OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The Shawnee Mission School District has made a multimillion dollar investment in its students. Starting in the fall of 2014, thousands of students will return to class with a new Macbook Air laptop. They'll be allowed to take them home and treat them as their own -- at least for the school year.
Middle school students will receive an iPad Air. Ten of the 33 elementary schools will be included in the tech-savvy upgrades. And by the fall of 2015, every student will have their hands on their own technology.
"It's an investment in technology," Dr. Jim Hinson, SMSD superintendent, said. "[It] doesn't raise anybody's taxes. We're focusing our expenditure through capital outlay. It isn't money that can be spent for teacher salaries. It's designated for capital-type projects -- that's really an investment in our students for the future, and we know it will pay great dividends."
More than 2,000 faculty members will be the first to receive the upgrades. Each will receive a Mac and an iPad in March. Apple will train faculty members next fall so teachers can integrate them into their class curriculum.