Henry County Schools buys robotics equipment for grades 3-5

Photo of elementary school grades 3-5 robotics equipment (special photo).

Henry County Schools approved the purchase of robotics equipment earlier this month. The school board also awarded contracts for instructional materials and school security improvements.

Board action occurred during the January 10, 2022 meeting. The board meets once monthly on the second Monday of the month.

Grades 3-5 Robotics Equipment

The school district selected VEX GO as its preferred vendor for the new robotics equipment. VEX is best known as the company behind high school robotics competitions.

The VEX GO system offers buildable models tailored for grades 3 and up. The models include beams, plates, pins and shafts that connect to motors and sensors. Henry County’s purchase will provide 20–40 kits per elementary school.

Exposing all students to robotics is part of the district’s strategic plan. The district opted to begin with grades 3-5 because they are the first students that will be able to attend the new STEM High School. The new school plans to open before the 2026–2027 school year.

The robotics equipment purchase has a cost not to exceed $123,000. The final purchase price is subject to further negotiations. Education SPLOST VI is funding the purchase.

Instructional Materials

In addition, the district approved the purchase of new reading and writing instructional materials. The school district will buy the materials from Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt (HMH).

The purchase includes the following:

  • grades K-5 core reading and writing resource,
  • grades 6-12 supplemental writing program, as well as
  • a supplemental tool for assessing and supporting student reading in grades K-2.

ESSER funds (federal COVID-19 funds for education) are covering the purchase. The cost equals $3,693,258.50. This was negotiated down from a list price of $7,745,319.30.

Security Access Control

Finally, Henry County Schools awarded the contract for security access control at all schools. The education SPLOST VI project will improve school security and provide key card access points to school buildings.

The district installed the key card access at McDonough High and McDonough Middle when constructing the new schools. The program has been well-received at those facilities. Now, the construction work will retrofit all existing schools with the technology.

Three vendors submitted bids for the work. Place Services Inc. / AdaptToSolve, Inc. of Canton, GA submitted the low bid of $5,637,685.00. The contract consists of work at fifty-five schools and district buildings.

Going forward, the key card access will be standard construction on new buildings. Examples include upcoming projects for two new elementary schools — one each in McDonough and Locust Grove.

Featured image shows robotics equipment for grades 3-5. Photo credit C. Carte.

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About Clayton 936 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of Moving Henry Forward Community News. Since 2017, he has written over 900 articles sharing local updates with the community. Now, in 2022, he is running for Georgia State House District 117 to advocate for Henry County at the State Capitol.