Apperson Partners with Open Circle and Sudbury Schools to Host Webinar on Integrated Approach to Social and Emotional Learning

Experts to explain why SEL curriculum and assessment go hand-in-hand


Charlotte N.C. – – Assessment leader Apperson is partnering with Open Circle, a leading provider of social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, and Sudbury Public Schools outside of Boston, to host a free webinar Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. The webinar, “Why Social & Emotional Learning Curriculum and Assessment go Hand-in-Hand,” will take place at 4 p.m. (EST).


The webinar features experts Marc Kirsch, Product Development Manager for SEL at Apperson and Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, program manager for Open Circle. The speakers will focus on the importance of social and emotional learning and the benefits of using a curricula and assessment program together to help children overcome obstacles and build resiliency. Sudbury Public Schools will present about its experience with Apperson’s SEL assessments and the Open Circle curriculum.


Apperson offers an online assessment platform called Evo Social & Emotional to help educators measure SEL skills. The tool features the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a strengths-based assessment designed to screen students for social and emotional competencies.


Open Circle provides an evidence-based SEL curriculum for elementary school students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The program helps students develop skills such as empathy, positive relationships and problem solving.


This is the latest effort by Apperson and Open Circle to help educators address students’ SEL development and focus on the whole child. Earlier this summer Apperson and Open Circle partnered to align the skills from its Evo SEL assessment with the skills and practices from the Open Circle Curriculum. The partnership allows educators to measure and track outcomes of the Open Circle programming and to refine Open Circle instruction based on student strengths and needs.


All attendees of the Dec. 2 webinar will receive a free trial of Apperson’s Evo SEL and a discount toward Open Circle products. To register click hereor go to


About the Speakers:


Marc Kirsch, Business Development Manager for Apperson. Marc T. Kirsch is the Business Development Manager for Social-Emotional Learning products at Apperson. He is a resourceful problem-solver and team leader, skilled in turning ideas into products and services. Marc is tasked with developing Apperson’s social-emotional assessment products, working with educators, industry experts and partners to understand and improve the lives of children everywhere. Since the late nineties Marc’s work with a variety of industry leaders has developed his belief that customers deserve a better experience and he molds this believe into everything he does. A father to two young girls, his passion for education brought him to Apperson to turn data into action.


Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, program manager for Open Circle. Kamilah co-founded the Dorchester Collegiate Academy Charter School in Boston where she oversaw social and emotional planning. She has also served as director of the Offender Reentry Program at the Suffolk County House of Correction and worked with youth in the Boston Public School system as a GEAR UP Coordinator. She joined Open Circle in 2013.


Sudbury Public Schools. The school district is located in Sudbury, a suburban town 20 miles west of Boston. The district uses Evo SEL in conjunction with Open Circle. A school representative will discuss the district’s implementation plan and why it chose these tools as part of its SEL strategy.


About Apperson

Apperson’s K-12 assessment solutions help educators develop a 360° panorama of the student and his or her strengths, as well as areas of opportunities, that can inform curriculum decision-making and create positive learning outcomes. Whether it’s DataLink scanners, or the Evo assessment platform, Apperson’s products support and encourage a holistic learning and development approach by helping teachers turn assessment data into actionable information.


About Open Circle

Open Circle is a leading provider of evidence-based curriculum and professional development for social and emotional learning in elementary schools. Since 1987, Open Circle has reached two million children and 15,000 educators. Open Circle is currently used in over 300 schools across the United States. Open Circle is a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College.


International Baccalaureate Launches Student Registry

Connects IB Diploma students with the world’s leading universities

November 18, 2015, Bethesda, MD – The International Baccalaureate  has launched the IB Student Registry.  Free for IB students, this registry will allow for students in the last years of the Middle Years Programme, or who are pursuing the Diploma Programme or Career-related Programme, to create an online portfolio which includes short personal essays, extended essays, CAS details, course credits and more.  University admission offices will be able to use this subscription service to reach these highly sought-after students.

Today’s higher education admissions landscape is undertaking great change.  There are more students considering college than in the past. And that means more people to compete with and more students to choose from.   Between 1980 and 2012, the overall college enrollment rates increased from 26 percent to 41 percent. Admissions officers are seeking new ways to assess the record numbers of students interested in pursuing post-secondary education.  In a time where aptitude test scores no longer carry as great of an impact for admissions officers, this online portfolio allows students who have taken on the rigorous academic coursework established by the IB to stand out in a sea of applicants.

Research released earlier this year by the International Baccalaureate showed that the IB is a pathway to success in post-secondary education.  The first year retention rate of Diploma Programme students was 98 percent, compared to the national retention rate of 77 percent, and the four year graduation rate among all DP participants (those who earned or attempted the DP diploma) was 79 percent.  The four year graduation rate for DP diploma earners was 84 percent, compared to 39 percent nationally.

“For years, admissions officers at our nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities have asked us how they can access the pool of IB students they want to come and be part of their campus community,” said Drew Deutsch, director the Americas for the International Baccalaureate.  “IB students are well prepared to handle the rigorous academics of higher education, which studies have shown.  Colleges actively seek to bring IB students to their campuses.  This student registry is a great tool to help those admissions officers reach IB students nationwide.”


About the IB

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non profit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging education programmes for a worldwide community of schools. For more than 45 years, the IB programmes have gained a reputation for rigour and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21stcentury and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than one million IB students attend over 4,000 schools in 147 countries.



The Learning Counsel Releases the Results of its 2015 National Digital Curriculum Strategy Survey

While only 35% of respondents have established policies on limiting homework, nearly 90% have a student data privacy policy in place.

(Sacramento, CA) November 18, 2015 – The Learning Counsel today released the results of its second annual survey of school and district digital curriculum strategy and transformation, sponsored by Sprint. At the leading edge of this extensive online survey—and something that hits home with parents and students everywhere—is the factor of homework policy. The survey found that only 35% of districts and schools have established policy on homework limitations.

This statistic shows there a majority of schools and districts do not control how much work students and parents are being overwhelmed with at home—and now that homework has gone digital, it’s easier than ever for teachers to load up students with too much work.

The survey found the number one intention of district executives when it came to digital curriculum transformation was “to achieve greater instructor effectiveness.” Last year’s top response was “to increase student engagement.” Other top responses from this year, in order of percentage, were 2) increased student engagement; 3) project-based learning for student instruction; 4) personalized learning; and 5) intervention for struggling students.

The five digita l curriculum policy controls considered most important by district and school administrators were found to be: 1) providing technology training for teachers; 2) advocating  personalized paths of learning using resources; 3) providing ongoing professional development opportunities for applying digital learning; 4) advocating moving to more or all digital content; and 5) providing technology training for students.

LeiLani Cauthen, CEO and publisher of the Learning Counsel, pointed out that many leading schools were past the “just give us anything to get started” phase, which is where many schools and districts unfortunately stand today. She said that even the top answer of technical training for teachers comes from national averages. Cutting-edge schools have been dealing with teacher technical professional development for many years in collaboration with top publishers and software suppliers. The survey response shows that the sheer volume of devices and personnel affected now are calling for a greater focus.

The survey also asked about student data privacy policies, and found that 88.5% of respondents have a privacy policy in place. When asked if they are staffing positions to deal with expansion of digital resources 65% of school and districts said yes.

According to respondents, the top five barriers to adoption of digital curriculum are: 1) instructional design/curriculum design professional development; 2) digital curriculum systems training; 3) classroom pedagogy professional development; 4) inadequate budget to transition; and 5) teacher device use training.

“The national perspective that the Learning Counsel provides regarding digital transformation has proven invaluable as we have embarked on this journey,” said Janell McClure, Director of Digital and Multimedia Learning at Cobb County Schools (GA). “By sharing information, processes, and research that contribute to a successful transition, the Learning Counsel has helped education leaders chart a course that includes actionable data and current trends. The survey results guide our work as we continue to strive for excellence in teaching and learning through digital platforms, tools, and practices.”

The national assessment tool and survey were inspired by The Learning Counsel Digital Curriculum Strategy Discussion Meetings, held in cities across the U.S. “Every district and school executive, curriculum director or innovations specialist we met, no matter which city we were in, were running into similar frustrations, funding barriers, and PD problems,” said Dr. David Kafitz, VP of School Relationships and Consulting at the Learning Counsel. “Many districts and schools do not have comprehensive strategies. All types of random hardware products, subscription sites, apps, digital content, and systems are being used in an unaligned and disorganized manner.”

For more information about the Learning Counsel, please visit

About The Learning Counsel

The Learning Counsel is a mission-based organization focused on helping education professionals in the K-12 sector gain context on the shift to digital curriculum. Serving as an intermediary between schools, curriculum publishers, and high tech companies, the Learning Counsel provides perspective and organizational tools on the transition to digital for school systems across the country.


The Learning Counsel Community thanks Sprint for their sponsorship of this survey and assessment. Their support in education research and development for the transition to digital curriculum and technology supports students nationwide.


Triumph Learning Earns Tech & Learning Award of Excellence for Waggle

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Smart-practice solution recognized for utilizing productive struggle and delivering personalized learning opportunities for students in grades 2-8

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This award signifies that educators recognize Waggle’s benefits for students and teachers.

Waggle, the smart-practice solution from Triumph Learning, earned a Tech & Learning 2015 Award of Excellence in the new product category. The tool was recognized for breaking new ground in education technology.

“Once again this year, the Tech & Learning judges examined hundreds of entries to select the winners of 2015’s Award of Excellence. This wasn’t just checking off spec sheets and surfing other people’s reviews. Each product was handled and scored individually. Not an easy task.” says Kevin Hogan, editorial director for NewBay Media’s Tech & Learning Group. “These companies can be proud that their products were selected as winners by this prestigious team of judges.”

