GuideK12 and Springsted Inc. Announce Strategic Alliance 

Powerful combination of referendum expertise from Springsted Inc. coupled with geovisual analytics from GuideK12 offer more answers for district decision makers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN May 20, 2014 – GuideK12™, the leading provider of geovisual analytics for the education marketplace is pleased to announce a strategic relationship with Springsted Inc., also based in MN, which provides independent financial advisory services and a broad range of management and consulting services including referendum planning to school districts.

This partnership combines expertise from each company to offer school districts across the country strategic and actionable insight for the changing needs of district decision makers, primarily around referendum planning, new buildings and boundary mapping.

“This announcement represents a powerful combination of the unique and innovative capabilities of GuideK12’s geovisual software with Springsted’s 60 years of financial and management consulting experience to increase speed, accuracy and effectiveness of important district decisions,” said Don Lifto PhD, Executive Vice-President, Springsted Inc. “We are excited to offer our partner districts additional capabilities to meet the ever growing need for greater ability to make data-driven decisions that are effective and efficient. Being able to visualize data and understand a community at the parcel level is powerful insight. ”

GuideK12™ is a web-based Geovisual Analytic tool that helps school districts solve critical educational challenges by visualizing data to drive decisions.  Having the ability to link student and county information, a district can save time and money while increasing transparency for everything from boundary planning, to program resource allocation to student performance analysis.  Having data in an interactive map allows administrators to run “what if” scenarios which drive more efficient and accurate decisions. Schools are swimming with data, GuideK12 translates data into actionable information so administrators can visualize, analyze and predict.

“We are thrilled with this new relationship as it allows us to provide districts even more insight around funding initiatives than ever before. For districts seeking new funding, it is vitally important to have solid, digestible data to share with the community and increase the odds of a passing vote.  Our software provides the lens districts need to communicate more clearly with the public on topics that affect students in their schools and the community as a whole,” shared Chuck Amos, CEO, GuideK12.

For more about GuideK12, please visit:


For more about Springsted Inc., please visit:

About GuideK12:

Based in Eagan, MN, GuideK12LLC is a geovisual analytics software company, which enables education decision makers to instantly explore and analyze school district data by adding a geographic and visual dimension to their student and community information.  By visualizing information spatially, decisions on everything from boundary analysis, to policy changes, to resource planning and forecasting enrollments can be more insightful and faster.  Named a finalist for a 2013 SIIA CODiE award for best enterprise solution and selected by the NSBA as a technology showcase company, GuideK12 serves large metro, suburban and rural school districts throughout the United Sates. It is owned by private investors and a private investment group based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

About Springsted Incorporated:

Springsted Inc. provides public finance and management and consulting services to rural, suburban, urban and intermediate school districts throughout the United States.  Springsted’s public education client representatives and consultants have decades of experience in the trenches, most having served as either school superintendents or business managers.  Our experience and expertise allow us to respond to not only our clients’ public finance needs, but also to provide support and solutions for a broad range of operational and planning challenges. By matching our considerable resources with the changing needs of our clients, solutions are identified, challenges are met and students ultimately benefit through more effective teaching and learning.


One year after tornado, Lions Club helps schools rebuild with sound investment

State disaster relief committee replaces classroom audio systems lost in storm


MOORE, Okla. (May 20, 2014) – When an EF5 tornado swept through Moore, Okla., last year, the storm leveled two elementary schools: Briarwood and Plaza Towers. Now the Lions of Oklahoma are helping the schools rebuild, one classroom at a time.


The Lions of Oklahoma recently replaced all of the Redcat classroom audio systems both schools had before the storm. It’s equivalent to a $60,000 donation, but for Shelley Jaques-McMillin, the principal of Briarwood Elementary, it was priceless.


“We really missed the Redcats this year. I didn’t think we would ever get them back,” Jaques-McMillin said. “But the Lions gave us enough to put a Redcat in every classroom!”


After the tornado struck on May 20, 2013, donations from around the world began pouring in to the Lions Club International Foundation. Troy Jenkins, the chair of the Oklahoma Lions Disaster Relief Committee, was overwhelmed by the generosity.


“It was a big deal,” said Jenkins. “We said, ‘Well, let’s get out there and help where we can.’”


