STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Aug. 25, 2015) – Two Texas school districts, Klein Independent School District (ISD) and Georgetown Independent School District (ISD), have selected the Skyward Student Management Suite to streamline student information and business operations. The districts aim to unify operations and reduce time spent on accessing critical data with the support of the acclaimed management solution.
Klein ISD operates 42 schools with more than 50,000 students. When the support for its existing student information system wasn’t meeting the district’s needs, a committee of 90 stakeholders, including representatives from each school, embarked on an extensive search for a new provider. After demonstrations, a competitive bid process and feedback from peers at surrounding districts, the committee unanimously selected the Student Management Suite from Skyward. The district previously encountered inefficiencies caused by multiple access points for data. With Skyward, Klein ISD will be able to seamlessly access data and information with one login and meet the district’s complex scheduling needs while reaching the individual needs of every student.
“It was obvious from the start that Skyward wanted to form a partnership with our district,” said Vicki James, executive director of the Department of Research, Accountability and Data at Klein ISD. “We were looking for an integrated, user-friendly system that can handle our state reporting requirements. With millions of pieces of data, it’s important to know there’s someone on the other end who is interested in helping when you call with a question.”
With 10,600 students and 18 schools, Georgetown ISD had interoperability needs that weren’t being fulfilled with its previous student information system. Already using Skyward for its financial operations, the district turned to the Student Management Suite for an integrated approach across both systems to save time and resources. Georgetown ISD looks forward to several features with the new system, including all-in-one access to student data, online scheduling, a mobile app for every educator to use on their iPads, and the Family and Student Access portal, which will better facilitate communication between school and home.
“When reviewing Skyward, we kept seeing features we didn’t know we needed, but once we saw them we questioned how were we living without them,” said Mary Mitchem, senior systems analyst at Georgetown ISD. “Skyward is so customer focused we feel like we’re the only customer, not one of 1,800 districts. This was reflected in glowing reviews from other Texas districts. Skyward customers basically sold the system to us.”
To learn more about Skyward’s commitment to the State of Texas, including our selection as one of only two TEA-preferred providers, click here.
Tales2go Passes 5,000 Titles and Introduces New Logo and Website
The Tales2go audio book catalog now surpasses 5,000 titles, comprising over 9,000 hours of content, spanning both fiction and non-fiction.
Bethesda, MD – August 25, 2015 – Tales2go Inc. announces today it has surpassed five thousand titles within its award-winning service. The catalog spans fiction and non-fiction and includes audio book titles appropriate for Pre-K through high school.
Tales2go supports the development of literacy skills during a student’s most critical early childhood and elementary school years. Repeated exposure to sophisticated words, spoken fluently and in context, drives vocabulary acquisition and retention, which is a key component of reading proficiency. Reading proficiency, in turn, is a key factor in achieving academic success. Yet most students lack such an exposure and have a limited vocabulary. The Tales2go service easily adds a listening component to classroom reading instruction and is used in some of the largest and most progressive districts in the U.S., including Los Angeles Unified School District (California), Broward County Schools (Florida), Berkeley Unified School District (California) and Heartland Area Education Agency (Iowa).
“We’re excited to exceed this important milestone in terms of number of titles,” said Tales2go Co-Founder and CEO, William Weil. “We know that student achievement is in part based on a depth and breadth of high quality titles. We’re also delighted to unveil our new logo and website, which details the benefits of adding a listening component to reading instruction.”
Tales2go works with leading audio book publishers ranging from Recorded Books, Scholastic, Weston Woods Studios, Blackstone Audio and Oasis Audio, as well as established storytellers such as Bill Harley, Willy Claflin, Regi Carpenter and Odds Bodkin.
For more information on Tales2go, please visit: www.tales2go.com
Tales2go believes children must be good listeners before they can become great students. Repeated exposure to spoken sophisticated words drives vocabulary acquisition and retention, which is a key component of reading proficiency. Reading proficiency, in turn, is critical to academic success. Tales2go is your partner in the fight for better literacy, making it easier and more cost-effective to add a listening component to reading instruction. We stream over five thousand audio book titles from leading publishers to desktops, laptops and mobile devices in the classroom and beyond. Tales2go is used in a growing number of schools and districts across the U.S., including Los Angeles USD, Broward County Schools, Berkeley USD and Heartland AEA. More information is available at www.tales2go.com.
VIF partners with 227 schools in eight states to promote global learning
268 new VIF cultural exchange teachers from 23 countries will also lead K-12 classrooms throughout N.C., S.C. and Va.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (August 25, 2015) — VIF International Education, a global education partner of K-12 schools and districts, will work with schools from California, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington to integrate global concepts into daily classroom instruction through use of professional development for teachers. This will be the first year schools from California, Kentucky Mississippi and Washington participate in the VIF Global Schools program.
In addition, VIF also welcomes 268 teachers from 23 countries to its cultural exchange teacher program. These educators will join more than 500 current VIF cultural exchange teachers who bring authentic intercultural experiences to school communities and lead dual language immersion classrooms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Educators in both programs will have access to expert-created global lessons and professional development modules through VIF’s Learning Center.
