Amherst Central Schools encourage collaboration across grade levels and at home

Challenge

Amherst Central Schools wanted to introduce tools to empower students and staff to collaborate and share ideas across classroom and grade levels, both at school and when working from home. The schools also needed a new email platform for students and teachers because their previous system was clunky.

"Learning is meant to be a social and collaborative process. Other devices that we evaluated were designed to be individual devices and didn’t foster collaboration like Chromebooks."

Anthony Panella, assistant superintendent of curriculum and Instruction, Amherst Central Schools

Solution

In 2010 Amherst Central Schools chose Gmail as its email system and introduced G Suite for Education for all students and teachers. Shortly thereafter, the district launched a device pilot program and rolled out Chromebooks district-wide. Today classrooms for grades 3-12 are outfitted with Chromebook carts with one device for every student. The combination of G Suite for Education and Chromebooks encourage students to collaborate and work in teams and allow teachers to share resources and best practices. Currently, about 70 percent of the district has a 1:1 Chromebook environment. The district’s goal is to introduce a 1:1 model district-wide by fall 2018.

Organization Profile

Located in the largest suburb of Buffalo, New York, Amherst Central Schools are known statewide for their music and arts programs. The district educates 2,900 student across two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Amherst Central Schools’ mission is to prepare its diverse student body to succeed in their future careers and to be productive citizens of the community.

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