Waggle is a blended learning tool that offers personalized learning for students in grades 2-8 in math and English language arts. By analyzing the many facets of student behavior and performance, the program tailors learning paths based on individual student needs. Educators can view data in real time to pinpoint student strengths and weaknesses and address needs to ensure student success.

“Waggle continues to be proven as an effective tool to help students master math and ELA skills,” said Aoife Dempsey, CTO at Triumph Learning. “This award signifies that educators recognize Waggle’s benefits for students and teachers.”

Waggle was evaluated by Tech & Learning, a leading online education publication serving the K-12 education community as a resource for education technology and sponsor of the 33rd annual Awards of Excellence program. The program honors hardware, software, network and web products that make significant enhancements to educational environments and tools. All entries undergo thorough review by experts in the field whose selection criteria include how well products work in the classroom, ease of use for students and educators, and effective learning improvements.

To learn more about Waggle, visit

About Triumph Learning
Triumph Learning, LLC, is a leading educational content company and publisher of print and digital K-12 resources, standards-aligned instructional materials and effective literacy programs. Its state-customized and Common Core products have served more than 6 million students in 36,000 schools in 2013 and 2014. Triumph Learning offers unique student solutions, robust teacher support, and professional development opportunities. Triumph Learning is committed to serving all students with a mix of interactive digital tools and innovative student texts with products such as Coach and Waggle. For more information, visit


Follett, New Dimension Media Announce Partnership

Standards-aligned streaming videos augment textbook and lesson

planning, whole-class instruction, individual student learning


MCHENRY, Ill., Nov. 19, 2015 – Follett and New Dimension Media (NDM) today announced a partnership for Follett to exclusively distribute NDM’s CCC! Streaming Media to K-12 schools across the United States and Canada. CCC! Streaming Media’s comprehensive video collection is licensed for use in the classroom and provides essential tools to embed video into the curriculum including teacher support material, student connection activities and assessments.

CCC! Streaming Media (Core Curriculum Content) offers 7,000 video programs that can be accessed in just seconds on whiteboards, monitors, laptops and on all handheld devices. Its content partners include Bill Nye, Disney Educational Productions, National Geographic Education, National Science Foundation, BBC, Weston Woods, and many other highly regarded education content providers. Video programs are correlated to the Common Core with new content added every fall. The classroom-length videos, 15-24 minutes in length, also have been edited into two- to three-minute clips for specific subjects.

The product is available now via subscription exclusively through Follett. The videos are available through Follett’sDestiny Library Manager, the market-leading solution that provides students and teachers access to resources from multiple vendors within one system, plus Lightbox — Follett’s new interactive, multimedia learning solution that was unveiled this summer.

“Paired with Lightbox, CCC! Streaming Media will create a cohesive and comprehensive curriculum solution designed to meet the needs of all learners,” said Nader Qaimari, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Follett School Solutions. “Subscribers will not only have access to the diverse streaming video content designed for classrooms, but also quizzes and other key resources. The Follett-New Dimension Media partnership is exciting as the demand for video use in the classroom only intensifies.”

For more information about Follett, visit; for more information about New Dimension Media, visit



About Follett’s PreK-12 Business|
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.


About Follett Corporation |

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach and students to learn. Every day, Follett serves over half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett is higher education’s largest campus retailer and a hub for school spirit and community, operating more than 1,150 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores across the continent. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.6 billion privately held company.


About New Dimension Media |

New Dimension Media (NDM) produces, acquires and distributes video programs to K-12 schools nationwide. NDM’s CCC! Streaming Media is a video content delivery system that contains an entire library of educational programs that cover the four core subject areas plus a wide variety of STEM and other topics.  CCC! Streaming Media’s curriculum-rich multimedia content can be delivered over the internet to whiteboards, laptops, tablets and smartphones, encouraging technological fluency, facilitating learning, and improving test scores. New Dimension Media was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Chicago.


New Guide from Mimio Helps Educators Integrate Mobile Devices into the 21st Century Classroom

 “A Helpful Guide to Mobile Devices in the Classroom, 2nd Edition” Shows Teachers How to Align Devices and Usage to Student Needs

 Boston, MA – Nov. 18, 2015 – Approximately 70 percent of K-12 schools currently implement mobile devices. However, the profusion of device options, their recent adoption as instructional tools, and the rapid pace at which the technology changes have left many educators perplexed about which device would best serve student needs. To enable teachers to make informed choices about mobile learning,Mimio has published “A Helpful Guide to Mobile Devices in the Classroom, 2nd Edition,” which can be downloaded at no charge from


The 16-page PDF discusses the various challenges that teachers face in incorporating mobile learning in their instructional practices, illustrating four levels of sophistication in the application of mobile devices. Educators can find insights regarding the benefits and limits of different devices, as well as the most promising mobile learning practices – from BYOD approaches to “flipping” formative assessment. The guide includes the following sections:


  • Up-to-date statistics on the use of mobile devices in education.
  • Overviews of different devices currently on the market, and the pros and cons of using each of these devices in the classroom.
  • Synopses of the research on how to achieve deeper learning – whether teachers are using high-tech or low-tech methods.
  • Ideas for incorporating mobile devices into the curriculum.
  • Lists of such resources as new technology, learning systems, and applications that can make going mobile a smooth transition for schools, teachers, and students.


The last two sections listed above help teachers pinpoint the instructional strategies, educational apps, and review websites that will help them quickly and effectively transition to a cross-curricular, collaborative approach that focuses on group learning and student-centric approaches. In addition, teachers will obtain ideas for facilitating more accessible, real-time formative assessment.


“Mobile devices have only been in schools for several years, so many teachers are still figuring out what works for them,” said Christopher Leonardo, head of research and development for Mimio. “In fact, mobile technology is flexible enough to support any classroom setup and instructional strategy, including flipped learning. But, buyers beware: no one device is the answer for every school. That’s the reason why we created this guide. We’re helping educators consider which approach will best help their teachers teach and their students learn.”


About Mimio

Mimio is a global leader in interactive teaching technologies that offer a better way to learn and an empowering way to teach. For more than 18 years, Mimio has created award-winning, innovative, and affordable hardware and software that increase teacher effectiveness and student engagement in K-12 classrooms. For more information, visit Follow Mimio on Twitter @MimioTechnology and “Like” us on our Facebook page at



Girls Thinking Global Launches Online Community on edWeb

The new community will host a series of webinars, the first of

which will focus on women and girls in leadership.

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS (November 20, 2015) – Girls Thinking Global (GTG), dedicated to connecting nonprofits that serve adolescent girls and young women around the world, today launched an online professional learning community on edWeb. The community will help educators and organizations connect and converse about ways to nurture leadership qualities in adolescent girls and young women.

The GTG community will host a series of webinars to share stories and ideas for initiatives that will make a difference in girls’ lives. The community will feature many diverse voices addressing these issues, including girls and young women; teachers, administrators, and educators at all levels; organizations providing services and educational programs; and parents and community leaders.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with edWeb in launching this new community,” said GTG’s Executive Director, Ginny Kirkland. “We share the goal of empowering and educating adolescent girls and young women and increasing the development of leadership skills for girls everywhere.”

The community’s first webinar, “Fostering Leadership in Women and Girls,” will take place on December 2, 2015, at 3 p.m. ET. Deb deVries and Kathy Hurley, founders of Girls Thinking Global, will use Real Women, Real Leaders, a book recently co-edited by Hurley and Priscilla Schumway, to lead a conversation on some of the latest research on the strengths of women as leaders, as well as real life experiences of women who have achieved significant leadership roles in education and business.

“We invite teachers, administrators, education industry executives, parents, and students to join us for this kick-off presentation for the Girls Thinking Global community,” said Lisa Schmucki, the founder and CEO of edWeb.

To learn more about Girls Thinking Global, please visit here.

About Girls Thinking Global

Based in Newton, Massachusetts, Girls Thinking Global (GTG) has a mission to connect global changemakers to empower adolescent girls. GTG’s vision is to cross-pollinate a global network of organizations serving girls and young women to leverage resources. This is achieved by using technology to create a collaborative space connecting best practices, knowledge, and expertise among nonprofits working with adolescent girls and young women, allowing those organizations to grow and continue to expand their services.

About Real Women, Real Leaders

Real Women, Real Leaders profiles women thought leaders who provide personal, useful insights into their leadership journeys. Using the 16 leadership competencies developed by Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman, the women leaders describe their own experiences and offer guidance on topics such as building alliances, mentoring other women, balancing family and career, and overcoming obstacles in a man’s world. Real Women, Real Leaders can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and To learn more about the editors of and contributors to the book, please visit here.

About edWeb is a highly acclaimed professional social and learning network that has become a vibrant online community for exceptional educators, decision makers, and influencers who are on the leading edge of innovation in education. edWeb members are teachers, faculty, administrators, and librarians at K-12 and post-secondary institutions. edWeb is a place where educators who are looking for ways to improve teaching and learning can gather and share information and ideas with peers and thought leaders in the industry. To learn more about edWeb, please visit here



SIIA Announces 2015 Innovation Incubator Program Finalists


SIIA Announces 2015 Innovation Incubator Program Finalists
Ten education technology innovators to be featured at the 2015 Education Business Forum

WASHINGTON, DC (Nov. 12, 2015) – The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of the SIIA announces finalists and an alternate, for its Innovation Incubator Program. The program will be held during the annual Education Business Forum (EBF), the leading business and finance conference for the K-12 and postsecondary education technology markets. The finalists will feature their products during the event, Dec. 8-9 at the AMA Executive Conference Center in New York City.  Awards will be presented to the Most Innovative and Most Likely to Succeed based on the votes of conference attendees.

