Jody Miller

BATH TWP.: How do you like these Apples? A new deal will allow Revere Local Schools teachers and students in seventh through 12th grade to receive an Apple MacBook Air computer.

The school board unanimously approved on Tuesday a four-year, $360,000 annual lease agreement with Apple, making the entire Revere District “Apple Schools.”

The agreement will provide the district with computers, software, technical and implementation support as well as professional development for teachers. It also will enable the district to move the Chromebook carts and computer devices now used in the upper-level grades to kindergarten through sixth grades.

Upper-level students will be able to use their computers at home and school, while kindergarten through sixth grade students will have access to their devices in the classroom.

“This initiative fits into both the district tech and strategic plans,” Superintendent Matt Montgomery said. “It’s not a device initiative but an instructional initiative. It’s about how we instruct the kids to meet the needs of today’s learners, and it is changing how we instruct with higher levels of pedagogy.”

Revere would be the first district to “go Apple” in Summit County and one of the first to take on “wall-to-wall” K-12, 1:1 initiative, said Montgomery. In addition, at the end of the four-year agreement, all of the devices will be owned by the district, providing both a trade-in value and sustainability.

During the meeting, officials outlined the budgetary shift and savings inherent in the move from consumable supplies, such as textbooks, paper, workbooks and even copier costs, toward a paperless format.

Implementation will be systematic, said Montgomery, with teachers getting Apple laptops and training starting in August. Students will get their computers in mid October and by January, the Chromebook Carts will be in kindergarten through sixth-grade classrooms.

“The Apple folks will be coming in and working with the teachers all year,” Montgomery said.

Asked if this digital device initiative is the future of teaching and learning, Montgomery enthused about the potential while allaying some lingering questions.

“This initiative is taking instruction to a higher level through these tools,” he said, while adding that “it does not undermine the importance and necessity of teachers; teachers are essential.

“It seems counterintuitive,” he added, “but students won’t be staring at screens all day; it is much more than that. This is about a plan — devised by and for Revere to meet our specific needs — and how this initiative fits into this plan for us. I look at this as transformational for the district.”