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What Is Reach4IT?

 

 

What is REACH4IT?

 

REACH4IT is a 4-year, $750,000 device initiative that will rely upon community-wide commitments in order to reach its goal. Funds raised in this campaign will go toward the purchase of electronic notebooks, laptops, and tablets which will be used by students and teachers in every classroom. All six schools and all grade levels will benefit concurrently based on the priorities set by the Greeneville City School System.

 

Why REACH4IT?

 

Bottom line: Lack of electronic access = Lost opportunities

 

“Technology devices as educational tools are as critical today as paper, pencils, and Encyclopedias have been in the past.  Our students simply cannot succeed in the present or future worlds of education and work without them.” - Dr. Linda Stroud, Director of Schools

 

For technology to make a real difference in student learning it cannot simply be an add-on. We need to provide the right equipment to our teachers and students so they can keep up with the modern challenges in a 21st century education. The 21st century classroom is one that is undergoing a rapid transformation into a highly flexible, configurable, and collaborative learning environment in which the teacher can seamlessly transition from lecturer to mentor.

 

Winner of the 2008 Sylvia Charp Award, the Greeneville City School System remains a technology front-runner in the state of Tennessee, but we simply do not have enough technology devices to go around.

Please read what The Greeneville Sun had to say about this honor

 

GCS has done an excellent job maintaining its technology devices. For over a decade, the school system has employed a rigorous maintenance plan that has proven to preserve and even prolong the life of its technology equipment. Additionally, simple housekeeping tasks have proven effective in helping to keep equipment up and running efficiently. For example, student technology aides take the summer months to perform a procedure on every computer device in the school system to remove the dust that accumulates inside the equipment as a result of normal use. Despite an aggressive maintenance plan that has successfully prolonged their usefulness, a great many of the computers we have are outdated and in a state of disrepair. (Please see supporting documentation: REACH4IT - GCS Device Inventory.)

GCS’s current approach is to invest in technology for the classroom that will facilitate learning for all students. We aim to outfit each classroom with enough technology devices to serve the student population, but this is not a one-to-one plan.

One of the reasons GCS is not recommending the implementation of a one-to-one program at this time is due to the successful implementation of its Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, currently in place at Greeneville High School and Greeneville Middle School, with plans to expand to all schools in the coming months. The BYOD program encourages students to register their own laptop, iPad, iPod, and the like, with the school system’s network so they can use these devices in the classroom. There are presently over 1,200 student-owned devices registered with the GCS network – this program is working!

 

  

“Imagine a future where our children are more motivated because they are immersed in the same technology that is increasingly surrounding them in life.” – Bevil Wooding, Brightpath Foundation

 

We’re preparing our students for the future, not the past. It’s the job of our educators to expand our students’ use of technology, teaching them to apply technology as a tool to acquire the skills necessary for success in the 21st century classroom, and beyond – equipping them for college and career.

 We recognize that our students will be competing for jobs which require them to be critical thinkers, and make the most of their proficient technology skills. We also believe it is in the best interest of our community to be able to provide a 21st century workforce for the various industries and businesses in Greene County.

 

“Equipping our students with technology skills that can translate into the workplace is imperative to producing a qualified workforce. Prospective companies want to see that our school systems are capable of producing a workforce that is comfortable with technology and can adapt to its quick-paced changes. Technology is where the future is, and we have to prepare our student for both local and global competition in the job market.”

 – Tom Ferguson, President/CEO of Greene County Partnership.

 

 

What will REACH4IT provide?

 

 Enough electronic devices to serve every student in the classroom that work in concert with:

·         A wireless network upgrade to increase speed of access to research

·         TV/Video production equipment

·         Document cameras and sound systems

·         Pre-engineering hardware and software

·         Upgraded software

·         Interactive boards

·         iPods for music, world languages and English language learning

·         Upgraded science labs for research, testing and analysis

·         Assistive technology for children with special needs

 

 How will we succeed?

  

We need everyone’s support! We are relying on the support of our entire community in order to reach the goal of our Reach4IT initiative:

 

·         The Greeneville City Schools Board of Education has already approved and provided funding for the infrastructure necessary to support increasing device usage.

 

·         The Greeneville City School System has already committed $100k toward this initiative. Those funds were used to purchase new technology devices for use at Greeneville Middle School and Greeneville High School.

 

·         The Greeneville Schools In Action (GSIA) has pledged to support Reach4IT with a portion of its annual fundraising proceeds, for the next 4 years, until the campaign reaches its goal.

