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Chandler to purchase 2,800 iPads for second graders, aims to improve reading comprehension

The governing board for the Chandler Unified School District has approved the purchase of 2,800 iPads for its second graders.

The board unanimously approved the $1,964,891.38 purchase at its meeting Wednesday. Lana Berry is the district’s chief financial officer. She said the devices will be distributed across 31 elementary schools.

“Devices will be distributed to second grade classrooms to increase engagement of students in small group structures and to provide individualized and small group intervention and extensions in reading," Berry said.

Those students were using old Chromebooks before, with just a few iPads to go around an entire grade level. The district hopes getting new devices for the digital curriculum will improve reading comprehension.

Jessica Edgar is the district’s director of pre-K-12 curriculum and instruction. 

“A few years ago, we adopted our ELA curriculum and part of that was a digital component which is actually presented in a way that is best, developmentally, for second grade students to be able to use the iPad within that instructional setting," Edgar said.

The hope is that more students will be able to read at their grade-level.

According to  Education Forward Arizona, about 41% of the state’s third-graders scored proficient or highly proficient on the 2023 statewide reading assessment. 

Chandler’s purchase also includes protective cases, keyboards and professional development for teachers.

In an email, Executive Director Of Marketing and Communications Stephanie Ingersoll said: "Chandler Unified School District is committed to providing every student quality technology to enhance learning experiences. This will help us continue achieving this goal while also moving our technology efforts forward."

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.