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Fulton County school board OKs $5M software to help students achieve
by Noreen Lewis Cochran
ncochran@neighbornewspapers.com
June 13, 2012 06:21 PM | 2241 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Fulton County Board of Education at its regular meeting Tuesday at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School in Sandy Springs voted 7-0 to approve a $5 million, five-year contract with Boston-based Public Consulting Group to replace a software program launched in 2006.

“We wanted to see where technology has come in the past six years,” Debbie Jaffe, the system’s data integration and utilization director, said about research conducted prior to fielding two competitive offers to provide an online instructional improvement tool.

With the new software, called EdPlan, which will cost $1.4 million the first year, Fulton County School System staff, teachers, parents and students can slice and dice information down to class assignment due dates.

“Our application has the ability to look at the entire history of a student in your system,” said Ken Sumrall, a manager with the company, whose local office is in Sandy Springs. “It can show parents and students where prior-year problems led to current-year deficits and suggest resources to correct this.”

Pre-proposal focus groups contributed a wish list of improvements and upgrades.

“We heard it was important to provide electronic file folders,” Amy Smith, the company’s Southeast regional manager, said about one of the customized functions. “We are able to provide the capacity to pull information from outside the system.”

To create a smooth transition, the current program will remain in place until June 2013 while the new program is phased in and users are trained.

“We will set up a portal for the district and we will be fully prepared to offer access to the various user groups. We will work with your existing data sources,” Smith said about importing historical information, starting with the 2004-05 school year.

The company’s clients include the Paulding County Board of Education and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

In other actions, the board voted 5-2 to deny the Fulton Leadership Academy’s charter petition, opposed by District 4 board member Linda Bryant and District 6 board member Catherine Maddox, and 6-1 to approve a five-year agreement with the Alpharetta High School Touchdown Club, also opposed by Bryant.

“I believe in the four-year process. I don’t have a problem with doing the project,” she said about construction of an athletic field house.

The board approved a lease 7-0 with Atlanta Concorde Fire Soccer Association for a field at Ridgeview Charter School in Sandy Springs, valued at more than $42,000 annually.

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