iPads in hand in 2015-16.

The district envisions technology as a way to tailor learning to individual student needs. Matt Mohs, the district's former chief academic officer, said that the move to iPads, in particular, was due in large part to it being an "all-in-one tool ... the Swiss Army Knife of devices."

The elementary schools that are to be included in the first round of distribution are: Adams, Capitol Hill, Chelsea Heights, Cherokee Heights, Crossroads, Eastern Heights, Farnsworth, Frost Lake, Galtier, Hamline, Horace Mann, Jackson, John A. Johnson, Linwood Monroe, Maxfield, Mississippi, Obama, Phalen Lake, Randolph Heights, Riverview and St. Anthony Park.

Capitol Hill, Farnsworth and Linwood Monroe also serve grades 6-8.

The secondary schools in the first round are: Central High, Como Park High, Creative Arts (grades 6-12), Harding High, Highland Park Middle, Highland Park Senior High, Humboldt (grades 6-12), Johnson High, Murray Middle, Open World Learning (grades 6-12), Parkway Montessori Middle and Washington Technology Magnet (grades 6-12).

Students at four alternative learning programs -- AGAPE, Gordon Parks High, Journeys Secondary and LEAP High -- also will receive iPads in the first year.

Many East Side schools will have to wait until year two. They include: American Indian Magnet, Battle Creek Elementary, Battle Creek Middle, Bruce Vento Elementary, Dayton's Bluff Elementary, Hazel Park Preparatory Academy, Highwood Hills Elementary, L'Etoile du Nord French Immersion and Nokomis Montessori.

The devices are being leased from Apple Inc. at a cost of about $5.72 million in the first year. In 2015-16, when the project is fully operating, the annual lease cost will be about $8 million.

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