WINNSBORO — The Fairfield County School District has elected to discontinue a contract with a software company after technical difficulties.
School board trustees unanimously voted 6-0 to cancel the contract with Thinkgate, a company that was providing a tool the district was delivering on a computer and using for assessment.
However, according to superintendent J.R. Green the software demonstrated several technical issues and became unreliable
“The program has been invalid because of technical difficulties,” Green stated. “The program was kicking students out after beginning an assessment and the tool did not deliver what the company said it would.”
Tool was being used to utilize nine-week assessments in grades 3-12 and allowed to student to give feedback about the classroom.
In addition to utilizing the nine week assessments, teachers were using the tool to develop their in-class assessments and included data that indicated how well students were grasping the curriculum.
The district has already transitioned to a new too called Mastery Connect at the beginning of the current nine-week period.
Green said the district is in negotiation with Thinkgate for reimbursement since the contract was cancelled.
“We are in talks with them (Thinkgate) to receive some money back after pro-rating the time of service,” he advised.
The district paid Thinkgate for use of the product for the entire year, however only completed about half the duration of the contract.
Per the contract and software agreement, the school board needed a vote to demonstrate dissatisfaction.
The South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) will undertake a revision of the district’s Section B board policy.
The revisions will not re-do the policies that are current and up to date.
In addition, the contract price of $1,200 will include two trips to the district (one for the initial review with staff and one for a meeting with the board to present the drafts and reasons for the changes).
SCSBA’s Tiffany Richardson director of policy and legal services wrote in a letter to the district, that the review would include School Board Governance and Operations in the policy manual with the superintendent, board committee or other designated persons, if necessary, to determine which policies are current as well as those policies the board needs to revise and/or adopt as new policies.
The full payment of $1,200 will be split into two installments, with the first $600 coming at the start of the Section B revision policy project and the second $600 coming after the drafts have been delivered.