The South Callaway R-II School Board granted approval Monday night for the purchase of iPads for a test run of a plan to eventually provide one for each student in the district.
During the second semester, South Callaway fourth and seventh graders, as well as teachers district-wide, will each receive an iPad as part of a pilot program before deploying them to the whole school system starting in the 2013-14 school year.
"The technology committee has met several times to look into the logistics of a project the scale of what we're looking to do in the second semester with these two classes," Superintendent Mary Lynn Battles told the board. "We talked about adding policy changes that will come into place when we give each student a portable computing device, talking about what grade levels will be allowed to take the devices home.
"This is quite a shift in the way we educate our kids."
Board member Greg Kimminau at first questioned whether the board was getting ahead of itself in approving the iPad program before having some of those policies set, but then acknowledged that it would be hard to anticipate all of the policies that might be needing before seeing the program implemented.
"In reality, we're not going to get all of those questions until you get them into students' hands," Kimminau said.