The SIIA Innovation Incubator Program identifies and supports entrepreneurs in their development and distribution of innovative learning technologies. The program began in 2006 and has provided support for dozens of successful products and companies in their efforts to improve education through the use of software, digital content and related technologies. The program is open to applicants from academic and non-profit institutions, pre-revenue and early-stage companies, as well as established companies with newly developed technologies.

“SIIA’s Innovation Incubator program is not only one of the earliest offerings to entrepreneurs who have new, innovative products in the ed tech market, it is also unique because it provides a peer review process by successful, established companies, then one-to-one mentorship to support the growth of the newest companies,” said Karen Billings, vice president and managing director of ETIN. “It’s a great way for ETIN member companies to give back and help promote the next generation of creative solutions.”

Innovation Incubator Program finalists were selected from the applicant pool based on key selection criteria, including:

·         Ability to positively impact end users of the product

·         Ability to succeed in the education technology market

·         Level of originality and innovation

All Innovation Incubator finalists will present during the Business Profiles Presentations Tuesday afternoon, December 8. Immediately following, they will be available for one-on-one product demonstrations and in-depth discussions during the Innovation Showcase & Networking Reception.

Innovation Incubator Program finalists are:

ASD Reading, ASD Reading – ASD Reading is a groundbreaking literacy & language program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – including those who are non-verbal (i.e., non-speaking)! ASD Reading uses innovative methods that leverage skills the children already have to teach them to read and write as well as comprehend.

CatchOn, CatchOn – CatchOn provides school administrators and teachers with real data on thousands of apps downloaded and used at their school and beyond. Rather than test 100 apps to find a decent one, they can now see which apps are used in other classrooms and how effectively they are being used.

ClassWallet, ClassWallet – ClassWallet manages both funding and spending within a closed, controlled platform. Our virtual wallet receives peer-to-peer funding deposits utilizing a patent-pending pursing structure. Ecommerce suppliers accept ClassWallet as form for payment and provide us SKU level cart data.

Epiphany Learning, Epiphany Learning – Epiphany Learning is the first student-centric personalized learning application that fully harnesses the power of personalized learning by giving students a voice and choice in their education.

Fantasy Geopolitics, FANSchool, Inc. – Popularly referred to as “fantasy football for social studies and literacy standards,” Fantasy Geopolitics is a social learning game that follows countries as they compete for news headlines and development goals.

Gateway2Achieve, The BLPS Group – A robust and cost-effective end-to-end solution to create and deliver highly interactive digital content! Powered by mAuthor and the Gateway2Achieve learning environment, our solution is customizable, intuitive and innovative.

LaunchGen, LaunchGen – LaunchGen is helping to launch the next generation of innovators, risk-takers, and entrepreneurs by creating competition-based learning opportunities for all students.

MathSpace, MathSpace – Students input all of their math work into a mobile device, writing with their finger or stylus. Mathspace digitizes their input and flags errors, allowing students to self-correct. We’ve replicated the 1:1 tuition model, allowing every student to have a teacher by their side giving real time feedback.

PrepMagic, Learning Hyperdrive, Inc. – Prepmagic is a fun and engaging simulations-based assessment tool for science that helps to build core scientific skills including analytical reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving.

Zumo Learning System, Zyrobotics, Inc. – To increase the inclusion of children with disabilities into the classroom environment, we have developed the Zumo Learning System, an e-learning system that couples a physical manipulative with accessible STEM education apps.


Hello Numbers, Numbers Alive! – Many firms create math apps, but none have created one based on numeric linkages in the world without competition or “right/wrong” responses. The coordination of the tablet app to the book and plush numbers in a blended learning style (allows interaction with the tablet app) was mentioned as a reason for the 5 star top rating by the Educational App Store.

For more information about the Education Industry Summit and the Innovation Incubator program, visit contact Donelle Blubaugh at

ETIN extends its appreciation to Texthelp, for its continued sponsorship of the Innovation Incubator Program, not only at the Education Business Forum, but also at the 2015 Education Industry Summit.

About the Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA
ETIN (the Education Technology Industry Network of SIIA) is the leading voice for 200+ companies that provide software applications, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the PK-20 sector. ETIN drives growth and innovation within the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities, government relations and critical ed tech market information. For more information, visit


71st ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show Registration and General Session Speakers Announced

Alexandria, VA (11/12/2015)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, is pleased to announce the 71st ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show. The conference will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., April 2–4, 2016, and will feature more than 200 professional learning sessions for educators of all roles and interests.

“The ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show is designed to challenge educators’ thinking, provide them with meaningful professional learning on the subjects that matter most, and prepare them to implement new and innovative ideas in their work,” said Deborah S. Delisle, ASCD executive director and CEO. “We want attendees to consider exactly what it means to learn, teach, and lead and to engage in a conference experience that will equip them with the tools to bring top-notch instruction and guidance to their classrooms, schools, and districts.”

In addition to the professional learning sessions―including those led by invited speakers who are among the leading voices in education today―the conference will have an exhibit hall featuring more than 300 education companies and opportunities for attendees to network with thousands of fellow educators. For full details, visit

For the first time, the 2016 conference will be headlined by five general sessions:

Manny ScottThe Power of One

First General Session

Saturday, April 2, 10:00–11:45 a.m.

Manny Scott, one of the original Freedom Writers, will share his against-the-odds story and eye-opening insight into how, with hard work and the help of others, he went from being an “unreachable” and “unteachable” high school dropout to becoming a successful student, husband, father, entrepreneur, pilot, and public servant.

Pedro Noguera and Alan Blankstein—Excellence Through Equity: Five Principles of Courageous Leadership to Guide Achievement for Every Student

Second General Session

Saturday, April 2, 3:00–4:30 p.m.

Educational leaders Pedro Noguera and Alan Blankstein will help participants navigate the sometimes uncertain and controversial journey to equity by providing examples of high-leverage practices used by award-winning schools, scholars, and practitioners to close achievement gaps.

Carol Dweck—The Journey to a Growth Mindset

Third General Session

Sunday, April 3, 10:00-11:45 a.m.

In this session, pioneering motivation researcher and psychologist Carol Dweck will show the effect of fixed and growth mindsets on students’ motivation and achievement, present new research on why educators are not always effective in communicating a growth mindset to students, and teach participants how they can be more effective growth mindset communicators in the future.

Shanna Peeples—The Limitations Are the Lesson: Using Adversity to Our Advantage

Fourth General Session

Sunday, April 3, 1:00–2:30 p.m.

2015 National Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples will give participants a look at some of history’s most resilient people and highlight three signposts to help navigate rough waters: attitude, aim, and action. These signposts help teachers hold on to best practices under the pressure to standardize, formularize, and anesthetize.

Mike Schmoker—Leading with Focus: How Leaders Can Accomplish More by Doing Less

Fifth General Session

Sunday, April 3, 5:00–6:30 p.m.

Best-selling author Mike Schmoker will show participants precisely where to focus their precious time, effort, and resources to ensure that all students are prepared for the 21st century demands of college, careers, and citizenship. Participants will learn about the three most essential elements of good schooling—coherent curriculum, authentic literacy, and soundly structured lessons—and how to successfully implement them using a very clear, straightforward model.

In addition to these presentations and hundreds of concurrent sessions, the 71st ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show will include special events such as book signings, author talks, school improvement forums, and fun networking events. The author talks will provide attendees with an opportunity to hear about their favorite ASCD books directly from the authors who wrote them and ask the pressing questions they’ve always wanted to ask. Networking events will provide attendees with the opportunity to meet fellow educators from around the world.

Educators can follow the conference conversation and check out photos from all around the convention center by using#ASCD16 on Twitter and Instagram.

To register for the 71st Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, visit the conference website, Early-bird pricing, at $289 for ASCD members and $359 for nonmembers, is available through February 3, 2016. To learn more ways to save on registration, visit the registration page. To learn more about ASCD and the benefits associated with becoming a member, visit

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit




South Coast Region School Districts to Adopt iCEV As Part of State Grant Program

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Schools receive funds to purchase key Career and Technical Education curriculum

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“By allocating funds from the grant, the South Coast Region is strengthening CTE curriculum and resources for students throughout the region,” said Dusty Moore, iCEV President.

As part of the California Career Pathways Trust Program, CEV Multimedia, a leading producer of Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum resources, announces that the South Coast Region Agricultural Education Consortium will utilize a portion of its grant to incorporate iCEV in Agricultural Science classes. Developed by CEV Multimedia, iCEV is an online platform that produces comprehensive educational content for students and teachers.

Templeton Unified School District in San Luis Obispo County is one of 40 CTE programs throughout the state to be awarded a grant, giving students a chance to explore their interest and future career options. By allocating funds from the grant, more students within the county will be able to participate in their school’s CTE program to receive career training and certifications. Funds provide Agricultural Science teachers and students access to iCEV to support existing programs and materials currently being used.

“There are many benefits to offering certification opportunities to our students who are seeking meaningful training and relevant experience,” said Erin Gorter, program director of South Coast Region Agricultural Education Consortium. “It’s important for our students to draw connections between their work and our industry partners, and an opportunity for teachers to personalize their instruction through iCEV.”

The South Coast Region Agricultural Education Consortium will oversee allocation of grant funds for Templeton Unified School District – which has received $5.7 million. Representing 29 high schools across 21 school districts, the Consortium aims to strengthen agricultural science and mechanics curricula in high school CTE programs to increase student enrollment, graduation and work experience.

