PlanetHS Earns Single Sign-on Badge from PowerSchool

Student and parents can now use one set of log-in credentials to access multiple sites.

(Atlanta, GA) November 10, 2015 – Student-life online community PlanetHS is proud to announce that it has earned a single sign-on badge from leading student information system PowerSchool.

The single sign-on (SSO) feature, which is available to PlanetHS users now, allows students and parents to use one set of log-in credentials for a number of sites, saving them time and reducing their risk of getting locked out of their accounts.

“We are excited to evolve our ISV program to include a Partner Badging System that provides customers with essential information about the vendors in our ecosystem that have invested in integrating their products with PowerSchool. With ISV badges, customers have improved visibility to our partners to create integration between the applications and PowerSchool for the benefit of end users,” said Oliver Wreford, vice president of product and marketing at PowerSchool.

As it joins the elite group of companies that have earned badges from PowerSchool, PlanetHS serves more than 400,000 members from more than 900 schools. With 72% growth in number of users, and an open rate by parents of 70%, PlanetHS is fast becoming the preferred digital communications hub for the student-life ecosystem.

“Single sign-on makes PlanetHS simpler to use, and makes it easier for a user to go between multiple websites efficiently,” said Lupita Knittel, the CEO of PlanetHS. “Our integration with PowerSchool allows us to take our unique accumulation of data about what students do outside the classroom and integrate it with what students do in the classroom. Our ultimate goal is to quantify the connection between extracurriculars and academics and find the optimum number of activities outside the classroom that will lead to success in the classroom.”

For more information, please visit

About PlanetHS

PlanetHS is the student-life online community enabling the critical links among school, family, and business for more successful extracurricular programs, higher participation, and greater student outcomes. The PlanetHS platform delivers school-moderated digital communications, powerful engagement tools, and attractive sponsorship modules, all supported by database analytic capabilities to inform and empower these critical activities.

PlanetHS is headquartered in Georgia, with offices in Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina.

About PowerSchool

Established in 1997, PowerSchool is the leading student information system (SIS) in North America, with more than 40 million users including students, parents, teachers, and administrators. As the hub of state and school districts’ education ecosystems, PowerSchool provides robust capabilities and APIs that allow its users to effectively manage school processes and student data and connect diverse education technologies.


International Baccalaureate Participates in White House Next Gen High School Summit

Career-related Programme Highlighted as Innovative Career-track Study for  Today’s Global Economy


November 10, 2015, Bethesda, MD – On November 10th, the International Baccalaureate (IB) participated in the White House’s Next Gen High School Summit, a national conversation on transforming high schools to better serve all students.  The IB was invited in recognition of its newest educational program, the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme, or CP.

The CP meets the needs of schools seeking a technical or career-related studies option that combines career-related skills with a rigorous academic program to prepare students for success in career or post-secondary education.  By combining challenging academics with hands-on experience in career pathways chosen at the local school level, rather than establishing a set, standard career-track, the CP distinguishes itself from traditional career and technical education programs and helps to shape students who are prepared for success in either career or higher education. The strong academic foundation also prepares these students for the continued training required of most employees today.  The ability to be trained and re-trained is a skill that will garner more importance in the years to come:  by 2020, 65 percent of jobs are predicted to require post-secondary training.

Of particular significance to the White House’s effort was the CP’s foreign language requirement.  For the IB, foreign language development ensures that all CP students have access and are exposed to a second language.  This not only increases the students’ understanding of the wider world, but is a highly sought after skill in today’s global job market.

Since its inception in 1968, the International Baccalaureate’s flagship Diploma Programme (DP) has been attracting students who seek a challenging academic program which recognizes the need for a global approach to learning and living.  Participation in the DP has been proven to be a pathway to success in postsecondary education.  Research released this spring showed that 78 percent of DP students enrolled immediately in post-secondary education following high school graduation; the national enrollment rate was 69 percent.  Even more notably, the four year graduation rate for DP diploma earners was 84 percent, compared to 39 percent nationally.

Previously offered only to schools already authorized to offer the DP, beginning in 2016, the CP will be made available to all secondary schools around the globe, including the 24,357 in the United States.

Drew Deutsch, regional director for IB Americas said, “It was an honor to be invited to the White House and be part of their effort to ensure that high schools in the U.S. better serve all students, and especially important to be recognized for our Career-related Programme.  We anticipate that the CP will become one of the IB’s most popular offerings because its flexibility allows schools to cater the programme to the needs, backgrounds and contexts of their students and their community.”

About the IB

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non profit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging education programmes for a worldwide community of schools. For more than 45 years, the IB programmes have gained a reputation for rigour and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21stcentury and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than one million IB students attend over 4,000 schools in 147 countries.


