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Natick School Committee OKs Purchase of 200 Laptops

Computers come with price tag of $260K.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo

Chairman Dick Coburn said the Natick School Committee on Jan. 6 approved using contingency funds from the high school building project to purchase 200 laptops, iPads and other items.

According to documents found on the town's website, the laptops will cost $260,000.

"We will not touch those savings," Coburn said. "These funds from these items come from line items within the contract and plan that have been accomplished under budget, and we expect some of that additional saving to remain when the project is closed out, which is projected to happen within a few weeks or months."

When the school opened in the fall of 2012, NPS purchased 1,400 student laptops. Of the 1,400, 1,373 were distributed directly to students, and 27 were assigned as loaners.

During the past two years, NPS has lost 13 computers to breakage, the School Committee reported.

As a result of a rising student population and minimal breakage, all loaner laptops have been deployed and students must now wait without a computer while repairs are being made.

The Committee also voted to buy five iPads ($3,000), a theatre scrim ($15,000) and numerous science items valued at $17,736.

According to Committee documents, preschool students regularly utilize iPads in small groups or therapy sessions. There are many age appropriate apps that elicit language use and knowledge of math concepts. There are also a variety of apps designed for the therapeutic settings of speech and language, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services.

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