They started addressing the most immediate needs, replacing school supplies and playground equipment. But they had the funds to do more, so the committee asked Jaques-McMillin what she really wanted, and she told them: Redcats.


Members of the disaster relief committee observed the Redcat in action at another school, and they came back impressed. By wearing a small microphone around their neck, a teacher’s voice was projected evenly throughout the room via a portable speaker, making it easier for students to pay attention and stay on task.


The team encouraged the Lions Club International Foundation to approve the donation, and on May 8, 28 Redcats were delivered to Briarwood.


“When I let the teachers know that the Redcats had arrived, they were here unpacking them and putting on the little microphones immediately,” said Jaques-McMillin. “You should have seen it – they were just hugging and kissing the boxes. I heard one teacher say, ‘I missed you, Redcat!’”


In total, 57 Redcats were donated to the two schools. Plaza Towers plans to begin using them in the fall, but Jaques-McMillin said Briarwood’s teachers didn’t want to wait another day.


“Our teachers lost everything, and the Oklahoma Lions gave a little piece back to them. It’s helping to heal their hearts and their souls,” she said.


About Lightspeed Technologies, Inc.

Established in 1990, Lightspeed Technologies is the trusted provider in classroom audio solutions. Our passion is to improve the listening and learning environment for every child. We believe strengthening the connection between teachers and students is at the heart of learning.


Lightspeed classroom audio systems allow teachers to speak in normal conversational tones while being assured every child has an equal opportunity to hear all of the instruction. From the traditional installed systems with ceiling speakers to the new Redcat all-in-one, no install system, Lightspeed is proud to offer the very finest in classroom audio technology. For more information about Lightspeed classroom audio products, visit Lightspeed’s website.




– Renowned Children’s Bilingual Reading Campaign is First to Celebrate Landmark Month for Growing Hispanic Population –

MIAMI (May 20, 2014) – Read Conmigo, the award-winning bilingual literacy campaign for children sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, is still celebrating its first annual Bilingual Literacy Month. As the first celebration of its kind, Bilingual Literacy Month aims to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of raising bilingual kids.  By providing parents with bilingual storybooks, apps, and a plethora of online resources, Read Conmigo bridges the gap for many Hispanic parents that hesitate to read to their children in English and Spanish due to the language barriers.

“Read Conmigo storybooks are an effective tool for promoting the development of English and Spanish language skills in young children,” said Dr. Santiago Wood, Ed.D., Executive Director of the National Association for Bilingual Education. “I encourage families to celebrate Bilingual Literacy Month by incorporating reading time into their daily lives, especially with children who are in the crucial stages of early childhood development.”

Bilingual Literacy Month continues to feature an array of exciting activities for families throughout the month, including:

  • Read Conmigo storytime sessions for children at Westland Mall in Hialeah and Southland Mall in Cutler Bay
  • Storytime session at a Miami area elementary school featuring Miami Marlins stars Henderson Alvarez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia
  • Storytime session at a Los Angeles area elementary school featuring author and storyteller Antonio Sacre
  • Bilingual Literacy Month’s “Tell Us Your Story” essay contest in partnership with The Miami Herald
  • Participation at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Dual Language Institute for bilingual educators and parents
  • A chance to win a Kindle Fire HD when registering for a Read Conmigo subscription online during Bilingual Literacy Month
  • Opportunities to share photos and stories on social media via the hashtag, “#BilingualLiteracyMonth”

“We are proud to celebrate this inaugural Bilingual Literacy Month with Read Conmigo,” said James Gober, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Infinity Property and Casualty Corporation, the parent company of Infinity Auto Insurance. “Infinity’s purpose to serve others extends beyond affordable auto insurance.  By supporting bilingual literacy, Read Conmigo brings families closer together and strengthens communities.”

In addition, the Miami-Dade County Public School Board and the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education will be presenting a proclamation in honor of Read Conmigo’s Bilingual Literacy Month. For more information on Bilingual Literacy Month news and events, please visit

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About the Read Conmigo Bilingual Literacy Campaign:  Read Conmigo, sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, is a parent-focused bilingual literacy campaign that encourages Hispanic parents to read to their children at home through the distribution of free English-Spanish children’s books. The program has already distributed more than 750,000 free books to classrooms and Hispanic families, and receives support from more than 9,200 educators. The campaign creates opportunities for new Hispanic authors and illustrators. Infinity Auto Insurance employees, along with Read Conmigo authors and illustrators, engage their communities at special events, schools and libraries to foster bilingual literacy in young readers.


