CoSN Calls FCC E-rate Vote an ‘Important Early Victory’ for
Students, Educators for Wi-Fi Access
Washington, DC (July 11, 2014) – CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) CEO Keith Krueger today expressed support for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) decision to update and strengthen the E-rate program. Krueger said:
“Today’s vote by the FCC represents an important early victory for students and educators that lack broadband and Wi-Fi access in their classrooms. CoSN’s 2013 E-rate and broadband survey revealed a massive Wi-Fi gap in many classrooms, so we’re very pleased the FCC dedicated meaningful funding for internal connections, while also maintaining a focus on broadband connections to the school door. CoSN also commends the FCC for approving a further notice focused on evaluating the program’s long-term funding needs. School districts cannot meet today’s Wi-Fi and broadband technology needs on a 1997 budget and that will mean our nation must eventually invest more for this critical need.
“We believe the FCC’s action is an important start to modernize the E-rate program and providing a path for sufficient long-term and predictable funding. This act today is a step forward.”
Specifically, CoSN welcomes the FCC’s decision to:
  • Update the E-rate program, including by establishing world-class broadband goals for the nation’s schools and ensuring that resources will be available to begin connecting every classroom to Wi-Fi;
  • Promote greater transparency to helping applicants secure the best prices for cutting-edge services; and
  • Immediately establish a further notice focused on quantifying the program’s long-term funding needs.
CoSN has long advocated for modernizing the E-rate program. On Monday, CoSN joined nine other leading education organizations in sending a joint letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Jessica Rosenworcel, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly expressing support for moving forward on Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to begin the process.
About CoSN 
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visitcosn.org or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areasannual conference and eventsadvocacy and policymembership, and the CETL certification exam.

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Wisconsin School Districts Identify Support and Product Value in Selecting Skyward

Neenah, Menasha and Marion School Districts to implement Skyward in 2014 

July 14, 2014

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (July 14, 2014) ­– Three Wisconsin school districts have designatedSkyward, an industry leading K-12 school administrative software provider, to improve business and student operations within their districts. With the addition of Neenah Joint, Menasha Joint and Marion Independent School Districts, Skyward now serves nearly 400 districts in the state. Supporting Wisconsin administrators, educators and staff for more than 30 years, over 80 percent of Wisconsin school districts rely on Skyward to help improve student outcomes and reduce expenses.

Two of the three districts will be implementing Skyward’s School Business Suite, while the third will be deploying the Student Management Suite. Both offer unmatched flexibility and control to help ensure students succeed by providing districts with real-time accurate and reliable information through a web portal for easy access.

Fed up with hand calculating and separate log-ins for every program, Neenah Joint School District switched from an outdated system to Skyward. Creating an integrated and simple system with easy-to-navigate employee profiles, Skyward is an all-encompassing solution for Neenah Joint. The district began training on the School Business Suite in May and will implement the finance and human resources modules in July.

“There are a lot of hidden features that Skyward users may take for granted. For example, the Excel button on every screen that allows users to export data into a spreadsheet,” said Kathy Davis, assistant district administrator of business services at Neenah Joint School District. “Also, there is a wealth of customer support questions if you ever get stuck, and the whole system is user-friendly.”

Encouraged by the customer support and knowledge Skyward provides, Menasha Joint School District has begun training and is implementing the finance and human resources modules of the School Business Suite. The district looks forward to improving employee management through processes such as insurance tracking, salary negotiations and employee reimbursement.

“Skyward will provide transparent vision for our staff through the Employee Access portal, which will empower them to review their own information to create efficiencies,” said Brian Adesso, director of business services at Menasha Joint School District. “With the Skyward School Business Suite in place, we’ll be able to provide a higher level of service to our staff.”

Marion Independent School District chose Skyward for its single platform and customer service. The district has used the Skyward School Business Suite for four years and will implement the Skyward Student Management Suite in fall of 2014. Eager about saving time and ensuring accurate data, the district will retain information in one central location.

“Skyward is going to save a huge amount of time for our secretaries,” said Valerie Brooks, director of special education at Marion Independent School District. “Today when a student experiences an unexcused absence, a secretary calls the parents individually, and when a student’s lunch balance drops below $10, they mail a note to the parents, both of which will be automated through Skylert, a notification system in Skyward.”

Skyward serves more than 5 million students and 1,700 school districts worldwide. In Spring 2015, the company will break ground on a new headquarters that will allow Skyward to continue providing industry-leading school management software to districts in Wisconsin, the United States and around the world. The new headquarters will have a tremendous economic impact locally, statewide, and nationally. With its new headquarters, Skyward plans to add 1,000 jobs over the next 10 years, nearly half of which will be in Wisconsin. The new headquarters is projected to bring more than $20 million in earnings to the region.

The Skyward School Management System empowers administrators, teachers and parents with the information they need to make the greatest impact on improving student achievement and business operations. Many Wisconsin districts already use Skyward, including the Stevens Point Area School District. The district’s success with the software is outlined in this Skyward case study. For more information on Skyward administrative software and IT consulting services for K-12 districts, visit Skyward.

