Skyward Debuts 2015 Leader in Excellence Award

Program recognizes K-12 districts and individuals using Skyward to improve education

September 23, 2014


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Sept. 23, 2014) –Skyward, Inc., an industry leading K-12 school administrative software provider, is accepting entries for the inaugural Leader in Excellence Award. The annual program recognizes K-12 districts and individuals using Skyward to improve education and inspire new ideas and initiatives.“The Leader in Excellence Award enables us to celebrate and share the remarkable accomplishments by school districts and educators across the country,” said Ray Ackerlund, vice president of marketing and product management at Skyward. “School management systems play a critical role in a school district’s success, and we look forward to hearing first-hand the positive impact of Skyward on school management and student performance.”Any K-12 school district or district employee who used Skyward School Management System during the 2014-2015 school year is eligible to enter the program. Nominees must demonstrate their district has made improvement by using the School Management System, and a Skyward account executive, project manager, product manager or team leader must be used as a reference for the district or individual. The closing date for entries is Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. CST and winners will be announced in early 2015.

Individuals, who are leaders that inspire peers through their use of Skyward software, and school districts, that have special knowledge or expertise about the K-12 environment with the use of Skyward software to change education in a positive way, will receive the award. Winners will earn a free registration to the 2015 Skyward International Conference (iCon) and be recognized for their success at a presentation ceremony on March 12, 2015, at the TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla.

For more information and to submit an entry for the Leader in Excellence Award visit here.

For more than 30 years, Skyward has provided the best administrative software and IT consulting services to K-12 school districts in the United States and around the world. Skyward provides industry-leading school administrative software that empowers educators to effectively integrate, manage and analyze all critical education data, including student information, academic performance, finance and human resources. For more information on Skyward visit

  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, visit



Urban Teacher Center, Together with 100Kin10, Launches Campaign to Inspire the Next Generation of Great STEM Teachers


BALTIMORE (September 23, 2014)-Urban Teacher Center (UTC) together with 100Kin10 and dozens of partner organizations, announced the launch of “Blow Minds, Teach STEM,” a coordinated, co-funded campaign to inspire undergraduates and recent graduates with strong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to become teachers.


The US ranks 27th in math and 20th in science among industrialized countries, slotting in somewhere between the Slovak Republic and Lithuania. There is no way of turning around these dismal results without great math and science, tech and engineering (or STEM) teachers in our nation’s schools. Because of this, President Obama called for 100,000 excellent STEM teachers in his 2011 State of the Union Address.


100Kin10 is a network of 200 multi-sector organizations responding to this exact need. Working with over 30 of those organizations, 100Kin10 partnered with creative agency Cultivated Wit to design the campaign, which introduces STEM teaching as an impactful, even mind-blowing career option for STEM majors and recent graduates, while amplifying the importance of STEM teaching to a much broader audience.


Urban Teacher Center is working in partnership with 100Kin10 to recruit the best and the brightest to teach STEM subjects. In particular, UTC is focused on preparing a new cadre of highly accountable, Common Core State Standards-trained, mathematics teachers who have a deep capacity and desire to support the diverse needs of students. Through its intensive, four-year preparation program, UTC is developing highly effective educators who consistently outperform their peers, with 75% performing on par or better than the average urban teacher. These teachers are preparing students for future success in a society with an ever-increasing need for STEM professionals.


“All students-including those in our country’s urban schools-deserve access to today’s innovative, entrepreneurial global economy,” said Jennifer Green, CEO and Co-Founder of Urban Teacher Center. “We need to recruit and prepare a new generation of teachers to build the skill sets and depth of knowledge in math and science that students need to compete and thrive in a 21st century landscape.”


Even before launch, “Blow Minds, Teach STEM” has garnered significant national attention from a range of supporters. Over 700 backers signed up to participate in the coordinated launch on Tuesday, September 16, amassing a social reach of over 12.7 million.


Singer-songwriter John Legend, actor Michael Ian Black, co-founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian, human-centered design firm IDEO, media firm GOOD, “Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf, Time’s first Person of the Planet Sylvia Earle, and the United States Department of Education have lent their voices to “Blow Minds, Teach STEM.” They are joined by multitudes of parents, educators, scientists, mathematicians, and entrepreneurs, alongside a chorus of passionate citizens.


