The Journal Gazette
Thursday, April 29, 2021 1:00 am

FWCS to use some virus relief aid for new tech

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne Community Schools is spending some of its federal coronavirus relief dollars on tablets, laptops and internet providers.

The board Monday approved four sets of technology purchases that will be partially or entirely financed by the second round of federal emergency funding announced in February.

FWCS' allocation was more than $40 million.

The board approved buying 4,493 iPads, including setup services, and 3,693 iPad cases with a keyboard from Apple for about $1.6 million.

The number of cases and iPads don't match because 800 devices don't require a keyboard, and their cases will be bought separately, officials said.

About 3,000 of the iPads and cases will replace older student iPads, making those devices available for use by elementary media centers for the summer reading program, officials said.

FWCS also is acquiring 500 Lenovo laptops from ProSys of Indianapolis for $224,150 to replace unrepairable or lost student devices not covered by insurance, officials said.

A separate purchase of 290 laptops, also from ProSys, will benefit students in the New Tech program at Wayne High School and students in the Project Lead the Way engineering program at Northrop High School, officials said. Cost is $462,840.

The board also approved Comcast as its primary internet service provider and Zayo as its secondary provider. The three-year contracts respectively total $218,700 and $184,680 and will be paid in three annual installments.

Officials noted the federal government will provide a 90% discount on the primary internet cost.

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