Bloomberg Series “Broken Pledges” Receives the AAUP’s Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education; Brandeis University’s The Justice wins Award for Excellence in Student Coverage for “Cuts Affect Doctoral Programs”


Washington, DC—Writers David Glovin and John Hechinger of Bloomberg News are this year’s recipients of the Iris Molotsky Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education, given annually by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The AAUP’s purpose in giving this award is to recognize exceptional journalism and to encourage thoughtful, in-depth coverage of issues that are critical to faculty and higher education. “The ‘Broken Pledges’ series of stories is relentless in its chilling details that show how fraternity life has changed dramatically in just the last twenty years,” said Dane S. Claussen, one of the judges.“Any parent, donor, or politician who thinks the Greek system is the only part of higher education that hasn’t changed is obviously sadly mistaken; the national fraternities protect only themselves, while universities protect themselves from fraternities when they aren’t conspiring with them. Of course, average students are the victims.”


David Glovin covers the Manhattan federal court for Bloomberg News. A graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and Boston University’s School of Law, Glovin has been with Bloomberg since 1999, covering legal affairs from New York. John Hechinger is a reporter-at-large on Bloomberg’s enterprise team in Boston, where he specializes in education reporting. Before joining Bloomberg in 2010, Hechinger, a graduate of Yale University, was a senior special writer at the Wall Street Journal and a projects reporter at the Charlotte (NC)Observer. Glovin and Hechinger’s series is available on the AAUP’s website at The Iris Molotsky Award will be presented at the AAUP’s Awards Banquet onSaturday, June 14.


Additionally, this year the AAUP presented a new award, the Martin D. Snyder Award for Excellence in Student Coverage of Higher Education, for high-caliber reporting in student newspapers. Martin Snyder, an advocate of student journalism, served as the AAUP’s associate general secretary and as director of the AAUP’s Department of External Relations. The inaugural winner of the award is Marissa Ditkowsky, who won for her story “Cuts Affect Doctoral Program.” The story ran in Brandeis University’s The Justice on October 29, 2013. Ditkowsky commented, “This trend is one that is occurring not only at Brandeis but also nationally. Cutting doctoral students is affecting universities that are interested in maintaining funds for other purposes and are concerned more about the business model than the educational process.”


About the judges:


Dane S. Claussen is an independent scholar, author of Anti-Intellectualism in American Media, and former editor of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator. Until December 2010, he was chair of faculty and professor at Point Park University’s School of Communication.


Cat Warren has been a reporter for several newspapers across the United States, including the Hartford Courant. In 1995, she joined the faculty at North Carolina State University, where she has taught a wide range of courses in journalism and media and in gender studies. In addition to being the former editor of Academe, she publishes in journalistic venues as well as in academic ones—on media criticism, cultural studies, and issues in higher education. She is the author of What the Dog Knows.


The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance, to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, promote the economic security of those who teach and research in higher education, and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities. The AAUP is a nonprofit professional association headquartered in Washington, DC


Frenship ISD (Texas)Leads HB5 Preparedness with iCEV Implementation
‘Career Exploration’ curriculum helps Frenship ISD students choose endorsement areas before entering ninth grade, as required by new Texas legislation

LUBBOCK, Texas (May 20, 2014) – CEV Multimedia, a leading producer of Career and Technical Education (CTE) curriculum resources, and Frenship Independent School District (FISD) announce a pilot program that assists the district’s preparation for Texas House Bill 5 (HB5). Counselors and educators at FISD will use iCEV, an online platform that produces and delivers comprehensive educational content, to guide students through the new process of choosing endorsement areas of study.

Passed in 2013, HB5 outlines new graduation requirements for high school students in Texas. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, incoming freshmen will be required to choose one of five specialized endorsement areas: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); business and industry; public service; arts and humanities; or multidisciplinary. The bill also allows students to receive “performance acknowledgment through industry certification.”