 

·         We are asking local businesses and industries to partner with the GCS Education Foundation in financial support of Reach4IT.  DONATE NOW!

 

·         We are mobilizing a grassroots movement to raise awareness and financial support for Reach4IT.

 

·         Additionally, we are reaching out beyond the scope of our community in an attempt to secure corporate and grant funding.

 

Every Reach4IT dollar raised will go toward the purchase of the focus of the initiative: new electronic notebooks, laptops, and iPads.

 

 How do you see yourself fitting in to our plan for success?

1.       Make a tax-deductible gift to the campaign.  DONATE NOW!

2.      Does your employer offer a matching grant program? This is an easy way to double your gift to the campaign.

3.      Do you have a lead for a corporate grant, or Leadership donor? We’d love to talk to you!

4.      Spread the word. Talk to people about Reach4IT!

5.      Invite us to talk about Reach4IT with your fellow civic club members or other interested organizations.

 ……………………… FAQs

Computers become outdated very quickly. How will you address this issue?

Deployment, monitoring and management of tablets and laptops, as is the case with all technology assets, require careful planning and consideration. GCS has identified which devices best suit the needs of our students in the elementary, middle and high schools, and will proceed with placing those devices in the schools as money becomes available. If the technology changes significantly during the REACH4IT initiative, GCS is poised to follow the changes and make updates to their plans for additional equipment purchases.

How can I be assured that these technology tools will be maintained and used in the classroom?

For over a decade, GCS has employed a rigorous maintenance plan that has proven to preserve and even prolong the life of its technology equipment. Simple housekeeping tasks have proven effective in helping to keep equipment up and running efficiently, for instance: Student technology aides take the summer months to perform a procedure on every computer device in the school system, to remove the dust that accumulates as a result of normal use.

Will each student be given a computer as part of this technology initiative?

Our current approach is to invest in technology in the classroom that will facilitate learning for all students. We aim to outfit each classroom with enough technology devices to serve the student population, but this is not a one-to-one plan.

One of the reasons GCS is not recommending the implementation of a one-to-one program at this time is due to the successful of its Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, currently in place at GHS. The BYOD program encourages students to register their own laptop, iPad, ipod, and the like, with the school system’s network so they can use these devices in the classroom. There are presently over 1,200 student-owned devices registered with the GCS network – this program is working!

Will teachers actually use the technology once they have it?

Teachers are the driving force behind many of these needs. They are reaching to have the tools they need to effectively teach the 21st century curriculum to their students. We would not have expected teachers to teach 50 years ago without blackboards, chalk, paper and pencils. The fact is that our world revolves around computers and it’s unreasonable to expect to prepare teachers and students for the future without giving them adequate access to technology.

Is the state’s shift to the Common Core and the plan for an online assessment the real drive behind the need for additional technology?

No. The fact is that we owe it to our students to provide them with technology devices so they can become proficient in their uses and seamlessly merge into life after high school, equipped with these skills.

 

 

Didn’t the state just allocate $51 million to schools for investment in technology?

Yes – and Greeneville City School System’s portion of that allocation amounts to $151,000, which will be used to expand and improve the school system’s technology infrastructure.

How will the money raised through REACH4IT be spent?

Funds will be utilized to supply equitable access to technology at all grade levels. A list of the devices that will be purchased using money raised for REACH4IT is included in this material.

How long will the REACH4IT campaign last?

Our goal is to obtain the pledges necessary to raise our $750k goal in 4 years, but the reality is that we will run the campaign until the need is met. We are that committed to reach our goal.

Can I pledge now and spread my donation over several years?

Yes! You can make annual, quarterly or monthly installments toward your pledge according to your specific preferences. We encourage you to make your annual contributions before the end of the tax year on December 31st.

Can I pay my contribution by credit card?

Yes! The GCS Education Foundation has access to PayPal, through which you can make a contribution using your credit card or your bank account. Just follow the “Donate” link on our website to make that happen.

Is my deduction tax deductible?

Yes! All donations to the REACH4IT campaign will be made through the GCS Education Foundation, which is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

How can I donate?

Click on  DONATE NOW which will take you to the PayPal site to complete your donation.

You can also upload a REACH4IT pledge card, available via the Document Upload tab, or we’ll be happy to mail one to you. Once you’ve completed your pledge card, please return it to:

GCS Education Foundation REACH4IT - , P.O. Box 1420, Greeneville, TN 37744

What if I have other questions?

We invite your questions about “Reach4IT” and encourage you to contact Amanda Waddell, Executive Director, (423) 823-0001, or email waddella@gcschools.net.

 

 

 


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