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South Callaway board eyes iPad insurance

South Callaway board eyes iPad insurance

Students to receive tablets this August

June 13th, 2013 in News

MOKANE, Mo. - The South Callaway school board was briefed Wednesday night on the role of parents in replacing lost or damaged iPads.

With the start of the 2013-14 school year in August, all students in the district will be issued iPads.

During the just completed school year, a pilot program at the district issued iPads to all teachers and students in grades four through seven.

Jeff Nelson, the district's director of technology, said the pilot program was highly successful.

Nelson said he checked with other districts and developed a plan on the responsibility of parents to replace any lost or damaged electronic tablets issued to students.

The proposed policy would allow parents to either agree to replace the iPads if lost or damaged or to buy insurance coverage from the district.

He said another option would be for parents to purchase iPad insurance offered through their own agent. Nelson said he checked with his insurance agent and was told he could not insure something he did not own. For this reason, Nelson said the two main options for parents is likely to be assuming all liability on their own or to buy insurance offered through the school district.

Nelson said other school districts with iPads issued to students are charging $50 a year for insurance coverage for each iPad. But Nelson said he thought $40 would be enough to charge during the first year for each South Callaway student or a maximum of $80 for all family members enrolled in the district.

He noted the school had no lost or damaged iPads during the pilot program just completed on the elementary school level.

Nelson said the district should be cautious because some schools reported 10 percent of the tablets were either lost or stolen when issued to all students, including those in high school.

Nelson noted Superintendent Mary Lynn Battles had placed $5,000 into the school's iPad insurance pool from from district funds in the 2013-14 annual school budget.

Battles told the board the total budget for the coming school year has $10,295,155 in revenue and $10,293,778 in expenses.

"We are still in the black," she said, "but not by much."

She said the district can adjust spending as needed during the year, noting that the district receives little money from the state. The Callaway Energy Center is located in the district and tax assessments of the nuclear plant provides significant local tax funds to the district, making the district eligible for smaller amounts of state aid.

To be conservative on revenue estimates, she said the revenue budget for next year is $8 million less in assessed valuations. She said six years ago there was a significant drop in assessed valuation in the district and she wanted to make allowances in the budget for a potential repeat of loss in local tax revenue.