You can join in this effort to bolster and grow our national STEM teaching force by



About Urban Teacher Center

Urban Teacher Center prepares highly effective teachers who significantly accelerate student achievement in  the nation’s highest-need schools. UTC accomplishes this goal by recruiting outstanding candidates, equipping them with state-of-the-art training, and linking their certification to their students’ performance outcomes.


About 100Kin10

100Kin10 is a multi-sector network responding to the national call to train and retain 100,000 excellent science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021. 100Kin10’s 200 best-in-class partner organizations each make a unique commitment to improve STEM learning for all students by increasing the supply of excellent STEM teachers; hiring, developing, and retaining excellent STEM teachers; and/or building the 100Kin10 movement.



11 Ed Tech Tools & Activities for K-12 Leaders This School Year
Washington, DC (September 23, 2014) – Summer ended on the calendar this week, and educators and students are already settled in for the fall months ahead. To advance teaching and learning in the new school year, CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) is reminding district leaders of its top 11 new resources and forthcoming events.
1) Raising the Bar: Becoming Assessment Ready
In collaboration with Education Networks of America (ENA) and eLearn Institute, CoSN has a rich suite of resources that outline key considerations and steps school districts should take to prepare for online assessments. The resources include a white paper, case studies of three school districts, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers, and readiness recommendations and checklist. Learn more
2) Leadership for Mobile Learning 
Designed to address the shifting trends and technology in mobile learning, CoSN’s Leadership for Mobile Learning (LML) initiative offers an updated “Administrator’s Guide for Mobile Learning” and a graphic with best practices and step-by-step guidance to effectively activate mobile learning. Learn more
3) Rethinking Educational Equity in a Digital Era
With the National Title I Association (NASTID), CoSN developed a new toolkit to strengthen the critical relationship between District Title I and education technology leaders in improving educational equity. The toolkit includes a discussion guide for planning technology integration into Title I Programs and tips for building the important collaboration. Learn more
4) Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning
CoSN’s expanding privacy initiative includes an in-depth, step-by-step privacy guide as well as complementary resources to help school system leaders navigate the incredible challenge of complex federal laws and related issues. Learn more
5) Smart IT Report
This strategic resource provides guidance to school system technology leaders on how to plan and manage their IT investments amid tightening budgets. The resource offers tactics regarding demonstrating a return on investment (ROI); saving money through sustainable practices; and connecting and aligning financial leadership. Learn more
6) Horizon Report 2014
The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition, produced in partnership with the New Media Consortium (NMC) and with the support of HP, analyzes trends both at the personal and school-wide levels for their potential impacts on education within a five-year timeframe. Learn more
7) SEND (Smart Education Networks by Design) 
To establish well-designed district networks that support 24/7 technology demands, the SEND Initiative provides guidelines for network design and a checklist for district network planning. Additional resources are coming soon.Learn more
8) IT Leadership Survey
Released last spring, CoSN’s 2nd Annual K-12 IT Leadership Survey provides valuable information about how education leaders are leveraging technology and paints a picture of trends and potential changes in the field. This year’s survey also examined K-12 IT leadership by gender, underscoring the issue of fairness, compensation, and leadership for women in K-12 technology. Learn more
9) Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL)™ Program
For K-12 education technology leaders, earning the CETL certification will demonstrate to your staff, superintendent, and other stakeholders that you have mastered the knowledge and skills needed to define the vision for and to successfully build digitally-enabled, transformative learning environments. To date, CoSN has 125 certified technology leaders nationwide. Learn more
10) Webinars with the Experts
The yearly webinar series is a platform for K-12 education technology experts worldwide to present and answer questions on their specialties and related issues in an interactive one-hour discussion. Learn more
11) CoSN Conference
CoSN’s 2015 Annual Conference heads to Atlanta March 16-19 with the theme, “Enabling Your Digital Leap.” Click here for an early look at the agenda and to register today.
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. Visit or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and eventsadvocacy and policy, membership, and the CETL certification exam.



