SUWANEE -- As students begin the transition of using digital learning materials in their classrooms and at home, the district is asking IBM for support in the development of its teaching, student and parent portals.
Members of the Gwinnett County school board on Thursday voted unanimously to approve a $2.2 million contract with IBM for technical support of the district's eCLASS initiative.
District Spokesperson Sloan Roach said the assistance from IBM is needed.
"We will need support for the entire initiative," she said.
According to the contract with IBM, the company "will leverage best practice system implementation methods and operational transformation processes, roles and policies to reinforce the integrity and usefulness of eCLASS."
Using the Parent Portal, Student Portal and a new electronic gradebook and attendance module, teachers will be able to track and manage classroom data using browser-based technologies, which means they can enter grades from any location using a compatible device with Internet access.
The new digital curriculum and instruction initiative by Gwinnett County Public Schools aims to move the district in a new direction with less paper and more online information.
As the transition continues, IBM "will continue to assist GCPS with the eCLASS Transformational Team comprised of GCPS members who will provide governance and guidance throughout the eCLASS implementation."
Funded by the most recent iteration of the education special purpose local option sales tax, which was approved by Gwinnett County voters in November 2011, eCLASS (Content, Learning, Assessment and Support System) was part of planned technology upgrades earmarked in the ballot language for the measure.
While all GCPS facilities will eventually use eCLASS, 33 schools in the district are piloting the initiative. They include classrooms in the Archer, Berkmar, Duluth, North Gwinnett and Shiloh clusters.
The MYeCLASS student portal is also available to all schools in 2012-13. Using individual student login, students and their parents will have access to existing and new digital resources. More resources will be added over time.
To visit the parent or student portals or learn more about eCLASS, visit www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us.