More technology will be available starting in the fall for students and teachers in many Fort Wayne Community Schools.
The board voted Monday night to approve installing wireless or upgrades in 20 remaining buildings and the purchase of about 2,500 iPads.
Installing the wireless access points will cost the district about $420,000 and the iPads total $1.2 million. A combination of funding sources will allow the district to purchase the technology.
Each of the district's five high schools will receive 210 iPads, along with an Apple laptop to sync the devices. Sixty iPads will also be provided to Ward Education Center, an alternative high school, and Anthis Career Center will receive 120.
Teachers at the schools have been chosen to lead the initiative and will have the devices in their classrooms only. Training for all teachers will be provided during the summer months and throughout the year on how to use the iPads as well as how to use them effectively in the classroom.
The iPads should arrive in students' hands in about October, said Faye Williams-Robbins, high school area administrator.
Some of the district's middle schools will also receive 900 of the iPads for sixth-grade language arts students.
Also during Monday's board meeting, the process and documents for FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson's evaluation were approved unanimously.
As discussed in prior meetings, the district has moved Robinson to performance-based pay, similar to what is required by state law for teachers. The board's attorney, Tim McCaulay, said the law's definition of a teacher includes administrators and superintendents as well.
“You're ahead of the curve,” he told the board, referring to Robinson's evaluation and compensation process.
He outlined the timeline agreed upon by the board, with goal-setting during the late summer months before the school year begins and quarterly progress updates in October, January and April.
The evaluation will take place in the late summer after the state releases data such as ISTEP+ standardized test scores and End-of-Course assessments, taken by all high school students.
The superintendent's compensation will be based on a rating system using rubrics created from the goals established the year prior.
The board can award the superintendent an annual raise and/or an incentive bonus based on performance.
While the district has been open about the process, the evaluation will take place during executive sessions, meetings that are closed to the public and the media.
Robinson said she's had interest from other districts in learning more about the process. The documents approved will likely be available on the district's website soon.