GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford County Schools and Amplify announced Wednesday that they will restart the district's middle school tablet program this fall.
The partnership, which originally ended in the 2016-17 school year, will be extended through the 2017-18 school year to make up for the recent suspension of the program.
Amplify will provide GCS with new tablets for 19,240 students, teachers, administrators and parents involved in the program throughout the district’s 24 middle schools and other program participants.
The tablets will be provided for six additional middle schools, 24 total, in the 2017-2018 school year.
Amplifly will also include instructional and classroom management software and consultant time and expertise.
GCS paid Amplify close to $3.2 million to provide tablets to 18 middle schools in the first year of its contract.
The program was then halted in October of 2013.
Amplify has agreed to apply those funds to the 2017-18 school year and will cover the cost for users in the six additional middle schools in the 2017-18 school year.
Amplify has also agreed to pay GCS $856,750 associated with staff time, training and other items stemming from the suspension of the program last year.
Amplify will provide each school with a technology consultant for the first 90 days of their tablet-restart efforts.
GCS plans to stagger school restarts to ensure a smoother transition.
“This is a good step forward, and represents an agreement that allows Guilford County Schools to restart our strategic plan’s signature initiative, which is to have students personalize their learning through the use of technology tools,” said Maurice O. “Mo” Green, superintendent.
“Amplify is dedicated to helping Guilford transform the way teachers teach and students learn,” said company CEO Joel Klein. “We look forward to getting this critical program back on track when we restart in the fall with a new, more durable device.”
While the contract has not yet been finalized, the agreement indicates that both parties have reached an understanding.
GCS and Amplify anticipate finalizing a new contract by March 17.
Under the agreement, Amplify will supply GCS with new tablets to support a pilot program this spring, followed by staff and teacher training this summer for all schools participating in the tablet program.