“By allocating funds from the grant, the South Coast Region is strengthening CTE curriculum and resources for students throughout the region,” said Dusty Moore, iCEV President. “As students continue to train and prepare for their desired career paths, iCEV creates an engaging learning environment that offers the materials needed for today’s highly trained workforce.”

iCEV offers practical, interactive learning with professional demonstrations to prepare students for postsecondary education and high-skill, high-demand careers. Educators can quickly monitor, track and engage students directly through the platform’s interactive lessons and assessments. Through iCEV, students can also enhance their career training by earning industry-backed certifications.

For more information, please visit

About CEV Multimedia
With 30 years of experience, CEV specializes in providing quality Career & Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and education resources for several major subject areas: Agricultural Science and Technology, Family & Consumer Sciences, Business Education, Marketing Education, Trade and Industrial Education and Career Exploration. CEV received the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Blue Ribbon Small Business Award in 2012 and has been honored numerous times for its excellence in content creation and exemplary business practices. In 2012, CEV introduced iCEV, an online platform revolutionizing the way CEV produces and delivers educational content. iCEV is the most comprehensive online resource for CTE educators and students. With iCEV’s learning-on-demand capabilities, video clips stream instantly to any device with Internet capabilities. Through iCEV, students can earn industry-backed certifications across multiple areas of CTE that prepare them for college and beyond. For more information, visit


The Learning Counsel Lauds Leaders in the Shift to Digital Curriculum and Technology

At its second annual National Gathering, the Counsel provided educational technology leaders an opportunity to collaborate and presented awards to celebrate their successes.


(Albuquerque, NM) November 11, 2015  The Learning Counsel’s National Gathering and Annual Awards event is a platform for innovative action and collaboration for the future of teaching and learning. The second annual gathering, held at the Hyatt Tamaya resort in New Mexico, drew nearly 70 educators from leading schools and districts to celebrate their exemplary progress in the shift to digital curriculum and technology.

“In this increasingly global economy, it is so important to embrace a digital curriculum that will educate tomorrow’s leaders and promote equality in education,” said Dr. David Kafitz, Vice President of School Relationships and Consulting with the Learning Counsel. “We established this national gathering as a place where innovative school and district executives can hear the latest trends and research, collaborate, and share successes as well as factors to watch for. It is also a chance to honor those who have truly lead the way in integrating technology into their curriculum in a way that will transform the way we teach our young people.”

The two-day event began with a broad review of national education statistics and research concerning the transition to digital curriculum from the CEO and Publisher at the Learning Counsel, LeiLani Cauthen.

“We put the gathering together to create a unique collaborative experience,” Cauthen said. “We took a look at all the different types of education conferences and realized there was a missing link that was necessary in the shift in education that we are all experiencing. It’s a relatively small group. But these are leaders from every size of district who are individually doing incredible things with technology. Then we also have companies that we invited who have solutions for the confusions and stumbling blocks that executives are facing.”

The first day ended with an evening fireside telling of student security “ghost stories” as the sun fell and darkness enveloped Sandia Mountain and the New Mexico desert surrounding the resort.

The second day of the Gathering started with a curriculum game in which attendees made decisions about which software solutions to choose, the platforms to run them on, and the constraints of budgets and standards—all using hundreds of labeled, colored balls. The “ah-ha” moments electrified leaders who gained an understanding of what is going on within districts all across the country.

Six TED Talk-like presentations followed from educators who shared their visions, experiences, successes, and failures in transforming their schools or districts with digital curriculum and content. Pre-selected audience members were given the challenge to choose the best presentation for the “Gathered Thought” award. The coveted award went to Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, an educator and researcher at the Renton Preparatory Academy in Seattle, for her intriguing and envelope-pushing take on experience-based education.

The two-day event concluded with awards from the Learning Counsel to ten attending schools and districts who stood out as leaders in the Counsel’s nationwide survey of digital curriculum and technology innovation.

“An event like this doesn’t have hundreds or even thousands of people like some others I’ve attended—it’s intimate enough for you to meet the right people and build lasting relationships with peers as well as companies who you need to have conversations with,” said Cleon Franklin, Director of Virtual Learning at Shelby County Schools. “You leave here with things you can implement as soon as you hit the office.”

To see a photo gallery of the National Gathering and Awards Event click here.

About The Learning Counsel

The Learning Counsel is a mission-based organization focused on helping education professionals in the K-12 sector gain context on the shift to digital curriculum. Serving as an intermediary between schools, curriculum publishers, and high tech companies, the Learning Counsel provides perspective and organizational tools on the transition to digital for school systems across the country.


Rural Texas Workforce Board Launches High School Diploma Program

Concho Valley offers first-of-its-kind diploma completion solution for young adults, supported by 24-7 wraparound services

SALT LAKE CITY, November 12, 2015 – The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that took effect July 1 requires key changes for workforce investment boards, which must be more strategic in how they connect out of school youth with education and job training opportunities. To meet these new requirements, theConcho Valley Workforce Development Board in rural west Texas has partnered with Graduation Alliance to offer an online diploma completion and workforce training program that will help identify dropouts and put them on a clear path to success.

The partnership will equip young adult dropouts in the rural Texas area with the education and training they need to qualify for in-demand living-wage jobs, while addressing the need for qualified workers in industries such as manufacturing and health care. As a key component of this program, participants will receive fully connected web-enabled laptops to participate in online courses and will receive personalized support services from Graduation Alliance – both preparing them to complete their secondary education remotely and at their own pace.  The result: participants will earn a fully accredited high school diploma, not a GED.

“Engaging out-of-school youth and encouraging them to continue their education is a big challenge for us,” said Mike Buck, executive director of the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board. “Our partnership with Graduation Alliance will allow us to meet this challenge by giving us a successful method to reach young adults and a more flexible way for them to learn important skills, coupled with the kind of supports we know are critical for success. This service will be a great complement to the existing job training and placement services we provide, and we’re excited about the possibilities that it offers.”

Targeting working-age adults who left high school before graduating, Graduation Alliance’s Workforce Diploma program is a fully portable and flexible solution that yields an average return on investment of more than 70 to 1. Participants who complete the program receive basic and skill-specific credentials, earn industry-based certifications, and feel empowered to take on challenging, in-demand careers or explore other postsecondary and higher education options.

“Young adults with a high school diploma are much better positioned for success in life,” said Rebekah Richards, chief academic officer and co-founder of Graduation Alliance. “High school diplomas provide a gateway to higher paying jobs that offer lifelong careers, enabling diploma holders to break the cycle of poverty that historically has plagued dropouts. Our Workforce Diploma program provides an opportunity for a fresh start.”

Concho Valley’s partnership with Graduation Alliance is also timely, Buck noted, because of new requirements imposed by the WIOA. Passed by Congress last year, the law requires workforce investment boards to spend 75 percent of their funding for youth-related services on out-of-school youth (defined as ages 16-24). This change will require workforce investment boards to be more deliberate and strategic in how they provide services to out of school youth, and with its comprehensive, holistic approach to servicing this key demographic, Graduation Alliance is uniquely positioned to help.

The program includes access to more than 200 online courses, including electives designed in cooperation with employers nationwide to ensure students’ workforce readiness;  shorter “bite-sized” courses that offer quicker, positive feedback and encouragement to students; 24-7 academic support from highly qualified teachers, personal academic coaches, and tutors; and career transition counselors who stay with students throughout their education, training, and job placement. Participants also have access to Graduation Alliance’s proprietary education and career management tool, which provides key information to participants about the high-demand careers in their region including the skills and training required to enter each field.

The program is now available to Concho Valley residents at; for more information, call the Concho Valley Workforce Solutions Center at (325) 653-2321 ext. 1274.

To learn more about Graduation Alliance’s Workforce Diploma Program, including its average return on investment, go to

About Graduation Alliance

Graduation Alliance strengthens communities, states and the economy by preparing and empowering tomorrow’s workforce. Through highly effective postsecondary planning, alternative education and training programs, Graduation Alliance ensures every student has an opportunity to succeed during and after high school. For more information about Graduation Alliance, visit

About the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board

The Concho Valley Workforce Development Board (CVWDB) is one of 28 workforce boards serving the state of Texas. Its mission is to promote the economic well-being of all residents by ensuring that every resident has the opportunity to work in his or her chosen field and that every business’s workforce is trained and ready. CVWDB serves a 13-county area covering about 17,000 square miles and approximately 175,000 people. For more information, visit

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Lingo Jingo Awarded Prestigious English Language Learner Grant from U.S. DOE


New funding allows the company to offer pilots of its WIDA- and Common Core-aligned language-acquisition solution to a limited number of schools


(San Francisco, CA) November 11, 2015 Lingo Jingo, an award-winning language-acquisition solution supporting English language learners (ELLs) and educators, has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).


The Small Business Innovation Research funding from the Institute of Education Sciences and the DOE allows Lingo Jingo to offer a limited number of schools the opportunity to sign up for highly-supported pilot programs.


“Lingo Jingo is at the top of the list as most critical to addressing a pressing need in our country,” said Ed Metz, the program manager for the Small Business Innovation Research group at the DOE. “It’s an incredible opportunity to make a difference with language educators who sometimes don’t have immediate access to materials.”


Lingo Jingo’s online resources include content promoting the WIDA English language proficiency standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the California English Language Development standards. Lingo Jingo offers fully customizable instructional supports that follow leading English learning curricula to improve language development.  Districts using the solution can easily map Lingo Jingo’s content over their own curriculum, ensuring that the solution adapts to the needs of educators and learners alike.


