Hoquiam looks at iPads, all-day kindergarten

In the wake of a local push for greater technology use in schools, the Hoquiam School Board voted to look at proposals to buy more electronic tablets for the district at a projected cost of $130,000.

The purchases will fall under the district’s projected technology budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which is set at $159,775.

The additional purchases of tablets, which will be iPads, will place the technology in the hands of every fourth- and fifth-grader in the district, said the district’s Assistant Superintendent Shannon Webster.

First, second and third grades will have about one tablet per two kids and 10 iPads will be assigned to each of the district’s kindergarten classes.

There will also be 60 tablets for the sixth grade, and 30 tablets assigned to Hoquiam Middle School science classes.

The board also discussed the upcoming all-day kindergarten which the Legislature voted to fund in its most recent session.

The district budgeted five sections of classes, and currently has 19 students signed up for two those sessions and 20 students signed up in three sessions.

While the district had 107 enrolled at the end of June, according to Webster, the numbers have dropped to 98.

Webster said the district typically loses students and gains others between April and the start of the school year.

“Our offices have not yet opened, so new students haven’t had the opportunity to enroll,” she said in an email to The Daily World, adding that “historically the numbers increase once the school year begins. To withdraw a child a fax is sent, so the office coordinator can do that throughout the summer. To enroll a student, the parent phsycially goes into the office and collects the paperwork.”

Asked how the drop in numbers might affect the district, Webster said they won’t know until the numbers are counted in September.

“At this point, it isn’t considered a drop in enrollment because we don’t have official numbers until the students actually show up for school.”