The hot topic at Manteca Unified appears to be what to do about broken screens on the 3E Panasonic tablets.
Of the 23,500 issued to students last spring, a reported 470 were damaged from cracked screens due to falls or during the handling inside of backpacks.
Whatever the reason, the district officials hope they have a solution in the Gumdrop cases. “We believe this might be the answer,’ said Cheryl Meeker, who is the district’s senior director of elementary education.
Gumdrop manufactures some of the toughest and most durable cases on the market, according to Superintendent Jason Messer at Tuesday’s Manteca Unified school board meeting.
Meeker indicated that cases resemble a tire but provides superior shock absorption while conforming to the shape of the Panasonic tablet.
For now, 5,000 of the Gumdrops are being purchased as a pilot program for seventh and eighth grade students.
“This was based on data,” Meeker said. “They’re the ones transferring (the device) to classes and jockeying in the hallway.”
The tablet stays inside the classroom for K-3.
The cost for each case runs at $41.15 with tax. “Because we buy more the cost would be less for us,” said Messer.
Meanwhile, MUSD paid $499 for the tablets.
Some students are still without the device, which are currently on order. Meeker said that problem should be remedied by Thanksgiving.
“We should be back to normal by then,” she said.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, email firstname.lastname@example.org.