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Guilford County Schools to restart tablet program; extended through 2018

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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.

8 comments

    • Stephen

      Criminals?

      Amplify did not deliver on the promised Gorilla Glass, this is true. However, regardless of the glass on the tablets students should not be dropping them! Even if the screens don’t break, what of the internal components? Maybe GCS teachers need to teach the students a little more personal responsibility concerning their devices?

      • ZombieKiller

        Parents should be teaching responsiblity not the teachers. These tablets are pieces of shit anyway. No wonder GCS got a good deal. I wonder if Mo got a free tablet.

    • Graham

      So we should teach our children it’s OK to disrespect things that do not belong to them? We should turn a blind eye instead of trying to correct the behavior?

  • afahmy

    Superintendent Mo Green says troubleshooting provisions are in place for new tablets but are “approaching partnership moving forward.”

    I don’t know what that means. Does Guilford County have anyone in place to ensure it works this time? An expert in the field who has the responsibility & can properly monitor, or call on experts to assist? And be heard if there are problems?

    I have a granddaughter about to enter middle school. Are there sessions to introduce parents/guardians to these tablets? Are they asked to make a commitment to their use & care? Is this about students achieving higher educational goals, or about those presenting the program achieving higher monetary goals?

    I would like to see both students & presenters achieve their goals.

  • Mark Stabler

    How many of the faulty original tablets have still not been recovered from Students? I wonder how many tablets school personnel estimate will be broken, lost or stolen every year out of the 19,240 issued. What will the replacement cost and update cost for these tablets be each year. Oh, it was federal grant money that was used to purchase them. Not like this is comes from taxpayers…and those from home the Feds borrow money each and every day.

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