PD Learning Network and California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators Announce Partnership

Strategic partnership providing professional development for educators of underserved students

Santa Barbara, CA (April 20, 2016)  —   PD Learning Network (PDLN) and California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) are participating in a joint effort to provide a series of courses in leadership development designed to support professional learning of administrators, superintendents and educators. Courses will equip administration to support faculty who teach under­served student populations with a focus on implementing standards, college & career readiness, and closing achievement gaps. Course participants may earn digital badges/micro­-credentials and optional university credit for demonstrating competency.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with CALSA to facilitate 21st century learning environments for underserved students,” stated PD Learning Network CEO Jennifer Gibson. She added, “We are proud of how our badges and university credit support equity in education and increase our capacity to support CALSA educators’ professional development”.


Dr. David Verdugo, CALSA executive director comments, “On behalf of our entire CALSA board of directors, I can share with you that we are very excited about partnering with one of the most dynamic and engaging groups dedicated to professional development. Rest assured that it will add to our member services and assist CALSA in reaching its mission and vision.”


About PD Learning Network

Professional Development Learning Network (PDLN) creates online EdTech professional development courses for K-12 educators. Badges and micro-badges are awarded based on competency, rather than time. PDLN’s team of experienced educators and EdTech trainers curate content and develop original video courses designed to meet the needs of 21st century educators. Assessments are created with the goal of immediate classroom application. The rigorous evaluation system, credentialed evaluators, and optional university credit, ensure the value of its badges. Courses are aligned to international ISTE-T standards.



The California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA) is a professional association of diverse educational leaders skilled in addressing the needs of Latino/a students and dedicated to increasing the number of highly effective Latino/a administrators. CALSA advocates for the ongoing development and placement of Latino educational leaders who are committed to quality public education.

For more information, please visit CALSA.org.


Whooo’s Reading Partners with Total Reader, Giving Users Exclusive Access to

Cloze Assessments Based on the Lexile Framework


Assessments Integration Adds New Measuring Functionality that Pinpoints

Student Reading Levels


San Diego — April 20, 2016 — Educators using the Whooo’s Reading platform now have access to a valuable new feature, the Total Reader cloze assessment program, designed for grades three and up. The companies’ new partnership will give Whooo’s Reading users exclusive access to the online reading assessment, which is built on the Lexile® Framework for Reading.


“We couldn’t be more excited about working together to help motivate reading growth in order to develop a lifelong love of reading,” said Scott Sibley, manager of Total Reader. “The addition of Total Reader’s Lexile measure functionality into Whooo’s Reading’s already outstanding platform will help provide the type of engagement that all 21st century users demand.”


The Total Reader assessment evaluates students’ Lexile measure through the use of a short reading passage. The assessment allows students to choose whether they want to read fiction or nonfiction and then presents a selection of topics. Students review a short selected reading passage and fill in missing words by selecting the best out of four possible answers. Students receive a reading score based on the Lexile Scale®. The difficulty level of each new assessment automatically increases as the student’s reading ability improves.


“We were drawn to Total Reader because their program is built on the same values and goals that we have: making it easy for educators to encourage student reading,” said Raphael Menko, co-founder of Whooo’s Reading. “Teachers save time in the classroom because students can do the assessment independently and be finished in about 10 minutes. Plus the cloze assessment is similar to a word-find game, which reinforces the engagement our program already encourages.”


The Total Reader assessments will automatically appear in students’ accounts once a week. Teachers can use the assessments to obtain an objective weekly “snapshot” of students’ reading skills that shows them their students’ reading growth over time. Administrators can also use the data to track student reading achievements and progress toward school or district goals. All Total Reader data will be available within the Whooo’s Reading platform’s data dashboard, providing quick access to students’ Lexile levels as soon as educators log in.


The Whooo’s Reading platform makes reading fun by giving students in grades K-8 the power of choice, allowing them to read fiction or nonfiction material while incorporating online game elements preferred by today’s digital natives. It also encourages students to improve specific standards-aligned reading and writing skills and become more confident in writing for authentic audiences, including classmates and family members.


Students using Whooo’s Reading via their secure personal profiles are inspired to read and think critically with standards-aligned preloaded and teacher-created questions. Their critical reasoning is rewarded with virtual Wisdom Coins to personalize and embellish their Owlvatar, adding a sense of ownership to their work and motivating them to try harder, thereby improving reading, comprehension and writing skills. Students are encouraged to engage with peers within their class’s interactive newsfeed, which displays the books, comments and responses of their classmates, promoting collaboration and deeper engagement.