AASA Partners with High-Tech Firm to Bolster Real-Time Teacher-Parent School, Community Engagement

Alexandria, Va. – Nov. 9, 2015 – Superintendents across the country agree that parent-teacher-child engagement is one of the most important factors in closing the achievement gap.  Branding and community engagement have been found to be integral components of any successful school district.

A 2012 Harvard University study found that, on average, teacher-family communication increased the likelihood of students completing their homework by 42 percent and decreased instances in which teachers had to redirect students’ attention to the task at hand by 25 percent. (The Effect of Teacher-Family Communication on Student Engagement: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment, 2013)

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has chosen to partner with PreciouStatus, a Minnesota- based mobile app developer and 8-time award winner for innovation. PreciouStatus’ powerful software is providing the capability for teachers to easily send real-time updates directly to parents and loved ones. Through the growth of digital media, the company is involving scores of communities, regardless of technology preference or socioeconomic status.

The PreciouStatus system is fully customizable, allowing educators to share messages, photos and other timely updates with parents and families through any mobile device. With the push of a button on a  mobile device (or computer), school staff can keep parents fully aware of their child’s school life, strengthening school-community engagement while saving substantial amounts time, effort and cost on administrative tasks.

“PreciouStatus is a mission-based, consumer-oriented platform that sends push notifications providing parents the opportunity to monitor their children’s progress and engage their children in meaningful conversations about what was covered by the teachers.  Additionally, there are thousands of amazing stories of teacher wins in the classroom and the community is engaged with pride for their local schools and educators,” said Julie Gilbert Newrai, company founder and CEO. “We are excited to be chosen as a key partner for AASA, the nation’s premier organization for school district leadership. This initiative will enhance community partnerships among administrators, school leaders, parents and students.  In all of this, our top priority is kids winning and winning big in learning and life outcomes.”

“I’m impressed with our members’ increasing level of engagement in an effort to raise academic achievement. Adding PreciouStatus to our list of School Solutions partners can only strengthen this effort,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “PreciouStatus is a proven communications resource that has created positive brand recognition for school districts, school buildings, principals, teachers and communities. Boosting this kind of engagement can only lead to greater student academic outcomes.”

According to Dennis L. Peterson, superintendent in Minnetonka, Minn., “When it comes to information from school, parents most want to hear from their child’s teacher about what that child is doing and learning. PreciouStatus provides an easy, mobile and highly secure tool for teachers to communicate in real-time with parents. It absolutely meets the needs of our young families who expect short, instant communication. It’s been a time saver for teachers.”

“PreciouStatus set-up, onboarding and teacher training has been the most carefree communications tool we have deployed in our district,” said Janet Swiecichowski, APR, executive director for communications, Minnetonka Public Schools. It required no tech integration and no communications team support. Because its primary client base is in healthcare, PreciouStatus is HIPPA and FERPA compliant. The analytics and measurement functions clearly show the tool is effective in connecting parents and teachers, without imposing on precious teacher time.”

“PreciousStatus is a means to provide quick, real-time communication to parents and guardians throughout the day,” said Gary Ganje, director of technology, St. Cloud, Minn., Area School District.  “We deliver information that can be family conversation starters after school. This is the key to increasing parent engagement, which closes down the achievement gap.”

It’s a “new level of parent engagement, student engagement and teacher/administrator engagement,” said Charlene Myklebust, a national special educational leadership consultant. “PreciouStatus gives all of our teachers the opportunity to connect with all of our parents,” added Brooke Bass, executive director of human resources, Rochester, Minn., Public Schools.

“When PreciouStatus was introduced to our school, it was game changer,” said a parent of a kindergarten student. “It has raised the credibility of the school … and the [school’s] commitment to parents.”

To learn more about the PreciouStatus system, visit the AASA website. For more information and immediate assistance with PreciouStatus, educators can contact directly.


About PreciouStatus
PreciouStatus, winner of 8 international awards for innovation, is a sophisticated technology platform simplifying instant teacher-parent communications, and keeping families and educators engaged in the daily activities of their loved ones, seamlessly using any mobile device or computer. Visit for more information.

About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit



Achieve3000® and Rowan-Salisbury Schools Partner to Accelerate Student Success


Achieve3000, the Leader in Differentiated Instruction™, and the Rowan-Salisbury School System, a North Carolina district committed to 21st-century learning, have entered into a partnership to accelerate success for the district’s students as well as their teachers, administrators, and families.


LAKEWOOD, N.J. (Nov. 9, 2015) – For the next three years, Achieve3000 and the Rowan-Salisbury School System will work together to accelerate learning and put all students on track for college and career success. As part of the partnership, which started earlier this fall and will continue through June 2018, Rowan-Salisbury Schools will implement Achieve3000’s literacy solutions district-wide. Included with the solutions are instructional resources and professional development for educators, a real-time data dashboard for administrators, and robust home support for parents and guardians.