“Hopefully we will experience increased graduation rates because students will be better able to tailor their educational experience to meet their interests and proficiencies,” said Texas State Senator Robert Duncan. “HB5 also aims to provide pathways to graduation that better integrate academic and technical education, allowing students to both develop specific workforce skills and meet college readiness standards.”

Through the iCEV Career Exploration curriculum, FISD’s pilot program provides in-depth industry information to help eighth grade students choose endorsement areas before entering high school. The iCEV platform offers more than 700 virtual job descriptions, customized career playlists and videos, and thought-provoking projects and activities – all designed to assist students in making informed endorsement choices.

“We are excited about the opportunity this platform has provided for our eighth grade students to make informed decisions about their areas of interest as they prepare to enter Frenship High School,” said FISD Superintendent Dr. David Vroonland. “We appreciate the hard work and efforts the iCEV team has dedicated to designing this platform that will help students meet the requirements of HB5.”

Implementation is already underway at FISD’s three middle schools, and iCEV is helping eighth grade students choose endorsement areas that align with their interests and prepare them for college and career success. Students are working with teachers, counselors and administrators at the middle schools to select course pathways for when they enter Frenship High School this fall.

“HB5 gives students much more flexibility in their course selections, even allowing them to switch their endorsement area if their interests change,” said Kim Spicer, principal at Frenship High School. “iCEV will be invaluable in providing assistance to students, so they will be able to make informed decisions.” To learn more about HB5 and how iCEV helps schools put students on the path to college and career readiness,

About CEV Multimedia 
With 30 years’ experience, CEV specializes in providing quality Career & Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and education resources for several major subject areas: Agricultural Science & Technology, Family & Consumer Sciences, Business Education, Marketing Education, Trade & 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. For more information,

About Frenship ISD
With a current student enrollment growing to more than 8,400 students, Frenship ISD continues to be one of the fastest growing school districts in the South Plains region of Texas. Frenship High School was awarded the Silver Award for academic excellence in the 2013 Best High School Rankings released by U.S. News, ranking the campus as the highest rated high school on the South Plains, in the top 10 percent of high schools in Texas and in the top 11 percent of more than 21,000 high schools nationwide.


CEFPI Advanced Academy for Learning Spaces:

A Certificate Program in Educational Facility Planning


WASHINGTON, DC (May 20, 2014) The Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) recently announced the launch of The Advanced Academy for Learning Spaces:  A certificate program in educational facility planning.


This intense, high quality course of study consists of six 6-week online courses created by industry experts and delivered through San Diego State University’s Interwork Institute Center for Distance Learning (IL-CDL).  CEFPI has assumed responsibility of the program, formerly known as The Advanced Certificate in Educational Facility Planning and managed by San Diego State University.  The comprehensive program, grounded in the key knowledge and skills central to the sound planning, building and maintaining of learner-centered school facilities, has been updated and revised.


Six internationally recognized experts have been recruited to lead this rigorous and engaging course of study. All course content is intentionally designed and delivered by practitioners and key stakeholders in the educational facility industry, including facility planners, practicing architects, a U.S. state education department official and two experts in learning styles theory, ensuring its relevancy to day to day work.   The online program focuses squarely on the student, beginning with a course on learner needs and styles and culminating in a course on life cycle facility assessment.


While maintaining the rigor and relevance established in the Advanced Certificate Program, CEFPI is able to significantly reduce the cost and efficiently deliver the courses in 10-months.  Faculty members have streamlined the course work, while offering the same high-quality program so that students will continue to benefit!


Dr. Cynthia Uline, Director of The National Center for the 21st Century Schoolhouse, emphasizes that the program will continue to introduce students to a learner-centered approach to school facility planning, provoking thought and prompting educational leaders, planners, designers and construction managers to give careful consideration to the educational, developmental, psychological and social needs of learners.


For registration and further information on the Advanced Academy for Learning Spaces, please visit  .

The Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) is the only professional organization whose principal purpose is improving the places where children learn.  CEFPI embraces a diverse group of professionals with one single goal – building healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable 21st Century learning environments that enhance student and teacher performance and support culture and community vitality.  To learn more, visit