Technology-centric year for Cobb schools

Cobb school reopening guidance illustrated with logo on front of buildingCobb County School District sign (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Cobb County School District (CCSD) Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said schools in the county are in for a technology-centric year.

“This year will not be a normal school year,” he said to the Cobb County Board of Education, as reported in a news release from the district. “We must be one team for the greater good. Continued success will require that everyone does their part.”

“This year will be technology-centric,” he said. “This is the only way we can minimize disruptions if a school or a class needs to quarantine.”

The news release states that, “More than 40,000 requests for devices have been made to date, and continue to trickle in. The District has fulfilled 37,000 of these requests and have notified the rest that their requested devices are ready to be picked up at their school.”

CTLS Learn

Ragsdale also spoke about CTLS Learn, the system the school district chose for virtual learning.

“A return to classrooms will look different across the District,” Mr. Ragsdale said. “Some schools may have 80% return; some may have only 20%. But all will be using devices and CTLS to some degree.”

“It was a bumpy start,” he said. “Many of the early issues were due to scalability and internal connectivity, but CTLS is in a great place now.”

Cobb County School District (CCSD) Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said schools in the county are in for a technology-centric year.Cobb County School District Chief of Technology, Marc Smith said the district had increased the number of help desk support employees available.

“Up to 17 representatives and technicians are now available to answer questions and help solve problems,” he said. “Response times have been shortened significantly.”

Start date has been a moving target

The school year thus far has been a start and stop affair due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, the school opening delayed until August 17, then the original hybrid plan with online learning and face-to-face options changed to online only, and finally phased-in face-to-face instruction was scheduled to begin on October 5.

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