About Skyward
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, the Skyward School Management System™ is used in more than 1,700 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to statewide implementations supporting more than 800,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance, and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the United States. To learn more, visitSkyward.

 

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Califone Launches 901 Wireless Headphone

New Listening Device Connects Multiple Users to Support Common Core Goals

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Teachers have expressed a need for greater student flexibility and range than traditional wired headphones to access learning materials.

San Fernando, Calif. (PRWEB) July 14, 2014

Listening devices that help students achieve the goals outlined in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a critical component of today’s classrooms. To meet this need, Califone International, Inc., a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of audiovisual (AV) and supplemental curriculum products for use in education, announces the release of its 901 Wireless Headphone. The rechargeable headphone and separate 3.5 mm transmitter connect students to listening activities on computers, laptops, tablets and other mobile devices.

“Teachers have expressed a need for greater student flexibility and range than traditional wired headphones to access learning materials,” said Tim Ridgway, vice president of marketing for Califone. “The 901 Wireless Headphone allows a 20’ wireless listening range. It also enables multiple users to listen to one device with a single transmitter, giving educators the ability to group students with like abilities for a smaller differentiated learning community with the learning resources they need to succeed.”

The headphone and transmitter charge in 2-3 hours, offer continuous play for 8-10 hours and come with a cord for conventional wired listening. Both components are built with durable ABS plastic to withstand classroom use. The 901 Wireless Headphone can be resized to fit learners of any age. It offers multiple listening options, including FM, wireless transmission and digital audio from a micro SD card. Students using the wireless headphone can share the audio with others by having a traditional wired headphone plug into the wireless 901. Any number of users can listen wirelessly to a single transmitter within the device’s 20-foot range.

Califone is committed to providing products that support the speaking and listening portion of the Common Core English Language Arts anchor standards. For more information on the full line of Califone products, and to view and download the entire Califone catalog, visit http://www.califone.com.

About Califone
Califone was founded in 1947 and continues to be a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of audiovisual and supplemental curriculum products for use in education. The company’s products enable educators to incorporate rich audiovisual resources into lessons that help students build speaking and listening skills, critical to the English Language Arts portion of the Common Core State Standards. Califone offers a complete line of audio solutions, wireless systems and multimedia products for small, medium and large presentation needs, and serves millions of educators and students in the PreK through higher education school environments.

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NASBE Praises FCC’s Push to Ensure E-Rate Funding to Connect Classrooms Across the Country

Arlington, Va. – National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Executive Director Kristen Amundson today praised the FCC for establishing meaningful new broadband goals for the nation’s schools and for ensuring that E-rate funding is available to begin connecting every classroom to WiFi. “Promoting digital equity for students is a high priority for NASBE,” says Amundson. “The FCC’s decision today to establish meaningful new broadband connectivity goals for the nation’s schools and set aside dedicated funding for connecting every learning space to WiFi will have a big impact on teaching and learning.”

NASBE has been a leading national voice calling for greater investments in high capacity broadband and the technology needed to support instruction, and next generation assessment, most recently joining 10 other organizations in calling for a boost in funding for E-Rate. The FCC’s order represents a major step forward, but more work must be done to ensure all students have access to the technologies required to prepare for college and career.

 

About The National Association of State Boards of Education

The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. Our principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in the education of all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.

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Silver Spring, MD | July 1, 2014 marked the opening of a new one-year term for the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) and National Career Technical Education Foundation (NCTEF) Board. Board members assume their new positions against a backdrop of exploding interest in CTE nationwide.

 

Taking the helm this year is Dean for Career and Technical Education at the Colorado Community College System Scott Stump. President Stump said of the position, “It’s a privilege to lead an organization of this caliber, especially at such an important moment for CTE. We’re seeing a tremendous groundswell of support for our discipline nationwide—I believe we can seize on that momentum in the year ahead and bring about even greater growth for high-quality CTE going forward.”

 

Officers include:

  • President Scott Stump, Dean for Career and Technical Education at the Colorado Community College System
  • Vice President Rod Duckworth, Chancellor for the Division of Career and Adult Education at the Florida Department of Education
  • Secretary/Treasurer Jo Anne Honeycutt, Director of Career and Technical Education at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Past President John Fischer, Deputy Secretary at the Vermont Agency of Education

NASDCTEc/NCTEF will continue to build on the momentum of the year to date under its expert leadership. Highlights so far include promoting the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 along with a huge group of stakeholder partnerstracking state policy developments from 2013, examining nationwide college and career readiness standards and promoting exemplary, forward-looking CTE programs to a national audience.

Officers’ biographies can be found here.

 

About NASDCTEc
The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) was established in 1920 to represent the state and territory heads of secondary, postsecondary and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across the nation. NASDCTEc, through leadership, advocacy and partnerships, aims to support an innovative CTE system that prepares individuals to succeed in education and their careers, and poises the United States to flourish in a global, dynamic economy.

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