Merced high school district buys 7,866 computers for students

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comApril 15, 2014 

Merced Union High School District trustees have purchased 7,866 Chromebooks for students, which should be ready for use this fall.

The devices cost about $3.2 million.

By unanimous vote at their April 9 meeting, the board selected CDW-G, headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill., to supply the Lenovo brand of Google Chromebooks. They will be delivered between July 1-15, said Leonard Kahn, assistant superintendent for business services.

Superintendent Scott Scambray said the purchase is a huge positive for the district in getting computer devices into students’ hands. Scambray said board members have always been ahead of the curve in terms of technology.

CDW-G, which has offices in Northern California, was one of three vendors bidding for the computers. Dell and Sterling also submitted bids. A proposal by ACUS did not meet specifications.

Kahn said the district has 3,100 Samsung Chromebooks on hand.

About $2.2 million of the purchase cost comes from the district’s instructional services budget and the remaining $1 million from state Common Core standards implementation funds.

The district will provide CDW-G with scanner labels, which will be applied to the units. The purchase includes preparing the units to be recognized by the district’s computer systems, along with necessary licenses.

Kahn said Golden Valley, Buhach Colony and Livingston high schools will be ready to use the Chromebooks this fall. El Capitan High School started using computers in lieu of textbooks last fall. The devices will be ready for rollout in 2015-2016 at Merced and Atwater high schools.

In ensuing years, Kahn said, the district plans to purchase 2,000 Chromebooks to replenish the supply.

According to its website, CDW-G is a leading provider of integrated information technology solutions in the United States and Canada for business, government, education and health care organizations.

Sun-Star staff writer Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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