“The Total Reader assessment program is an outstanding addition to the array of comprehension measuring methods we already offer that help teachers monitor students’ reading progress,” said Menko. “This new integration is part of our commitment to enhancing and refining our platform so that teachers and their students always have the best solutions for reading motivation and improvement.”


About Whooo’s Reading

Whooo’s Reading is a startup company focused on providing a 21stt-century alternative to traditional literacy programs. Unlike other reading programs, their service is student-centric rather than educator-centric, meaning everything they develop is focused on benefitting the children who use it. For more information, visithttps://www.whooosreading.org.


About Total Reader

The parent company of Total Reader is EDmin, based in San Diego. The company’s focus is “Connecting Educators With What Works.” The company has been working with schools and districts for 20 years and serves nearly 4 million users in all 50 states, in addition to the international market. EDmin is best known for the INFORM® Learning System, an enterprise-level platform that integrates assessment, reporting, resource and community capabilities with an academic data warehouse. For more information, please visit http://www.edmin.com.


EDmarket Partners with SchoolBondFinder


Silver Spring, MD (April 20, 2016)-  The Education Market Association (EDmarket) is pleased to announce a new member benefit that will help educational product companies identify K-12 bond-funded improvement projects in the pipeline. With SchoolBondFinder, EDmarket members can position their companies as a knowledgeable resource for school district administrators at a time in the buying cycle that makes the most sense.


Billions of dollars are marked each year for capital improvement projects from school districts across the nation. SchoolBondFinder provides companies the ability to filter funding projects specific to their solutions, providing invaluable insight into current and future needs of districts across the county. The proactive platform provides notifications to its users when something new is entered in to the system, such as a large technology bond just announced.


“Our team is thrilled to work alongside EDmarket to save both educators and vendors as much time as possible by providing insight into funding that facilitates actionable conversations more quickly and effectively,” says SchoolBondFinder CEO and Founder Chuck Amos. “Our easy-to-use database identifies school districts as they equip and build new buildings, remodel existing facilities, update technology or upgrade safety and security equipment.”


To ensure companies understand how to utilize bond information most effectively, SchoolBond Finder has partnered with Dr. Paula Love, a renowned funding expert in the education industry. Known as “The Funding Doctor” she has decades of experience delivering grant strategies for non-profit and for-profit organizations, educational agencies and schools. She provides analysis and insight that are key to navigating the twists and turns bond funded capital projects undergo.


Members of EDmarket will receive significant discounts on this valuable service. “We are pleased to help lower the costs of researching and identifying relevant capital projects that can help our members target their products at the right time for each district,” says Jim McGarry, EDmarket President/CEO.

EDmarket will be hosting a webinar series featuring topics about how the SchoolBondFinder platform can help grow your business, including best practices and applications, and pipeline forecasting.  To register for the webinar series and for more details about this new membership benefit, visit http://www.edmarket.org/school-bond-finder/.

About SchoolBondFinder:

SchoolBondFinder , a service of the Amos Group, is the first comprehensive online database tracking K12 bond funded capital improvement projects in the United States.  This online tool enables education partners the opportunity stay informed on relevant bonds along with changing the conversation to be more meaningful at the district level.   With SchoolBondFinder organizations become more proactive and can be a more informed, helpful resources at the right time for districts, helping shape, smart decisions.   For more about SchoolBondFinder, please visit www.schoolbondfinder.com.




The National Society of Black Engineers’ SEEK Program
Approaches Year Nine

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has announced the dates and locations for its 2016 Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK). SEEK, founded in 2007, is the nation’s largest summer engineering program geared toward African-American pre-college students. SEEK’s free day programs will take place in June, July and August this year, at 14 sites in 12 cities across the U.S.

“We are very proud of the positive impact that NSBE has made on thousands of African-American and other youth through SEEK over the past nine years,” said NSBE National Chair Neville Green. “SEEK helps young people envision the limitless possibilities of an exciting, fulfilling career in engineering, and it moves NSBE closer to our goal of graduating 10,000 black engineers annually, with bachelor’s degrees, by 2025.”

SEEK participants engage in team-based, competitive engineering design activities and learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts, under the guidance of “SEEK mentors,” NSBE collegiate members from across the U.S. The ultimate goal of the program is to increase the number of college engineering students and engineering professionals among African Americans, a community that is greatly underrepresented in this field.

More than 15,000 students in grades 3–12, more than 20,000 parents and more than 2,500 mentors have participated in SEEK since its launch in Washington, D.C., nine years ago. The engineering design activities for the children and teens are provided by SAE International — NSBE’s curriculum partner in SEEK since 2007 — and by other organizations.

