PALMYRA, Mo. -- The Palmyra School Board took action this week to launch a one-to-one technology initiative next fall.
The board approved a $376,835 four-year contract with Apple Inc. to lease 1,100 iPads -- enough to put one device in the hands of each student in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The tablets will be distributed to students at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year for use in classrooms and at home.
Superintendent Eric Churchwell said the district got a good deal by waiting to sign a contract. He said Apple announced a new line of iPads about two weeks ago and reduced its pricing for educational institutions.
As a result, the four-year contract will cost the district $163,900 less than the quote given earlier. In addition, the district will get state-of-the-art tablets along with cases and certain applications.
The contract will require the district to pay about $95,000 annually for the next four years. At the end of the lease period, the district will have the option to buy the tablets for $1 or trade them in on new models.
Palmyra's teachers have been using iPads to try out applications they might want to use in their classrooms.
"They've been working and learning all year ahead of the students," Churchwell said.
The board also heard a budget proposal from Churchwell that would give teachers a $500 increase in their base salary in fiscal 2018 -- along with horizontal and vertical steps in the salary schedule based on their years of service and level of education.
However, the actual amount to be given teachers "has not been finalized yet," Churchwell said. He said the district is still waiting to learn how much state aid it will receive.
Churchwell said teachers' raises will be calculated as a percentage of their base salary and the same percent raise will then be given to all other district employees. He said a $500 raise would equate to a raise of just under 2 percent.
The board also seated newly elected members Oneta Crowe, Stephanie Bross and Doug Meyers. Chuck Keller was elected president, Darin Redd as vice president, Crow as secretary and Bross as treasurer.
The board recognized outgoing Vice President Roger Sutter for his 15 years of service.
The board hired Nicole Hirner as middle school cross country coach, Camille Plunkett as middle school softball coach, Leisa Hinkle as assistant varsity girls basketball coach and Alison Paulsen as middle school/elementary school physical education/health teacher and middle school girls basketball coach.