“Lingo Jingo is dedicated to supporting language educators and offering rigorous, fun content which aligns with language development standards being followed in the classroom, including WIDA, Common Core and the California ELD. We are committed to supporting educators by providing an effective solution and making their lives easier,” said Douglas Chrystall, co-founder of Lingo Jingo. “Language acquisition is incredibly difficult, and our solution provides educators a way to accelerate learning for ELLs. By creating a flexible, easy-to-access platform, schools and districts have the ability to customize our content to meet their needs rather than the other way around.”


Since Lingo Jingo launched in 2011, districts across the country have adopted the platform to support ELL education as well as the acquisition of other world languages.


To submit a request for your school to take part in a yearlong pilot of Lingo Jingo, click here.


More information about Lingo Jingo, including a brief video overview and sample lessons, is available here.


About Lingo Jingo

Lingo Jingo is an award-winning language-teaching platform designed for language educators. The platform provides easy-to-use tools and an extensive library of course content that is fully customizable to individual educators’ instructional objectives. Lingo Jingo is currently deployed in public K-12 schools as well as private language schools in the United States.


Innovative school model featured at summit on high school redesign strategy


WASHINGTON, DC- Nov 10, 2015 Today, the White House welcomed the first-ever White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools, hosting students, education practitioners from districts and charter organizations, business leaders, philanthropic organizations, and education innovators.

New Tech Network (NTN) President and CEO, Lydia Dobyns, presented the organization’s work as a design partner for comprehensive school change already accomplished in 29 states, and highlighted plans to expand the number of schools during the next two years.

“There are no simple ways to transform schools,” said Dobyns. “Defining what we want for students, aligning resources to support systemic change, and having policies to encourage innovation are all essential for spreading school transformation. Getting to be a nation proud of its education system will mean investing in professional development and placing more trust in teachers and administrators to facilitate relevant, engaging learning so that students become problem-solvers, inventors, communicators, in a word, THINKERS.”

Earlier this year, the President — as part of his 2015 State of the Union — called for a national effort to create more Next Generation High Schools – schools that incorporate key elements of redesign including personalized learning, work-based learning experiences, deeper ties to post-secondary, including a focus on expanding STEM opportunities for girls and other groups of students who are underrepresented in high-growth, well-paying industries.

Later this week, the Administration will announce its intention to award over $20 million in federal grants through its Investing in Innovation (i3) grants specifically to support the reform and redesign of high schools that serve low-income students. i3 supports organizations that are transforming education in communities across America by implementing innovative and proven strategies while building evidence of what works to address persistent education challenges.

As a part of today’s event, the Department of Education also announced the following commitments to improving the educational experiences of our high school students:  Two new Career & Technical Education awards, a playbook for high school redesign, recommendations to transition to personalized learning, best practices guidance to reduce the course equity gap, and more.

“Plenty of examples of transformed schools abound, including the nearly 200 public schools in the New Tech Network today,” said Dobyns. “So what makes a school a New Tech school?  You’ll find a culture that empowers students, where personalized learning happens through Project-Based Learning (PBL), featuring a pervasive use of technology and classroom-based assessment systems that measure what matters.”

Through its proven school model, project-based learning platform, and powerful professional development, NTN guides schools toward lasting change and ongoing improvement. NTN also announced at the iNACOL conference its plans to expand personalized learning within its project-based learning school model. NTN Chief Operating Officer Tim Presiado led an interactive session that discussed how the union of project-based (PBL) and personalized learning can transform the way students learn. Presiado presented a strategic direction that now combines powerful elements of its school model with personalized learning strategies.

In 2013, the President issued a challenge in his State of the Union to redesign America’s high schools so that young people graduate with skills and abilities aligned with the needs of a global economy. As part of that call to action, the President visited a number of leading high schools, including Manor New Technology High School (Texas), P-TECH (New York), and Worcester Technical High School (Massachusetts).

By the 2016 school year, close to 200 public-district high schools and charter schools, along with 50 elementary and middle schools, in 29 states will be implementing the New Tech school model. In 2016, 75,000 students will be learning in NTN schools located in urban, rural, and suburban locales (15,000 more students than in 2015).

“Our strong student outcomes (increased graduation rates, college attendance and persistence, and growth in critical thinking) have been accomplished in rural, urban and suburban communities across the country.  Over the next two years we will expand to nearly 250 schools, where 4,000 teachers will serve 75,000 students. If we want this kind of teaching and learning to be the new normal, we must do a better job meeting the individual needs of students,“ continued Dobyns.





“Lead Higher” Initiative Showcased at First-Ever Summit on Next-Generation High Schools

Joint effort focuses on closing high school participation gaps in college-level courses

November 10, 2015 (Washington D.C.):  The Lead Higher initiative—a partnership among Equal Opportunity Schools, College Board and the International Baccalaureate (IB) dedicated to ensuring student diversity is fully reflected in our most rigorous academic courses in US high schools—celebrated a big moment when it was showcased at the first-ever Summit on Next-Generation High Schools.  The event, hosted at the White House, highlights new actions by philanthropy, industry, school leaders, and others who are committed to re-thinking high school education in this country.

Recognizing that participation gaps in academically challenging high school courses are a significant contributor to unequal college graduation rates and, as a result, long-term life outcomes, the Lead Higher partners jointly committed to identify and enroll an additional 100,000 low income students and students-of-color per year who are ready to succeed in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) high school classes by 2018.

“The next generation of high school students will be by far the most diverse in American history. To date, fewer than 1% of high schools fully include their diversity at the highest academic levels. We can and must change this. As America continues to diversify, the success of our democracy and our economy will depend upon it,” says Reid Saaris, Founder and CEO of Equal Opportunity Schools.

Exposure to academically intense high school curriculum has shown to be among the strongest predictors of success in college. The Lead Higher initiative—described as the largest and most-targeted effort ever to address equity at the highest levels of our K-12 schools—will ensure more low-income and students-of-color, like Tevares and RayQuan, are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Rainer Beach High School student, Tavares Tagaleo’o, 17, says the school’s culture has changed as a result of increased access to IB. “It was really a shock, going from this laid-back place into a real academic school,” he said. “I was hesitant at first, kind of intimidated. But IB is the reason why I come every day. I don’t honestly think I’d still be in school if it wasn’t for IB and how it challenged me.”

“AP opened up my eyes.” said W.T. Woodson High School senior and AP student RayQuan White. “The courses were much more rigorous, but having the support of my high school counselors put me in a mindset of wanting to be there, challenge myself, and make sure that I understood everything. They sat down with me and were there to help me find those courses that would fit just right for me.”

Lead Higher will train school leadership to ensure that capable underrepresented students are identified, engaged and supported to take rigorous courses that develop skills necessary for success in college. Each organization in the consortium will work with schools to systematize a variety of methods to help them identify students who are being overlooked for these academic opportunities.

Gary Cohn, Superintendent of Schools for Everett, WA, said his team uses the Lead Higher initiatives to spark action.

“We serve our students and families by intensely focusing on systematically removing barriers to student success. We study carefully our students’ equitable access to opportunities; we chart opportunity gaps routinely, and we set goals and display our progress for anyone to see. The new Lead Higher practices show us clear tactical actions; they are real tools we can use to make our goals achievable. Our district is richly diverse. It makes sense that the access students have to academic excellence is equally as rich.”

Since the April 2015 launch of Lead Higher, EOS received an additional $5 million from the Raikes Foundation, Fossil Foundation, Jacobson Family Foundation, and Mike & Susan Dell Foundation, among others – equipping Lead Higher to offer more school and district leaders the tools they need to consistently engage low-income and students-of-color to enroll and persist in high-level courses like AP and IB. As of the date of the White House summit, nearly 100 districts have committed to fully closing their AP and IB access gaps while boosting student success. And today, EOS is reaching out to Governors and Chief State School Officers to announce a competition through which states can receive in-depth support to become the first state in the U.S. to fully reflect its student diversity at the highest levels of its K-12 schools.

Background Information:

About the Lead Higher Initiative’s organizations:

Lead Higher Consortium is a partnership among Equal Opportunity Schools, College Board and international Baccalaureate (IB) dedicated to ensuring that student diversity is fully reflected in our most rigorous academic courses in US high schools. By 2018, the consortium will serve an additional 100,000 low-income students and students-of-color by collaborating with schools and reporting results that supports leadership to achieve a higher sense of academic possibility for students.

Other donors and participants in Lead Higher include the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Google, and Tableau Software, Inc. who each committed to identifying and equipping education leaders toward greater Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate class access over the next three years.

About International Baccalaureate

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a nonprofit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging education programs for a worldwide community of schools. For more than 45 years, the IB programmes have gained a reputation for rigor and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21stcentury, and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than one million IB students attend over 4,000 schools in 147 countries.

About College Board

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success – including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools.

About Equal Opportunity Schools

The Equal Opportunity Schools® organization (EOS) is a growth-stage, education-reform not-for-profit that changes lives and narrows the achievement gap by collaborating with superintendents and principals to address an inequity in our schools: under-enrollment in the best academic programs – especially of students who are Latino, African-American, or low-income. EOS identifies these “missing students” – who it has shown can succeed at the highest academic levels within their schools – and works to transition them into the best, college-bound classes.


Teton County School District #1 (WY) Partners with PublicSchoolWORKS to Automate Staff and Student Safety Processes


The EmployeeSafe and StudentWatch suites ensure documentation and tracking of all staff and student safety concerns for easy compliance and trend reporting


Cincinnati, OH (November 10, 2015) – Managing staff and student safety consists of many aspects, which often leads districts to contract services with several vendors to get the job done and can lead to a management headache. In order to consolidate and improve their safety programming, Teton County School District (CUSD) #1 in Jackson, WY, is partnering with PublicSchoolWORKS to use its’ award-winning EmployeeSafe and StudentWatch suites. Also, Teton CUSD #1 is the first district in Wyoming to use StudentWatch’s Student Behavior Management System to report and track both positive and negative student behaviors.


