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Contract Workers Continue To Help Solve GCS' Tablet Problem

5:29 PM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Questions continue to surround the tablet troubles at Guilford County Schools (GCS).

GCS gave their middle school students tablets at the beginning of the school year. But, after safety concerns the school district suspended use of the tablets Oct. 4. GCS received nearly 2,000 complaints about the tablets' cases. Some complained about the units overheating while charging.

WFMY News 2 learned that the 15,000 tablets were collected and are being stored at various locations within the county. We also learned there are 12 Personalized Learning Environment Facilitators (PLEFs) hired to help with this personalized learning initiative.

A district spokesperson said the 12 PLEFs will continue to work, even though the tablet program is suspended. The PLEFs are contracted and their salaries are paid using funds from the $30-million federal grant GCS received last December. The salaries range from $44,000 to $65,000 using the county's teacher paying scale.

But why are workers still working, even though the tablets program is suspended?

We spoke with Dr. Jake Henry with the school district Tuesday. Henry said the workers are needed because they are working with the contracted company, Ampilfy, to resolve the tablet troubles. He added, PLEFs are working with teachers to help them with the personalized learning program without tablets in the schools.

GCS leased the tablets from Amplify. The company's spokesperson said they're working with the school district to find a solution. Amplify representative said the company has received the chargers last week and are sending them to an independent lab for examination.

A school district spokesperson said they don't have a timeline on when the tablets could return. 

The school district received the tablets as part of a $30 million grant from the federal government last December. 

So far, GCS has spent about $3.1 million from the grant this school year. The school district said they are looking for alternative funds to keep the program going pass the four years.

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