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Local News

Joliet D-204 board approves plan to provide 1,950 laptops

Students to receive upgrade devices as part of 1:1 initiative

Joliet Township High School District 204 officials at Tuesday's board meeting.
Joliet Township High School District 204 officials at Tuesday's board meeting.

JOLIET – Sophomore students at Joliet Township High School District 204 will receive new laptops that will be faster, have slightly more battery life and come with touchscreen technology. 

The board approved, in a 6-0 vote, Tuesday a lease agreement with CSI Leasing to pay for 1,950 upgraded Lenovo 11e laptops. Board President Jeff Pierson was absent. 

District officials plan to spend roughly $943,368 over three years to finance the cost of the laptops.

“They have continued to be solid devices for our students and there are the additional benefits of leveraging existing knowledge of and maintaining common parts for the devices,” Ilandus Hampton, assistant superintendent for business services, said in a memo.

Over the years, the district has provided more computer devices for students as part of its 1:1 initiative to give students more access to computers and integrate technology in curriculum. 

Three years ago, students at every grade level in the high schools were given the opportunity to have a computer device, according to the district’s 1:1 initiative FAQ.

In the past two years, the district struck lease agreements with Lenovo Financial Services to pay for thousands of laptops for students. However, this year CSI Leasing had the least expensive deal among five leasing companies that made proposals to the district, Hampton said. 

The Missouri-based company is one of the largest independent equipment leasing specialists worldwide, according to its website. 

Through a three-year lease in 2015, the district financed 3,800 computers for freshman and sophomore students at about $620,081 per year, according to board minutes. Last year, the district financed 1,800 computers for sophomore students through a three-year lease at $289,883. per year. 

The laptops sophomore students will receive will have more efficient processors, which will improve the speed of the machine and slightly extend battery, said Karen Harkin, district information technology services director. 

The laptops will also be more durable, have toughened glass called Gorilla Glass, include touchscreen technology and a flip design hinge. 

“It is the same manufacture and model as last year and it was such a sound machine they really didn’t make any major changes,” Harkin said.

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