“EmployeeSafe’s ability to manage our training digitally, be more deliberate in our expectations of employees and reinforce training deadlines is what initially attracted us to PublicSchoolWORKS,” said Brad Barker, COO of Teton CUSD #1. “The additional EmployeeSafe safety management modules such as Compliance Task Manager, made us see how beneficial it can be to our district. We also liked StudentWatch’s ability to provide consistency in student safety matters, as well as the ability to remain FERPA-compliant because of tiered access to student reports. Both suites will provide consistency district-wide and make sure we’re in compliance.”


Prior to using PublicSchoolWORKS, Teton CUSD #1’s staff and student safety programming was cobbled together from different programs and content providers. However, much of it – such as the online staff training – lacked tracking and management functions. For student safety matters, the district was also using multiple programs – one for student behavior reporting and one for student accidents and health records. However, the systems made it cumbersome to transfer student data between schools such as when an 8th grade student moves on to 9th grade. With EmployeeSafe and StudentWatch, Teton CUSD #1 is able to eliminate these different programs, improve tracking and management functionalities and actually address all compliance requirements – all from one vendor.


“Currently our human resources department is working with PublicSchoolWORKS’ Client Services to plan and schedule all mandated staff training, drills, inspections and other compliance tasks for the year,” said Barker. “PublicSchoolWORKS is even working with us to create a customized student accident reporting protocol by bridging the Student Accident Management System and our existing student medical record software. PublicSchoolWORKS will improve the fidelity of our safety reporting and instill uniformity in all of our safety processes.”


About PublicSchoolWORKS

Since 2000, PublicSchoolWORKS safety and regulatory compliance management solutions have helped schools easily meet ever-changing compliance requirements, improve staff and student safety, cut costs associated with risk, and reduce administrator and staff time and effort. PublicSchoolWORKS is the only, complete safety compliance management program built for K-12 schools, and is proud to provide districts with award-winning technology and support recognized by North American educators. For more information on how PublicSchoolWORKS can improve district safety programs, contact 1-877-779-6757 or


Goldwater Institute Wins Case to Protect School Voucher Program in Louisiana

Appeals court says federal Department of Justice can’t limit enrollment in state program based on desegregation order


Contact: Starlee Coleman, (602) 758-9162


New Orleans—In a case with national implications for parental choice programs in hundreds of school districts that still are subject to federal desegregation decrees, today the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice can’t limit enrollment in a state private school scholarship program.


The Department of Justice was attempting to use an unrelated, decades-old desegregation case to assert federal jurisdiction over the state program. When it initially filed the case, DOJ asked for an injunction to block students in school districts under desegregation orders from using vouchers. DOJ backed off its request for an injunction, but pressed ahead with its case, placing a cloud of uncertainty over the school options for Louisiana scholarship families.


In the 2-1 decision written by Judge Edith Jones, the court referred to the Department of Justice’s tactics as “disingenuous,” purporting merely to seek information and enforce desegregation while “imposing a vast and intrusive reporting regime on the State without any finding of unconstitutional conduct.” The decision also called the process as “burdensome, costly, and endless.”


“This is a victory for minority and low-income schoolchildren, not only in Louisiana but around the country,” said Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute, which is representing the Black Alliance for Educational Options and voucher families. “The decision should put an end to efforts to use long-ago desegregation decrees to thwart educational opportunities for their intended beneficiaries, whether through vouchers or charter schools. The educational horizon just brightened.”


The Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program was created in 2012. The statewide program provides private school tuition vouchers to children from families with incomes below 250 percent of the poverty line and who otherwise would attend public schools that the state has graded C, D or F. In the 2013-14 school year, nearly 6,800 students were awarded scholarships, a 20 percent increase from the year before. More than 85 percent of the children receiving scholarships that year were African American, nearly twice their representation among the Louisiana public school population.


Bolick argued and won the Zelman v. Simmons-Harris case before the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding the constitutionality of school vouchers more than a decade ago. He now leads the litigation efforts at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.




About the Goldwater Institute

The Goldwater Institute drives results by working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all 50 states. With the blessing of its namesake, the Goldwater Institute opened in 1988. Its early years focused on defending liberty in Barry Goldwater’s home state of Arizona. Today, the Goldwater Institute is a national leader for constitutionally limited government respected by the left and right for its adherence to principle and real world impact. No less a liberal icon than the New York Times calls the Goldwater Institute a “watchdog for conservative ideals” that plays an “outsize role” in American political life.








Knovation Increases Opportunities for Reading Comprehension with Texthelp

Partnership with literacy software provider expands learning opportunities for all students

CINCINNATI, OHNovember 10, 2015 – To ensure exceptional learning opportunities for all students with access to its dynamic collection of online resources, Knovation has partnered with literacy software provider Texthelp to upgrade the text-to-speech and dictionary services in netTrekker and icurio. The partnership demonstrates Knovation’s commitment to supporting Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a research-based framework that builds flexible learning environments to support individual learning differences.

Through this partnership, netTrekker and icurio subscribers have access to improved read aloud and dictionary tools, including faster, speech-responsive text highlighting, an integrated dictionary in the read aloud tool bar, a picture dictionary and text translation. Texthelp services provide multiple point-of-need support tools directly within Knovation’s solutions, ensuring all learners have quality opportunities to engage with the resources presented to them.

Research demonstrates the benefits of quality text support – speech synthesis with dual color highlighting is proven to raise comprehension levels by 8 percent and dictionary tools improved performance on word meaning tasks by 25 percent.* Text-to-speech technology decodes with an accuracy and fluency that children who struggle with text can’t attain on their own, according to Dr. Michelann Parr, Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University.

“Our UDL partnership with Texthelp will allow Knovation to better support subscribing districts in honoring the fact that every learner is unique,” said Steve Nordmark, Chief Academic Officer at Knovation. “Together, we will enable teachers to accommodate and design for learner differences, well beyond creating accessibility for special education students.”

As leaders in K-12 education strive to support a spectrum of learners, including students struggling with text comprehension or ESL students, the Texthelp partnership serves as another step for Knovation in creating student-centric, flexible approaches to digital learning.

For more information about upgrades to Knovation’s read aloud and dictionary tools through Texthelp,

* Assistive Software Tools for Secondary-level Students With Literacy Difficulties, Alissa A. Lange, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK JSET Vol 21 2006.

About Texthelp

Texthelp believes that everyone shares a fundamental need to be understood by others, and language is our passport to academic, social and professional success. This is what drives Texthelp to create smart, easy-to-use support technologies that enable young people and adults read and write with confidence and independence and to benefit from the English language.

Texthelp’s world leading assistive and language learning software is used daily by students and educators in schools, colleges and universities worldwide. Our corporate software tools continue to be used by blue-chip companies, as well as large and small scale public departments and government organisations and agencies globally. Texthelp has been recognized in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for 14 consecutive years.

About Knovation

Since 1999, Knovation has delivered on the promise to do something good for kids, every day, by helping districts meet the needs of diverse K-12 learners in blended digital learning environments.

Knovation makes it easy to find, manage, and use free digital content for learning by professionally evaluating, standards aligning and continuously maintaining a collection of over 360,000 digital resources covering all subjects and all grades. Knovation’s collection can be accessed through the company’s award-winning solutions (netTrekkerand icurio) or through custom integration with several instructional or assessment platforms. For more information, please visit


PlanetHS Earns Single Sign-on Badge from PowerSchool

Student and parents can now use one set of log-in credentials to access multiple sites.

(Atlanta, GA) November 10, 2015 – Student-life online community PlanetHS is proud to announce that it has earned a single sign-on badge from leading student information system PowerSchool.

The single sign-on (SSO) feature, which is available to PlanetHS users now, allows students and parents to use one set of log-in credentials for a number of sites, saving them time and reducing their risk of getting locked out of their accounts.

“We are excited to evolve our ISV program to include a Partner Badging System that provides customers with essential information about the vendors in our ecosystem that have invested in integrating their products with PowerSchool. With ISV badges, customers have improved visibility to our partners to create integration between the applications and PowerSchool for the benefit of end users,” said Oliver Wreford, vice president of product and marketing at PowerSchool.

As it joins the elite group of companies that have earned badges from PowerSchool, PlanetHS serves more than 400,000 members from more than 900 schools. With 72% growth in number of users, and an open rate by parents of 70%, PlanetHS is fast becoming the preferred digital communications hub for the student-life ecosystem.

“Single sign-on makes PlanetHS simpler to use, and makes it easier for a user to go between multiple websites efficiently,” said Lupita Knittel, the CEO of PlanetHS. “Our integration with PowerSchool allows us to take our unique accumulation of data about what students do outside the classroom and integrate it with what students do in the classroom. Our ultimate goal is to quantify the connection between extracurriculars and academics and find the optimum number of activities outside the classroom that will lead to success in the classroom.”

For more information, please visit

About PlanetHS

PlanetHS is the student-life online community enabling the critical links among school, family, and business for more successful extracurricular programs, higher participation, and greater student outcomes. The PlanetHS platform delivers school-moderated digital communications, powerful engagement tools, and attractive sponsorship modules, all supported by database analytic capabilities to inform and empower these critical activities.

PlanetHS is headquartered in Georgia, with offices in Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina.

About PowerSchool

Established in 1997, PowerSchool is the leading student information system (SIS) in North America, with more than 40 million users including students, parents, teachers, and administrators. As the hub of state and school districts’ education ecosystems, PowerSchool provides robust capabilities and APIs that allow its users to effectively manage school processes and student data and connect diverse education technologies.


