During the summer, we carefully planned out how we would redistribute the 300+ iPads to our returning students. Although the photo above makes this look laid-back and organized, it ended up being quite a huge task. Here is how we did it.
First, here is a list of things we wanted to accomplish over the summer
- Repair any broken screens and replace any broken covers
- Wipe out the graduated 8th graders' iPads and prepare them for distribution to the new 5th grade students. Other students would receive their same iPads that they handed in at the end of last year.
- Build a second iPad cart from scratch (more on this in another post)
- Come up with an effective plan for collecting eBook fees, insurance money, and signed copies of the iPad Usage Guidelines from each student and parent
- Come up with an effective way to distribute the iPads to returning and new students
During the summer, our tech team took care of the first three items. For numbers four and five, we enacted the following procedure:
- The school hosts a “Locker Setup and Packet Pickup” day each year the week before school starts. This is when parents bring their kids by, drop off supplies, check out their classroom, and pick up any important paperwork.
- During this time period, we set up an iPad Pickup Table next to the front office (pictured above)
- In order to receive the iPad, parents had to pay the insurance fee, eBook fees, and hand in the Guidelines with both parent and student signature. If they had multiple children, they needed multiple copies of the guidelines.
- For payments, we accepted check and cash in person and also had two computers set up with the school's online payment portal open for parents that wanted to log in and pay by credit card
- If students and/or parents were missing and could not sign the guidelines, we still let them take the iPad and simply set a deadline for handing in the forms after school started. However, no iPads were given to families that had not paid the fees.
- 5th grade students could pay and hand in the form, but were not given their iPads. They would be distributed as a group during the first week of school as they required some initial help setting up.
- Any students that did not get their iPads during this packet pickup time could get it from the front office the first week of school.
Overall, it went very smoothly. But here a a few very important suggestions before attempting this:
- Have the iPads in boxes, in alphabetical order, by grade level or homeroom. This makes it easy to find during distribution and ensures that all kids have iPads assigned to them. Give students their same iPads from the previous year if at all possible.
- Properly label any iPads that require an iCloud restore or a new student setup. We had a few volunteers available at the distribution that could take kids aside and help them restore their iCloud backup if they needed to (for students that had cracked screens and received new iPads after the summer).
- If you have as many devices as us, anticipate a huge crowd and quite a long line developing at some point. Luckily, we had trained some 8th grade students to help with distribution so we could handle the rush. Next year we plan to spread the packet pickup across multiple days for different grade levels to avoid the rush.
- Have a checklist of all students and columns for the fees, policies, and whether or not they have taken their iPad. This will ensure you keep track of the paperwork.
- Anyone who says they already paid online needs to be marked down for your bookkeeper to verify.
- Set deadlines strictly. We gave kids only 2 days to have everything in once school started, otherwise they started receiving punishments.
Overall, it went quite well for a first try. Feel free to post comments with any questions you might have. Good luck!