SEEK has benefited from a broad base of sponsors over the years, including some of the most well-known names in American industry.

“This year, because of the generosity of our sponsors, more than 3,500 students will participate in SEEK programs, nationwide,” said NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. “Many of these young people would not otherwise have an opportunity to learn about STEM during the summer. By supporting SEEK, our sponsors, as well as our SEEK parents, mentors and volunteers, are increasing the proficiency of African Americans in STEM and increasing the competitiveness of the U.S. workforce of the future.”

A listing of the SEEK programs for 2016 follows. More information about SEEK is available at www.nsbe.org/seek.

SEEK website: bit.ly/1XIxyz1

Current Cities                                    Start Date                   End Date

Atlanta, Ga.                                         June 13                       July 1

Birmingham, Ala.                                June 6                         June 24

Chicago, Ill.                                         July 18                        August 5

Denver, Colo. (Site 1)                         July 18                        August 5

Denver, Colo. (Site 2)                         June 20                       July 8

Detroit, Mich.                                      July 25                        August 12

Houston, Texas                                   June 13                       July 1

Jackson, Miss.                                    June 6                         June 24

Lancaster, Texas                                June 13                       July 29

Los Angeles, Calif.                              July 11                        July 29

New Orleans, La.                                June 6                         June 24

Philadelphia, Pa.                                 July 25                        August 12

Washington, D.C.                                July 18                        August 5


Founded in 1975, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student- governed organizations based in the United States. With more than 31,000 members and more than 300 chapters in the U.S. and abroad, NSBE supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professional and positively impact the community.” For more information, visitwww.nsbe.org. For more information on SEEK, visit bit.ly/1XIxyz1.


San Juan Unified School District Partners with PublicSchoolWORKS to Increase School Safety Accountability

EmployeeSafe’s online staff training system increases accountability and efficiency of mandated staff training


Cincinnati, OH (April 20, 2016) — Scheduling on-site training sessions and managing staff training with a paper-based process was neither time- nor cost-efficient for San Juan Unified School District (USD) because of the vast area the district covers. San Juan USD employs approximately 5,000 educators at 65 sites spanning five cities in Sacramento County. This school year, San Juan USD implemented PublicSchoolWORKS’ EmployeeSafe Suite to move the deployment and management of staff training, staff accident reporting, compliance tasks and other safety and risk management processes online.


“When it was time for our employees to complete their mandated training, we were challenged with being able to do so in an easy and concise way, and in a manner in which we could follow up and ensure accountability of all employees,” said Paul Oropallo, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at San Juan USD. “With PublicSchoolWORKS, we’ve created a more employee-friendly strategy for training.”


To date, the district has deployed two mandatory training courses via EmployeeSafe’s online staff training system. The sexual harassment course, which used to be conducted on-site using a third-party trainer, was deployed online for all staff members. The second course, called mandated reporting, was deployed in accordance with a new state mandate. The mandate states that as of July 1, 2015, all district employees and supervisors in California have to complete the mandated reporting course, which informs them of their responsibilities to report child abuse. Staff members were automatically emailed a link to the training course to complete the training online at their convenience. Additionally, the system automatically sent reminder emails at specific intervals to employees that did not complete their training and would then email reports to key administrators letting them know which employees did not complete their training. Eventually, the system would automatically email Oropallo a district-wide report stating which employees have yet to complete their mandated training. The automation made follow-up for principals and other supervisors and HR more efficient.


Prior to using EmployeeSafe, the office secretary had to manually track which employees completed each course using paper-based training logs and spreadsheets.


“We’re still in our infancy with PublicSchoolWORKS, but because of how successfully we deployed these two training courses, we have high hopes for the 2016-17 school year,” said Oropallo. “We want to roll out all of our mandated trainings using the online training system, as well as start using the other systems in EmployeeSafe. We were initially attracted to what EmployeeSafe could do to make training more efficient, but having the option to streamline other safety processes is an added bonus.”


For more information how PublicSchoolWORKS has been successful for other school districts, visit our case studies page.


About PublicSchoolWORKS

Since 2000, PublicSchoolWORKS safety compliance management solutions have focused on helping schools easily meet ever-changing compliance requirements, improve staff and student safety, cut costs associated with risk, and reduce administrator and staff time and effort. PublicSchoolWORKS is the only, complete K12 safety compliance management program created by and for schools, and is proud to provide districts with award-winning technology and support recognized by North American educators. For more information on how PublicSchoolWORKS can improve district safety programs, contact 1-877-779-6757 or sales@publicschoolworks.com.