International Baccalaureate Participates in White House Next Gen High School Summit

Career-related Programme Highlighted as Innovative Career-track Study for  Today’s Global Economy


November 10, 2015, Bethesda, MD – On November 10th, the International Baccalaureate (IB) participated in the White House’s Next Gen High School Summit, a national conversation on transforming high schools to better serve all students.  The IB was invited in recognition of its newest educational program, the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme, or CP.

The CP meets the needs of schools seeking a technical or career-related studies option that combines career-related skills with a rigorous academic program to prepare students for success in career or post-secondary education.  By combining challenging academics with hands-on experience in career pathways chosen at the local school level, rather than establishing a set, standard career-track, the CP distinguishes itself from traditional career and technical education programs and helps to shape students who are prepared for success in either career or higher education. The strong academic foundation also prepares these students for the continued training required of most employees today.  The ability to be trained and re-trained is a skill that will garner more importance in the years to come:  by 2020, 65 percent of jobs are predicted to require post-secondary training.

Of particular significance to the White House’s effort was the CP’s foreign language requirement.  For the IB, foreign language development ensures that all CP students have access and are exposed to a second language.  This not only increases the students’ understanding of the wider world, but is a highly sought after skill in today’s global job market.

Since its inception in 1968, the International Baccalaureate’s flagship Diploma Programme (DP) has been attracting students who seek a challenging academic program which recognizes the need for a global approach to learning and living.  Participation in the DP has been proven to be a pathway to success in postsecondary education.  Research released this spring showed that 78 percent of DP students enrolled immediately in post-secondary education following high school graduation; the national enrollment rate was 69 percent.  Even more notably, the four year graduation rate for DP diploma earners was 84 percent, compared to 39 percent nationally.

Previously offered only to schools already authorized to offer the DP, beginning in 2016, the CP will be made available to all secondary schools around the globe, including the 24,357 in the United States.

Drew Deutsch, regional director for IB Americas said, “It was an honor to be invited to the White House and be part of their effort to ensure that high schools in the U.S. better serve all students, and especially important to be recognized for our Career-related Programme.  We anticipate that the CP will become one of the IB’s most popular offerings because its flexibility allows schools to cater the programme to the needs, backgrounds and contexts of their students and their community.”

About the IB

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non profit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging education programmes for a worldwide community of schools. For more than 45 years, the IB programmes have gained a reputation for rigour and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21stcentury and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than one million IB students attend over 4,000 schools in 147 countries.


AASA Partners with High-Tech Firm to Bolster Real-Time Teacher-Parent School, Community Engagement

Alexandria, Va. – Nov. 9, 2015 – Superintendents across the country agree that parent-teacher-child engagement is one of the most important factors in closing the achievement gap.  Branding and community engagement have been found to be integral components of any successful school district.

A 2012 Harvard University study found that, on average, teacher-family communication increased the likelihood of students completing their homework by 42 percent and decreased instances in which teachers had to redirect students’ attention to the task at hand by 25 percent. (The Effect of Teacher-Family Communication on Student Engagement: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment, 2013)

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has chosen to partner with PreciouStatus, a Minnesota- based mobile app developer and 8-time award winner for innovation. PreciouStatus’ powerful software is providing the capability for teachers to easily send real-time updates directly to parents and loved ones. Through the growth of digital media, the company is involving scores of communities, regardless of technology preference or socioeconomic status.

The PreciouStatus system is fully customizable, allowing educators to share messages, photos and other timely updates with parents and families through any mobile device. With the push of a button on a  mobile device (or computer), school staff can keep parents fully aware of their child’s school life, strengthening school-community engagement while saving substantial amounts time, effort and cost on administrative tasks.

“PreciouStatus is a mission-based, consumer-oriented platform that sends push notifications providing parents the opportunity to monitor their children’s progress and engage their children in meaningful conversations about what was covered by the teachers.  Additionally, there are thousands of amazing stories of teacher wins in the classroom and the community is engaged with pride for their local schools and educators,” said Julie Gilbert Newrai, company founder and CEO. “We are excited to be chosen as a key partner for AASA, the nation’s premier organization for school district leadership. This initiative will enhance community partnerships among administrators, school leaders, parents and students.  In all of this, our top priority is kids winning and winning big in learning and life outcomes.”

“I’m impressed with our members’ increasing level of engagement in an effort to raise academic achievement. Adding PreciouStatus to our list of School Solutions partners can only strengthen this effort,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “PreciouStatus is a proven communications resource that has created positive brand recognition for school districts, school buildings, principals, teachers and communities. Boosting this kind of engagement can only lead to greater student academic outcomes.”

According to Dennis L. Peterson, superintendent in Minnetonka, Minn., “When it comes to information from school, parents most want to hear from their child’s teacher about what that child is doing and learning. PreciouStatus provides an easy, mobile and highly secure tool for teachers to communicate in real-time with parents. It absolutely meets the needs of our young families who expect short, instant communication. It’s been a time saver for teachers.”

“PreciouStatus set-up, onboarding and teacher training has been the most carefree communications tool we have deployed in our district,” said Janet Swiecichowski, APR, executive director for communications, Minnetonka Public Schools. It required no tech integration and no communications team support. Because its primary client base is in healthcare, PreciouStatus is HIPPA and FERPA compliant. The analytics and measurement functions clearly show the tool is effective in connecting parents and teachers, without imposing on precious teacher time.”

“PreciousStatus is a means to provide quick, real-time communication to parents and guardians throughout the day,” said Gary Ganje, director of technology, St. Cloud, Minn., Area School District.  “We deliver information that can be family conversation starters after school. This is the key to increasing parent engagement, which closes down the achievement gap.”

It’s a “new level of parent engagement, student engagement and teacher/administrator engagement,” said Charlene Myklebust, a national special educational leadership consultant. “PreciouStatus gives all of our teachers the opportunity to connect with all of our parents,” added Brooke Bass, executive director of human resources, Rochester, Minn., Public Schools.

“When PreciouStatus was introduced to our school, it was game changer,” said a parent of a kindergarten student. “It has raised the credibility of the school … and the [school’s] commitment to parents.”

To learn more about the PreciouStatus system, visit the AASA website. For more information and immediate assistance with PreciouStatus, educators can contact directly.


About PreciouStatus
PreciouStatus, winner of 8 international awards for innovation, is a sophisticated technology platform simplifying instant teacher-parent communications, and keeping families and educators engaged in the daily activities of their loved ones, seamlessly using any mobile device or computer. Visit for more information.

About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit



Achieve3000® and Rowan-Salisbury Schools Partner to Accelerate Student Success


Achieve3000, the Leader in Differentiated Instruction™, and the Rowan-Salisbury School System, a North Carolina district committed to 21st-century learning, have entered into a partnership to accelerate success for the district’s students as well as their teachers, administrators, and families.


LAKEWOOD, N.J. (Nov. 9, 2015) – For the next three years, Achieve3000 and the Rowan-Salisbury School System will work together to accelerate learning and put all students on track for college and career success. As part of the partnership, which started earlier this fall and will continue through June 2018, Rowan-Salisbury Schools will implement Achieve3000’s literacy solutions district-wide. Included with the solutions are instructional resources and professional development for educators, a real-time data dashboard for administrators, and robust home support for parents and guardians.


Achieve3000 specializes in cloud-based, differentiated learning solutions for school-aged youth as well as adult learners. It has helped millions of students worldwide to improve their reading and writing skills, master increasingly rigorous academic standards, and prepare for high-stakes assessments.


“We are very excited to partner with a district as dedicated to 21st-century learning and student success as Rowan-Salisbury,” said Saki Dodelson, CEO and founder of Achieve3000. “We share their commitment to improving literacy achievement for all learners. By meeting kids at their precise reading levels, our differentiated instruction solutions help all students accelerate their reading growth and become college and career ready. In fact, students who use our solutions make double to triple the expected reading gains in one school year. We’re looking forward to collaborating with the innovative educators at Rowan-Salisbury Schools to meet and exceed their literacy goals for every student.”


The Rowan-Salisbury School System, which serves approximately 20,000 students, is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, the district is in the middle of a three-year strategic plan to improve reading and literacy while actively engaging students and teachers. The plan started in 2014, when the district began a digital conversion initiative to put a new laptop or tablet into the hands of every student in grades 3-12. By 2017, the district aims to have 90% of its students reading on or above grade level and 100% achieving or exceeding one year’s growth annually.


Rowan-Salisbury Schools is implementing Achieve3000 solutions across all grades: Smarty Ants for grades PreK-1, KidBiz3000 for grades 2-5, TeenBiz3000 for grades 6-8, and Empower3000 for grades 9-12. As part of the partnership, the district is also receiving Spark3000, a solution designed for adult literacy and workforce readiness, at no cost. Each Achieve3000 solution combines embedded assessment, differentiated instruction, and regular skills practice to meet all students one-on-one, at their individual reading levels, and accelerate learning gains. In addition, because the solutions are cloud-based, students can use their new digital devices to access them anytime or anywhere – even without an Internet connection.


“We are excited, and our teachers are excited, to now have the ability to teach a topic at the level of individual student learning while assessing their individual progress, and to raise the bar of expectations for each student,” said Dr. Moody. “Achieve3000 will allow teachers more hands-on instruction with students.”


