The Santa Barbara Unified School District is “knee deep in iPads” and will be handing them out in early April, Superintendent Dave Cash said.
The one-to-one pilot program will hand out 1,200 iPads to students at four schools — Adams Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Washington Elementary and La Cuesta Continuation High School.
For the pilot, every student in third through sixth grades at elementary schools will get an iPad device, as well as 11th-grade students at La Cuesta.
All the iPads are being configured and put into covers, which turns out is a very tedious process, according to technology director Todd Ryckman.
The tentative plan is to start handing them out after spring break in the first and second week of April. The district will even hire and train substitute teachers to help with the rollout, Ryckman said.
Parents can schedule a pickup time and will get information about registering the iPad and teaching parents how the devices can be used.
Families can use a district-owned device, lease-to-buy their own through the district or have students bring one from home, but every device will be configured the same way, Ryckman said.
There will be a lot of technical support from district staff and Apple Inc. at the beginning as students test out the new devices.
Cash wants to include cybersecurity lessons in the school curriculum, too, but said he would be “tarred and feathered” if he asked teachers to work on one more thing.
All schools will be put to the test this spring with the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which is the computer-based test for the new Common Core State Standards. Some of the pilot schools will be using iPads for all the testing while others are experimenting with computer labs and classroom settings.