For Immediate Release: July 1, 2021
Contact: Janson Silvers (336) 370-8307
Media Desk (336) 574-5730
GCS Upgrades Board Room Technology
New technology improves access for people with disabilities
Greensboro, N.C. – When technology becomes so old that parts are no longer available for repairs, it’s time to make a change.
That’s the situation Guilford County Schools (GCS) found itself in when its electronic voting equipment broke more than a year ago. In addition, the district’s legacy technology was no longer compatible with today’s digital communication specifications.
Assigned a combined score of 38 (out of 100) on the district’s facility study<www.gcsnc.com/Page/54903> – the seventh worst score in the district – the issues weren’t exactly a surprise. However, the equipment issues and grainy footage also made it more difficult for people with disabilities to view and access the meetings without the aid of an interpreter. Closed captioning wasn’t available.
With the district’s board room and broadcasting capabilities in jeopardy and more people depending on GCS’ cable channel and virtual options for access due to the pandemic, district officials decided to upgrade the technology and the infrastructure supporting it. These infrastructure supports were located behind walls, under floors and in the ceiling.
The renovation moves the GCS board room and GCSTV into the 21st century with new technology, allowing enhanced viewing of board meetings, school productions, newsbreaks, public service announcements and other programming to Guilford County citizens and beyond.
The functionality upgrades include a digital voting system for the board, on/off microphone system, power access through the floor, broadcasting quality upgrades such as robotic cameras, improved lighting, broadcast monitors that allow better viewing for board meeting attendees and a newly renovated television control room to stream in high definition while also providing closed captioning as mentioned before.
The GCSTV improvements allow the 24/7 station to be viewed by more people. In the coming months, GCSTV will be able to incorporate a “video on demand” system into the GCS website where all GCSTV videos will be able to be viewed. This is in addition to the YouTube channel GCSTV currently operates.
Currently, GCSTV can be viewed on YouTube or through Spectrum Cable and AT&T U-Verse. Viewers can subscribe to the GCSTV YouTube page by searching “Guilford County Schools” on YouTube and clicking “subscribe.” These upgrades will aid GCSTV in the launch of an app on Roku and Amazon devices. With the app, anyone, anywhere will be able to watch the live stream of GCSTV, enabling the district to engage more parents, students and citizens.
Costs associated with the projects are as follows:
Boardroom Renovations: $71,960
Lobby Renovations: $74,133
About Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina and one of the 50th largest of more than 14,000 in the United States, serves more than 70,000 PK-12 students at 126 schools. With approximately 9,800 employees, GCS works in partnership with parents, businesses, colleges and the community to deliver an education that connects student interests and skills with the careers and economy of our future here and around the world. We provide educational choices to meet individual student needs in a culturally diverse citizenship and new opportunities to help our students Soar to Greatness. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.gcsnc.com.
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