A burglar broke into the Grass Valley Charter School through a window, stealing 25 iPads, a laptop and a digital camera, worth an estimated $14,000.
The theft apparently took place some time after about 4 p.m. Sunday and was not discovered until school resumed Tuesday morning, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Joe Matteoni.
There was no sign of forced entry, Matteoni said.
The windows to the sixth-grade classroom had been closed, said Principal Brian Martinez, speculating that one had not latched correctly or had been jimmied open.
The burglar broke into a locked rolling cart that contained the 25 iPads and also took a computer belonging to a teacher.
Martinez estimated the loss at about $14,000, noting that the cart was destroyed and would need to be replaced.
“That was a chunk of money, too,” he said.
The iPads had just been purchased this summer with state funding for the Common Core rollout, Martinez said.
Grass Valley Charter School, located at 225 S. Auburn St., is an expeditionary learning school, and as such, teaching is project-based. The sixth-graders had just completed a unit on tectonic plates for earth sciences, and all of their final projects were stored on the iPads.
“It’s unfortunate,” Martinez said. “In the future, we’ll probably save to the cloud — this has been a learning experience for us.”
Martinez said the iPads were all labeled GVCS in black marker, and the school’s logo is on the background screen. Anyone with information on the theft can call Grass Valley Police Department at 530-477-4600.
The principal said the school will probably only be able to recover part of the cost of the devices through its insurance, since it has a high deductible.
“It’s always hard to purchase a large amount of technology; it’s a big outlay,” he said.
“No one deserves to be a victim of theft, but (it’s particularly hard) because we’re here to serve the community.”
Contact City Editor Liz Kellar at email@example.com or 530-477-4229.