Earlier this year, Achieve3000 released a new North Carolina Edition. For Rowan-Salisbury students, this means that they will be improving their literacy skills with a strategic curriculum that’s aligned to the Common Core State Standards and includes built-in practice for the READY assessments. For teachers, the N.C. Edition features robust lesson plans and point-of-use resources to support learning without adding to their workload. A data dashboard called Leadership Edition is included for administrators, so they can easily monitor the Achieve3000 implementation and measure student reading gains. Finally, families of Achieve3000 students will receive free access to the Home Edition, where they can view their child’s progress and access resources in 19 languages to support learning at home.


The Rowan-Salisbury School System will also be the first Achieve3000 PreK-12 Demonstration District in North Carolina. In this role, Rowan-Salisbury Schools will host visiting North Carolina districts that wish to see Achieve3000’s solutions in action. Achieve3000 is supporting the district with a Demonstration Site Grant.


Districts interested in visiting Rowan-Salisbury Schools or another Achieve3000 Demonstration District are encouraged to contact Achieve3000 at 888-968-6822.


About Achieve3000, Inc.

Achieve3000 is the leader in online differentiated literacy instruction, serving over two million students worldwide. For nearly 15 years, the company has been reaching students at their individual reading levels to deliver significant learning gains, with many making double to triple the expected gains in a single school year. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000’s solutions – Smarty Ants® (for grades PreK-1), KidBiz3000® (for grades 2-5), TeenBiz3000® (for grades 6-8), Empower3000™ (for grades 9-12), Spark3000® (for adult learners), and eScience3000® (for grades 6-8) – support core curriculum, Response to Intervention, English language learner, and special education instructional models as well as 21st-century education initiatives. From learning how to read to workforce readiness, Achieve3000 empowers all learners to develop the college and career literacy skills needed for academic, professional, and personal success. The company is based in Lakewood, N.J. Learn more about Achieve3000 online at or by calling 888-968-6822.


About Rowan-Salisbury School System

Nestled in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the Rowan-Salisbury School System serves nearly all of Rowan County, including the city of Salisbury. With 35 schools and close to 3,000 staff, the district serves approximately 20,000 students in grades PreK-12. There are 20 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, and 6 traditional high schools, along with one early college school and one alternative school. The district’s mission is to inspire and provide opportunities for innovative and engaging learning. Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, who joined the district in 2013, the Rowan-Salisbury Schools motto is “E3” or “Extraordinary Education Every Day.” The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education is chaired by Joshua Wagner, with Dean Hunter as the vice chair. The district’s central office is located in Salisbury, N.C. Learn more about the Rowan-Salisbury School System online at or by calling 704-636-7500.


The Virtual High School Discusses America’s STEM Challenges


VHS solution draws on expertise combining effective and

innovative teaching methods with standards and technology


Boston — Nov. 9, 2015 — Data shared by the National Math + Science Initiative indicates that only 10 percent of high school juniors and seniors nationwide took math and science Advanced Placement® exams in 2012, substantially lower than the overall 27 percent taking AP® exams that year. The group also indicates that STEM job growth outpaces the rest of the U.S. labor market, and that the U.S. will lack 3 million STEM workers by 2018. In its new paper, “STEM Education: Challenges and Solutions,” The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.)discusses curriculum and instructional issues and identifies resolutions to some of the key challenges around access and engagement.


The paper focuses on the implementation of new standards, particularly Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and explores the value of providing access to engineering and technology across many grade levels. It also discusses the difficulties states and schools face in adopting these new standards and approaches or developing of their own subset of standards, and it explains how access to CCSS- and NGSS-aligned online STEM courses can smooth the transition for schools and districts.


VHS is well-suited to examine the benefits and potential of such a solution. As a nonprofit empowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs, the organization offers middle and high schools one of the largest online Advanced Placement® catalogs in the nation as well as core and honors courses for accelerated students and career-oriented electives.


An example is a VHS statistics course, which uses real-world applications to introduce students to data collection, data analysis, statistical tools, and graphical displays as well as probability theory. Course activities include interpretation of social media statistics, evaluation of the economic impacts of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina based on published data, and development and interpretation of a model that predicts shuttle mass during launch. “In addition to developing students’ data skills, the course is designed to strengthen their critical thinking skills, ability to discuss mathematical strategies and data sets, and hone their problem solving skills,” said Amy Michalowski, Dean at VHS.


Student performance in VHS courses remains strong. A study of students working in the VHS program revealed an 88 percent average student pass rate from 2012- 2014, and an 80 percent course completion rate from 2012 to 2014. Additionally, in 2014, 68 percent of VHS students that sat for an Advanced Placement® exam passed with a score of three or higher, compared to the national average of 59 percent.


About The Virtual High School, Inc.

The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization has set the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for middle and high school students and online professional development for educators.  The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development and individualized course offerings. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning.  The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Associations (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, or call (978) 897-1900.



Learn2Earn Students Log 100 Million Minutes of Reading

Brayden Charcoal from Fort Smith, Ark., makes the milestone minute and earns an e-reader

San Diego — Nov. 9, 2015 — Since the inception of the Learn2Earn platform in September 2013, hundreds of thousands of K-8 readers have been using the Whooo’s Reading program and the Reading-Raiser Read-A-Thon system to log the number of minutes they spend reading on their own. Today, Learn2Earn announced a new milestone: Brayden Charcoal of Euper Lane Elementary School in Fort Smith, Ark., has logged the 100 millionth minute of reading. Learn2Earn will celebrate this landmark moment by awarding Charcoal with a NOOK e-reader from Barnes & Noble, Inc., (NYSE:BKS). His classmates will have a reading party throw by Learn2Earn, who will supply captivating and fun reading materials.

“Having the one hundred million minute logged in little over a school year confirms that we’ve succeeded in our vision of making reading fun and engaging for students, something that educators find challenging,” said Hayley Brooks, Learn2Earn CEO and co-founder. “I’ve been personally excited about the astounding increases we have seen in our total number of minutes read as the current school year has taken off. On the weekend of September 19 alone, students logged more than 1M minutes of reading. And in all, students have logged more than 1.1M books read since the launch of Whooo’s Reading.”

Specifically designed with the motto “make sure the kids always win,” the lively Whooo’s Reading platform makes reading fun by giving students the power of choice, allowing them to read what they want while incorporating online game elements preferred by today’s digital natives.

A recent study of more than 2,700 students in grades one through five revealed that a year of consistently using the platform resulted in students significantly increasing the text complexity of the books they chose, as determined byLexile measures. The increase in text complexity was particularly pronounced for students who began the year reading books that were below-grade level difficulty. For example, the books read by struggling third-grade readers increased in text complexity by more than 300L on average while books chosen by normal to strong readers in that grade level increased by an average of 120L.

Whooo’s Reading hones students’ reading comprehension by enabling teachers to preselect prompts that give students the option of answering a Common Core-aligned questions. The platform adds a gamification element for students by awarding Wisdom Coins based on the amount of minutes logged and their answer to the comprehension question. Students then use those coins to “buy” virtual accessories from the platform’s Owl Store that are used to customize the owl avatars (called Owlvatars). Teachers grade students’ answers, provide feedback either publicly or privately, and review the reading progress for both individual students and the class as a whole. Whooo’s Reading includes a social aspect that allows students to share book recommendations as well as comment each other’s book reviews.

About Learn2Earn

Learn2Earn is a young startup company focused on providing a 21st-century alternative to traditional literacy programs and school fundraising platforms. Unlike other reading or fundraising programs, their service is child-centric rather than educator-centric. That means that everything they develop is focused on benefitting the children who use it, on making reading fun, and improving specific reading and writing skills as outlined in the Common Core State Standards. In the area of fundraising, they offer something that most fundraising companies don’t: an educational platform for schools to use to raise money. Students aren’t selling; they’re improving their reading skills. For more information, visit



Curriculum Associates’ New i-Ready® Standards Mastery Offering Prepares Students for Success with New, More Rigorous Standards

i-Ready Standards Mastery provides real-time insight into students’ mastery of individual and grade-level standards and detailed instructional recommendations for teachers


NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., November 9, 2015—In response to educators’ need for detailed insight into student understanding of the new standards, Curriculum Associates has recently launched a major enhancement to the i-Ready program. i-Ready Standards Mastery allows schools and districts to get just-in-time information on students’ mastery of the standards and provides the instructional tools teachers need to address specific gaps and challenges. Built to cover Common Core standards for Reading, Language, and Mathematics, the new assessments complement the rich data offered by i-Ready Diagnostic by providing detailed information on individual standards as they are covered in the classroom.


“More than ever, schools and districts need to know if what they are doing in the classroom is working—insight into whether or not students are mastering the standards they are teaching every day. Great teachers are the first and most important piece of the puzzle, but teachers also need timely, actionable data to identify and fill those gaps,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates.


The robust feature set in i-Ready Standards Mastery was designed to prepare students for success on the new state and consortium assessments. Its rigorous assessments include a wide range of technology-enhanced items that effectively prepare students for the new assessment demands. Reports provide a simple but powerful view of students’ mastery of standards at the district, school, class, and individual student level as well as item-level analysis. Teachers are also equipped with rich instructional recommendations based on Curriculum Associates’ proven Ready and i-Ready instructional programs, providing support for remediation and re-teaching of standards.


To learn more about i-Ready Standards Mastery, visit


About i-Ready
Built for the Common Core, i-Ready combines a valid and reliable measure and personalized instruction in a single online product. The adaptive diagnostic for grades K–12 pinpoints student needs down to the sub-skill level and generates a combination of online instruction for grades K–8 and downloadable teacher-led lessons that are unique to each student’s diagnostic result, in addition to providing targeted skill instruction support through mobile apps. These individualized instructional plans are easy to understand, differentiate instruction, and support a blended learning solution. To learn more about i-Ready, visit


About Curriculum Associates

Founded in 1969, privately owned Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.




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