Beaufort County school board gets iPads to go paperless

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 11, 2013 

  • Earl Campbell, District
    P.O. Box 768

    Lobeco, SC 29931

    843-846-4531, home

    843-476-7512, cell

    Bill Evans, District 2

    9 Bobwhite Court

    Beaufort, SC 29907

    843-694-3396, cell

    Michael Rivers, District 3

    734 Seaside Road

    St. Helena Island, SC 29920

    843-838-2277, home

    843-263-8467, cell

    Jim Beckert, District 4

    P.O. Box 2059

    Beaufort, SC 29901

    843-525-6513, home

    Geri Kinton, District 5

    134 Collin Campbell

    Beaufort, SC 29906

    843-846-2366, home

    Paul Roth, District 6

    13 Oldfield Village Road

    Okatie, SC 29909

    843-422-3528, home

    Evva Anderson, District 7

    P.O. Box 1419

    Bluffton, SC 29910

    843-683-0680, home

    Mary Cordray, District 8

    843-681-9838, home

    803-312-1196, cell

    Laura Bush, District 9

    P.O. Box 172

    Bluffton, SC 29910

    843-757-2638, home

    Mike Sanz, District 10

    97 Victoria Square Drive

    Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

    843-422-9793, home

    JoAnn Orischak, District 11

    29 Long Brow Road

    Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

    843-338-1737, cell

  • The school board on Friday:

    • Was briefed on Robert's Rules of Order, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

    • Heard updates on the ending of the New River tax-increment financing district and on the district's bond program.

    • Received an overview of the county's 2013 property reassessment process.

    • Reviewed programs to help struggling students and enrich gifted and talented students.

    • Reviewed the district's virtual-learning options.

Between presentations, handouts and other documents, more than 2,000 sheets of paper were used for Friday's Beaufort County Board of Education meeting.

"My home office is full of paper from years of board meetings," board Secretary Laura Bush said.

But board members received a tool during the first day of the two-day work session that could clear the clutter -- iPads that could help the board go paperless.

Members can now access agendas and all presentations and supporting documents through the device. They also will use the iPads to check email and take notes at meetings.

Many board members had only occasionally used an iPad, but they were trained on the basics Friday by eight technology coaches, who also have helped launch the district's classroom iPad program.

The 12 iPads, keyboards and cases were purchased for $3,790, taken from the board's $564,500 budget, and were given to each board member and the board's administrative secretary, Robyn Cushingberry.

Cushingberry said the board budget typically covers board members' stipends, mileage reimbursements, salaries, legal fees and trips. It also pays for printing costs. This initiative is separate from the $1.8 million technology initiative that put iPads in some middle and high school classrooms this school year.

There was no estimate on how much the iPads will save in paper expense.

For the next few meetings, paper copies of agendas and all documents will be available for board members as they get used to using their iPads, Cushingberry said. By March, the board should be paperless, except for the few presentation copies Cushingberry -- who often spends several hours copying, collating, stapling and organizing board information -- will still make for the press and the public.

New board members Mary Cordray and Geri Kinton said having all board information at their fingertips at all times will be useful. Cordray has frequently carried a tote full of annual reports and other documents the board has received in just a few months.

"I won't have to worry about losing a paper," she said. "When I want to look something up, it will all be accessible. That's so much nicer."

Related content

  1. Beaufort County Council approves tax hike for schools; Aug. 27, 2012
  2. Beaufort County school board passes budget that includes iPads, calls for tax hike; May 18, 2012

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