“Modernizing teacher training to assure global learning opportunities for all students is at the core of what we do,” said VIF CEO David Young. “By taking advantage of the incredible advances in technology in recent years, we now have the tools and resources we need to achieve this mission. We look forward to working with our partner districts, schools and teachers – both international and domestic – to create engaging learning environments that prepare students for life and work in an increasingly global society and economy.”
Last year, a study from UNC’s Education Policy Initiative shared that VIF cultural exchange teachers were recognized as the most effective educators in both reading and math at the elementary level in North Carolina when compared to teachers trained by traditional preparation programs. VIF’s research-based recruitment, selection and placement process ensures teachers selected to participate in the program are experienced, highly competent and committed to their schools and students.
For more information on VIF’s global education programs and services please visit our website at www.vifprogram.com.
Alexandria, VA (8/25/2015)―ASCD has released the following statement from Executive Director and CEO Deb Delisle in response to 2015 PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools:
Sunday evening, the 47th annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools was released. This poll is the longest-running survey of attitudes toward education and provides great insight into how our communities feel about the education we provide, along with information on how attitudes have shifted over the past five decades.
At ASCD, we noted some particularly encouraging results when reviewing the 2015 poll. We find it notable that 70 percent of public school parents would give their oldest child’s school an A or B grade for school quality. By contrast, only 19 percent of these same parents would give an A or B grade to public schools nationally. While the gap between these data points can be considered disappointing, it is important to focus on how positively public school parents view their local schools, especially the schools their own children attend. When parents and community members get a chance to witness firsthand the work our educators are doing with their children, they cannot help but be impressed by what they see. On ASCD’s behalf, I pledge that we will do our part to communicate this encouraging message.
We also noted that nearly 80 percent of those surveyed rate student engagement and student hope for the future as “very important” in measuring the effectiveness of public schools in their communities, and close to 70 percent said that high school graduation rates are very important. Sixty-four percent said there is too much emphasis on standardized tests. We believe that these attitudes are strongly supportive of a well-rounded whole child education and accountability systems that include multiple measures. There are countless different measures to determine school quality and student success, and standardized tests are just one piece of the puzzle. ASCD’s recent white paper has more information on multimetric accountability systems and how a handful of districts have developed them effectively.
There are many more important findings in this poll, and I would encourage each educator and community member to review the data. As educators, it is our responsibility to do our best to understand the communities we serve. This survey is a valuable resource for each of us who wants to know more about how the public views our schools and how we can better serve our communities and the nation. You can find the full results at www.pdkpoll.org.
– Muzzy Lane Software announced a working relationship with leading adaptive learning company Knewton to develop game-based assessments and explore adaptivity in games. The partnership combines Muzzy Lane’s technology for game-based learning with Knewton’s adaptive platform to offer students a more immersive experience that enhances outcomes while providing instructors with richer assessment feedback. “We’re thrilled to be working with Knewton to explore how game-based learning can mesh with their powerful adaptive platform,” say Conall Ryan, CEO of Muzzy Lane, “We share Knewton’s goal to bring deeper engagement and better differentiation to the classroom.”
The companies jointly developed Feed the Fox, a science game prototype for upper elementary to early middle school students. In Feed the Fox, students construct food webs in various biomes to learn about species classification, the environmental pressures different biomes present, and how organisms work in relationship to one another in an ecosystem. “Together with Muzzy Lane we can explore the power of adaptive learning in games,” said Jose Ferreira, Knewton founder and CEO. “By analyzing data as students play within a Muzzy Lane game like Feed the Fox, we can better understand what each individual knows by accounting for game activity along with other instructional and assessment interactions. Ultimately, our picture of the learner is richer, and the personalized experience that much stronger.”
Using a simple card metaphor, Feed the Fox encourages kids to discover relationships between producers and consumers by placing and connecting them through trial and error in a boreal forest. Knewton is capable of integrating information from a student’s experience in such games with results from other course assessments and activities, providing teachers with a fuller and more accurate picture of student performance. Feed the Fox represents a first step in creating a larger digital curriculum of immersive game-based content where students’ actions inform detailed interpretations of the students’ understanding of the material
. About Muzzy Lane
Muzzy Lane Software is a technology company powering game-based learning. The company has developed award-winning products with McGraw-Hill Education, Cengage Learning, Pearson Education, and National Geographic. Earlier this year, Muzzy Lane received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore applications of game-based learning for non-traditional learners.
With Knewton, every student gets a more personal learning experience. Teachers, schools, and education companies around the world use Knewton to power digital course materials that dynamically adapt to each student’s unique needs. Knewton provides students with tailored recommendations for exactly what to study, teachers with analytics to better support each student, and publishers with content insights to develop more effective digital products. Knewton was founded in 2008 and has offices in New York City, London, São Paulo, and Tokyo.