Sumner County Schools Need Technology Overhaul - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Sumner County Schools Need Technology Overhaul

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. - The quality of the technology in Sumner County Schools largely depends on how much money the parent teacher organization can generate.

"They noticed that other schools in the county had different technology that they just didn't have," Karen Medana, 5th grade teacher at Whitten Elementary said about her students. "Ours pulls in about $12,000 to $15,000 dollars compared to some who pull in $100,000. So that does make a big difference.

It makes a huge difference and creates a noticeable disparity between schools, because for years technology has not been a top priority for the district.

"We're going to make some drastic improvements," Sumner School Board chairman Ted Wise said, "both in infrastructure…to provide for our students."

School leaders have no choice as the writing assessments for the TCAP exams will be administered online for the first time this upcoming school year.

That's why Debra Maggart through her organization COMPASS is trying to bridge the gap by creating community partnerships.

"We want to let people know what we have, what we need and then we want to talk about how we're going to get the technology that we need to make sure our students here in Sumner County are successful," Maggart said.

Mrs. Medana's fifth graders couldn't wait.

"They literally came up with a business proposal and our goal was to get one IPad by Christmas," she said.

An anonymous donor gave then $25,000 for their efforts which allowed them to buy 55 new IPads.

"With this type of technology they are able to get skills they may not otherwise have the opportunity to have," she said.

For students it's a great lesson in persistence, that hopefully will come easier to future classes.

The Sumner County School board has allocated $1.6 million in its budget for technology upgrades. Some of that will come from the state, while the rest will come from the county that still has to approve its final budget.

Email: acline-thomas@newschannel5.com
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