Achieve3000 specializes in cloud-based, differentiated learning solutions for school-aged youth as well as adult learners. It has helped millions of students worldwide to improve their reading and writing skills, master increasingly rigorous academic standards, and prepare for high-stakes assessments.


“We are very excited to partner with a district as dedicated to 21st-century learning and student success as Rowan-Salisbury,” said Saki Dodelson, CEO and founder of Achieve3000. “We share their commitment to improving literacy achievement for all learners. By meeting kids at their precise reading levels, our differentiated instruction solutions help all students accelerate their reading growth and become college and career ready. In fact, students who use our solutions make double to triple the expected reading gains in one school year. We’re looking forward to collaborating with the innovative educators at Rowan-Salisbury Schools to meet and exceed their literacy goals for every student.”


The Rowan-Salisbury School System, which serves approximately 20,000 students, is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, the district is in the middle of a three-year strategic plan to improve reading and literacy while actively engaging students and teachers. The plan started in 2014, when the district began a digital conversion initiative to put a new laptop or tablet into the hands of every student in grades 3-12. By 2017, the district aims to have 90% of its students reading on or above grade level and 100% achieving or exceeding one year’s growth annually.


Rowan-Salisbury Schools is implementing Achieve3000 solutions across all grades: Smarty Ants for grades PreK-1, KidBiz3000 for grades 2-5, TeenBiz3000 for grades 6-8, and Empower3000 for grades 9-12. As part of the partnership, the district is also receiving Spark3000, a solution designed for adult literacy and workforce readiness, at no cost. Each Achieve3000 solution combines embedded assessment, differentiated instruction, and regular skills practice to meet all students one-on-one, at their individual reading levels, and accelerate learning gains. In addition, because the solutions are cloud-based, students can use their new digital devices to access them anytime or anywhere – even without an Internet connection.


“We are excited, and our teachers are excited, to now have the ability to teach a topic at the level of individual student learning while assessing their individual progress, and to raise the bar of expectations for each student,” said Dr. Moody. “Achieve3000 will allow teachers more hands-on instruction with students.”


Earlier this year, Achieve3000 released a new North Carolina Edition. For Rowan-Salisbury students, this means that they will be improving their literacy skills with a strategic curriculum that’s aligned to the Common Core State Standards and includes built-in practice for the READY assessments. For teachers, the N.C. Edition features robust lesson plans and point-of-use resources to support learning without adding to their workload. A data dashboard called Leadership Edition is included for administrators, so they can easily monitor the Achieve3000 implementation and measure student reading gains. Finally, families of Achieve3000 students will receive free access to the Home Edition, where they can view their child’s progress and access resources in 19 languages to support learning at home.


The Rowan-Salisbury School System will also be the first Achieve3000 PreK-12 Demonstration District in North Carolina. In this role, Rowan-Salisbury Schools will host visiting North Carolina districts that wish to see Achieve3000’s solutions in action. Achieve3000 is supporting the district with a Demonstration Site Grant.


Districts interested in visiting Rowan-Salisbury Schools or another Achieve3000 Demonstration District are encouraged to contact Achieve3000 at 888-968-6822.


About Achieve3000, Inc.

Achieve3000 is the leader in online differentiated literacy instruction, serving over two million students worldwide. For nearly 15 years, the company has been reaching students at their individual reading levels to deliver significant learning gains, with many making double to triple the expected gains in a single school year. Based on decades of scientific research, Achieve3000’s solutions – Smarty Ants® (for grades PreK-1), KidBiz3000® (for grades 2-5), TeenBiz3000® (for grades 6-8), Empower3000™ (for grades 9-12), Spark3000® (for adult learners), and eScience3000® (for grades 6-8) – support core curriculum, Response to Intervention, English language learner, and special education instructional models as well as 21st-century education initiatives. From learning how to read to workforce readiness, Achieve3000 empowers all learners to develop the college and career literacy skills needed for academic, professional, and personal success. The company is based in Lakewood, N.J. Learn more about Achieve3000 online at or by calling 888-968-6822.


About Rowan-Salisbury School System

Nestled in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the Rowan-Salisbury School System serves nearly all of Rowan County, including the city of Salisbury. With 35 schools and close to 3,000 staff, the district serves approximately 20,000 students in grades PreK-12. There are 20 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, and 6 traditional high schools, along with one early college school and one alternative school. The district’s mission is to inspire and provide opportunities for innovative and engaging learning. Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody, who joined the district in 2013, the Rowan-Salisbury Schools motto is “E3” or “Extraordinary Education Every Day.” The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education is chaired by Joshua Wagner, with Dean Hunter as the vice chair. The district’s central office is located in Salisbury, N.C. Learn more about the Rowan-Salisbury School System online at or by calling 704-636-7500.