Indianapolis News and HeadlinesIndiana Coronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Education


IPS spends $4.5 million more on devices for students

The district has now spent a total of $16.5 million on new devices for students.
Posted at 11:09 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 11:09:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — What began as a $12 million investment is now up to $16.5 million as the first day of school starts at home on Monday.

MORE | IPS launches new fund to get laptops, internet to low-income students | Indianapolis Public Schools to buy 21K laptops and iPads for students |

Stacks of boxes are ready to head home with the students.

Every student at James Russell Lowell School 51 is getting an iPad or Chromebook to begin the school year. Everyone will be equally equipped with an electronic device that is key to the education of 300 students in this school alone.

"Providing them with the tools they need to learn and the tools they need to compete in the bigger world is the key component to see all the I think that's very exciting," Pat Lumbley, IPS School 51's principal, said. "I think staff and students are excited at the opportunity."

When schools closed in March, nearly half the students, about 150, depended on paper packets because they had no access to technology. The other half had some access, which may have included a cell phone.

Third-grader Madison Balwinski is looking forward to her Chromebook. "It's hard to see stuff on the phone, and it helps because it has a more bigger screen and shows bigger picture," she said.

Not everyone has an internet connection, so the district is providing hot spots as well to allow students to connect their Chromebooks or iPads to school.

It's more than a box; it's a tool to close the digital divide and keep kids on track in the age of COVID-19.

IPS has already spent an extra $1.2 million on PPE for students and staff, as well.

IPS will host a virtual meeting titled "Introduction to IPS Remote Learning: What Families Should Expect" Thursday at 5 p.m. on Zoom. The meeting will allow families and members of the community to learn more about the district's remote learning plan and as questions.

The meeting will also be available live on the IPS Facebook page.