Glendale Unified adopts its first technology sustainability plan

New laptops will be phased into Glendale Unified schools this year as part of the district’s adoption of its first technology sustainability plan to replace aging computer equipment districtwide.

School officials unanimously approved a five-year lease of 1,200 Lenovo Yoga 370 laptops with Lenovo Financial Services, amounting to roughly $1.75 million, during a school board meeting last week.

New devices will be distributed in multiple phases to allow time for staff training, said Kristine Nam, district spokeswoman.

In addition, the school board approved the technology sustainability budget, which designates $3.66 million in one-time funding received in 2017-18 from the state to lease new laptops for teachers for the next three years.

After three years, the district will rely on the one-time funds it has typically received over the past five years. Or, if the district’s general budget is balanced in the future, it could shift expenses as a long-term solution.

Stephen Dickinson, chief business and financial officer, said if the district’s budget becomes “drastically worse,” school board members could “push the pause button” by placing the plan’s money in undesignated funds.

Within the next month or two, Dickinson said the district will purchase 720 new Chromebooks to have on reserve. As they wear out, they will be replaced.

To annually sustain Chromebooks, $654,333 is allocated for a 3-to-1 student ratio per device, according to the meeting’s agenda.

In past meetings, school officials have said some of the 10,000 Chromebooks in the district are reaching their four-year life expectancy.

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