This is the announcement I published on March 18 for our Mercy families:
After extensive research and consideration, we have selected the "Mercy iPad Package". Seventy new iPads have been ordered for staff, and after we have finalized our work flow and operationalized our web site, we will begin taking orders from new students (required) and current students (optional).
The Mercy iPad package will be slightly more expensive than anticipated because we have included two extremely worthwhile upgrades:
* Staff and students will have the new iPad which was introduced by Apple on March 7. It will be the basic Wi-Fi model, but we have chosen to double its standard storage to 32 gigabytes. As David Pogue recently noted, "the graphics in Retina-ready apps consume two to three times as much of the iPad’s non expandable storage." We also want the iPads to contain sufficient storage for digital textbooks which consume considerable storage with their multimedia content. The cost of this iPad will be $579 (normally $599).
*On March 7, Apple also announced that AppleCare+ would be available for iPad. This deluxe warranty costs $20 more than what we had planned, because it covers accidental damage . (Users are allowed two incidents of accidental damage, each of which will require a $49 service fee). This warranty also provides two years of service and 24 hour telephone technical support. The cost to Mercy families' will be $79 (normally $99).
We are currently selecting a protective case with Mercy logo ($20-25). An app fee of $50 will be charged for the bountiful apps that will be included on the Mercy iPad. (Many of these apps will be obtained at half price through volume purchasing). Mercy's only tiny slice of the entire transaction will be a $15 fee for processing the order. The total cost (before sales tax) of the Mercy iPad package will be about $750.
We are planning to host a special iPad "launch", the evening of May 14th for new and current students. Families may examine the iPads, ask questions, and place orders. In addition, we hope to have some vetted accessories like keyboards available for purchase through a third party. Attending will not be necessary-- We wish to offer this as a convenience to our valued partners in this exciting adventure.
We will keep our families informed as these plans develop. In the mean time feel free to contact me with questions.