PublicSchoolWORKS Updates Restraint and Seclusion Training to Include Effective Use of Student Time Outs


The updated online course meets numerous state regulations and arms educators with evidence-based strategies for diffusing and managing students who act out

Cincinnati, OH – September 23, 2014 – With the new school year underway, PublicSchoolWORKSannounces a newly revised Restraint and Seclusion course that includes effective use of time outs, an alternate method to restraining or secluding a student. The updated, 20-minute Restraint and Seclusioncourse is narrated in both English and Spanish.


This course ensures educators are trained on the acting out cycle, techniques to diffuse a student’s aggressive behavior during any of these cycle phases, and proper use of time outs or restraints when needed in order to avoid harm to the student or staff persons, as well as to avoid potential litigation. Further, this training enables many districts to meet their state training requirement on this topic. PublicSchoolWORKS is the only K-12 school-focused provider of complete, automated safety and compliance solutions for school staff and students.


While there is not a consistent and objective definition being used to categorize what restraint and seclusion is, nor is there a system available to calculate exactly how many restraint and seclusion incidents there are nationally, data suggests that restraint and seclusion is widely used in U.S. schools. For example, a February report to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions showed a combined 65,000 incidents of restraint and seclusion reported by K-12 schools during the 2009-2010 school year. Additionally, a report using federal data sources published by a non-profit investigative reporting group in June 2014 counted at least 267,000 instances of restraint and seclusion used during the 2011-2012 school year. Use of restraint and seclusion has endangered students, caused hundreds of incidents of physical and psychological harm to students, and even resulted in the death of 20 students since 1992.


Exact numbers notwithstanding, it is evident restraint and seclusion occurs frequently in U.S. Schools, despite evidence showing that it is often an ineffective approach. The PublicSchoolWORKS course addresses the critical need for training on more effective behavior management practices for educators.


Several states have initiated or passed restraint, time out, and seclusion training requirements. Proper training includes evidence-based strategies on alternate methods used to diffuse a student’s aggression, effective use of time outs, knowledge of how acting out behavior progresses, and methods educators can use to diffuse escalating student behavior to prevent further acting out.


These best practices are incorporated in the newly updated PublicSchoolWORKS training, along with case study examples, detailed information on various types of restraint and seclusion techniques, differentiators on how time outs and other methods are safer and more effective, and which circumstances – such as events of imminent danger – warrant use of restraint and seclusion.  Further, the course encourages use of proactive methods, such as functional behavioral assessments (FBAs), behavioral intervention plans (BIPs), positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) and other positive-behavior strategies (PBS), to encourage safe and appropriate student behavior, and to address issues before they become more problematic.


“Providing clear, easy-to-understand training that arms educators with tactics they can use immediately is imperative to ensuring the safest possible outcomes for everyone involved,” said Tom Strasburger, vice president of PublicSchoolWORKS.


“Our dedicated research and development team monitors all school-related legislation and policy, such as new state requirements and guidelines on restraint and seclusion. These changes are quickly incorporated into relevant new content and shared with our customers…at no additional charge,” said Strasburger. “Districts who use WORKS EmployeeSafe systems don’t have to do a thing to have their staff benefit from learning new best practices since all of our software automatically incorporates ever-changing requirements automatically into the district’s already-occurring training schedule.”


“Quite simply, PublicSchoolWORKS is creating practical best practices for educators and administrators,” said Strasburger.


Administrators interested in learning how their district will benefit from the new restraint and seclusion training, should contact WORKS at 877-77-WORKS or see all of the courses offered in the PublicSchoolWORKS EmployeeSafe “Student Safety, Wellness and Social Responsibility” staff training catalog at


About PublicSchoolWORKS
PublicSchoolWORKS ( provides practical, comprehensive solutions to the constantly changing environmental, health and safety requirements of K-12 schools in the U.S and Canada. The company has earned an exemplary reputation for the innovation and technical superiority of its comprehensive and integrated systems, which combine administrative software tools and automated management to dramatically reduce the time and cost required to develop, implement and sustain district-wide safety compliance programs. For more information on how PublicSchoolWORKS can improve district safety programs, contact 1-877-779-6757 or