Changing education in middle Georgia

Cirrus Academy Charter School opening doors

in Macon, GA, September 2015

Pitsco Education LogoMACON, GA (October 28, 2014) — The newly formed Cirrus Academy Charter School plans to change education in middle Georgia, according to its board president, and Pitsco Education will help bring about that change with its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum.The Georgia State Charter Schools Commission awarded a statewide charter to Cirrus Academy on September 24, 2014, which served as a green light to begin formal planning of the organization’s first school, which is scheduled to open in Macon, GA, in September 2015. An informational meeting for parents will be conducted on November 20, 2014.”Cirrus Academy is going to change the learning atmosphere in Macon and middle Georgia,” said Cirrus Academy Board President Pamela Cirrus Education logoBrown. In addition to relying on Pitsco for STEM curriculum, the school will partner with String Theory Schools for its arts programs. “String Theory and Pitsco are premier partners offering high-quality curriculum that’s been proven across the United States,” Brown added.


Wasting no time in starting up their year of planning that precedes the opening of the charter school, the Cirrus Academy board of directors selected Shekema Silveri to serve as the school’s principal. Silveri was a 2011 Milken Educator Award winner in Clayton County, GA.


“Ms. Silveri will guide all of our operations at Cirrus Academy during our planning year,” Brown said. “She is a passionate educator whose sole focus is student engagement and achievement.”

During its first year, Cirrus Academy will draw students in Grades K-8 from a seven-county area. Grades 9-12 will be added one at a time during the following four years, starting with the addition of ninth grade for the 2016-17 school year.


Pitsco Vice President of Education Matt Frankenbery said his company’s mission is similar to that of Cirrus Academy Charter School, making it a perfect match.


“Pitsco Education is pleased to be in on the ground level as Cirrus Academy Charter School plans its STEM curriculum offerings,” said Frankenbery. “The level of engagement and activity that students will experience in Pitsco labs and classrooms will give them a head start as they build 21st-century skills and explore career options in relevant and meaningful ways.”



Pitsco Education is the leading provider of age-appropriate, student-centered K-12 STEM learning solutions. Our standards-based curriculum, products, equipment, and materials promote student success through positive and challenging learning experiences, and our hands-on solutions teach core concepts and career skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.


edWeb to host a webinar with Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Clint Romesha

Clint and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation (CMOHF) will present a special live webinar, “Heroism in the War on Terror: An Interview with Clint Romesha, Medal of Honor Recipient,” on Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

Teachers are invited to bring their students and their questions as they listen to Medal of Honor Recipient, Clinton L. Romesha, Staff Sergeant Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the October 3, 2009 battle at Outpost Keating in the Nuristan Province of Afghanistan. Five years later, in this interview with Medal of Honor Foundation President Ron Rand, Romesha will reflect on that day and the direction his life has taken since.

Now a working civilian, husband, father, and one of the youngest of the 79 living Medal of Honor recipients, Romesha dedicates some of his precious free time to sharing his story with teachers and students. During this webinar, he will take questions from the audience and share his thoughts on his experiences.

To join this important event, teachers can register here. Teachers are encouraged to submit a question from their students for Mr. Romesha.

Lisa Schmucki, the founder and CEO of, commented, “This is a very special honor to host an online community where recipients of the Medal of Honor can speak directly to teachers and students about their experiences and the values of bravery, commitment, and self-sacrifice.” and the CMOHF have created an online professional learning community that is free and will host webinars and online discussions on the important concepts of courage, commitment, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity and citizenship. The webinars will provide an opportunity for Medal of Honor Recipients to discuss the importance of character and speak directly with teachers and students on their experiences. The webinars will be facilitated by an educator from the Medal of Honor Foundation and will include demonstrations on how to use the curriculum in the classroom.

If you are an educator, join the free learning community, Lessons of Personal Bravery and Self-Sacrifice: The Medal of Honor Character Development Program, to stay informed about upcoming webinars, join in on discussions with peers and experts, and gain access to valuable resources.



Skyward Positive Attendance Improves Student Tracking




Benchmark Education Provides New York City Schools Common Core Support with Early Childhood Literacy Professional Development


NEW ROCHELLE, NY, Oct. 28, 2014 – Literacy specialist Benchmark Education Company announced today that it is providing a series of professional development sessions to over 2,000 New York City Early Childhood teachers. The first “Early Childhood Language and Literacy” sessions took place last week in Brooklyn and Staten Island. More trainings are scheduled in the Manhattan, Bronx and Queens boroughs starting in November and January.


Training supports the city’s educators to address the needs of diverse learners to achieve Kindergarten Readiness based on the NYC preschool foundation for the Common Core State Standards. The series is sponsored by The Division of Early Childhood and is free to teachers and members of community-based organizations who would like to attend.


Benchmark Education’s professional development focuses on using interactive read alouds to engage all young learners and build their literacy foundations. Reading aloud to students daily helps teachers to achieve the outcomes outlined in the New York State preschool foundation for the Common Core. Strategies enable educators to support the range of students in a given classroom—low-performing or high-performing students,  atypically developing learners, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Strategies for engaging parents in reading to their children at home are also addressed.


“It is an exciting opportunity to work with New York City Schools in helping teachers improve strategies for preparing early learning students for success in literacy through our professional development series,” said Tom Reycraft Benchmark Education President. “Our training series is valuable to the school district because the early childhood classes are the first step in building the foundation for learning in primary and secondary grades.”


Each session includes content presentations, modeling/demonstration lessons, and hands-on experience to support proper implementation of interactive read alouds in the Kindergarten readiness classroom. The professional development sessions are designed for all instructional staff, including teachers, coaches and administrators.


Trainers model with fiction and nonfiction read alouds, and they share strategies for setting up classroom environments to promote language and literacy growth. Technology is integrated in order to meet the needs of all students present in the classroom. These strategies are aligned with the NYS Common Core Learning standards, and the national professional development standards for adult learning. Teachers are given read aloud classics and a subscription to over 250 digital texts published by Benchmark Education to help implement strategies learned in the training.


For information, visit or call 877-236-2465.


Benchmark Education has provided Professional Development and training services to all levels of educators since the founding of the company in 1998. The company’s PD division focuses on creating systematic change by providing ongoing teacher training in literacy development, differentiated instruction, English language acquisition, and the Gradual Release of Responsibility instructional model. It addresses effective Response-to-Intervention strategies, developing content-area concepts, metacognition, and successful comprehensive literacy instruction, based on careful observation of student’s reading, writing, language proficiency stages, and learning behaviors. Benchmark Education’s Professional Development has resulted not only in students showing significant achievement gains, but also in eliminating achievement gaps for at-risk populations in research studies.