Johnston schools to replace 8,350 iPads

JOHNSTON, Ia. (May 8, 2023) — The Johnston Community School District is replacing all 8,350 iPads in the district IMG 2358with new ones. The change affects all schools because Johnston is a 1:1 district where each student and teacher has their own iPad to assist learning from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

The timeline for the collection of current iPads, which are 4 years old, is as follows:

  • Thursday, May 18: Graduating seniors at Johnston High School
  • Tuesday, May 30:  Summit Middle School 6th graders  
  • Wednesday, May 31: Secondary students grades 7-11 at Summit, JMS and JHS
  • After the school year ends June 1: Elementary schools

Parents should be aware that all current iPads must be turned in, or families will be charged $362 for the cost of the iPad, case, brick (power adapter) and cord. The used iPads are being wiped out and purchased, which will reduce the district’s cost of buying new ones. Students are being instructed in school on how to back up their data. The screentime feature will be unavailable on current iPads starting May 30. 

Keyboard caseNo iPads this summer, but new ones this fall

The iPad refresh means that secondary students, who are accustomed to having their iPads with them at home and school throughout the year, will not have them this summer. Elementary students do not traditionally take their iPads home with them, and also do not pay the associated fees that secondary students do.

Each student in the Johnston Community School District will be issued a new iPad at the start of the 2023-24 school year. The first day of school is Wednesday, Aug. 23.

One feature that will come with the new iPads: A keyboard case that will allow students and staff to not only protect their iPads but also type on a keyboard, just like they do with a laptop or desktop computer.

Apple Distinguished Schools

It’s been more than a decade since Johnston began its move to equip each student and teacher with IPad Christmastheir own technology.

The district first went 1:1 with iPads in 2012 at Johnston High School, then expanded each year to the middle schools, and then to the elementary schools. In 2019-2020, the whole district became 1:1 with the personal learning devices. 

The integration of 1:1 iPad learning devices across preK-12 classroom learning environments led eight Johnston schools to receive the prestigious “Apple Distinguished School” Awards. The award recognizes schools for being centers of innovation, leadership and educational excellence, and using Apple technology to connect students to the world, fuel creativity, deepen collaboration, and make learning personal.

The 1:1 iPads ensure that all Johnston students in the district have access to technology to meet their learning needs. It’s an all-in-one resource tool for students. In addition, the digital learning environment helps prepare students for an ever-changing workforce and a variety of career options.

IMG 2389Efforts to address challenges with technology

However, technology can also bring challenges — from too much screen time, to unkindness on social media, and impact on mental health. That’s why in conjunction with making technology accessible, the district has sought and provided resources and support for families including:

  • The screening of the film “Screenagers” earlier this month, with tips to help your kids navigate today’s digital world.
  • The Summit PTO hosting “Family Tech Talk” in February 2022 that featured an expert presentation and Q&A about responsible Internet use and how to teach students to be smart, safe, and respectful digital citizens. The presentation was open to parents throughout the district. 
  • The “Be Kind” campaign in spring 2022 that featured 12 weeks of positive videos, photos and efforts showcased on JCSD social media channels, with stakeholders throughout the community talking about the importance of kindness.

Related stories

2021: Eight Johnston schools earn prestigious “Apple Distinguished School” Awards

2019: Board Approves New Apple Products for All Students, Teachers

August 2016: More Students Now Connected with 1:1 iPads

December 2016: Summit Joins the 1:1 iPad Club