Oct. 27, 2016 Webinar Explores Ways Schools Can Use Social Emotional Learning Data in Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)


Charlotte N.C. – Oct. 6, 2016 – Assessment leader Apperson will host a free webinar at 3 p.m. Oct. 27, 2016 (EST) for schools and districts that have implemented, or are considering implementing, Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). The webinar will show participants how they can use social emotional learning data to make their MTSS more effective. To register for the “Using SEL Data to Facilitate Effective and Sustainable Multi-tiered Systems of Support” webinar, visithttps://goo.gl/rtMPYh or click here.


Multi-tiered Systems of Support are data-driven systems that integrate instruction, assessment and intervention in order to address the whole child. This webinar will explore how SEL data such as that generated by Apperson’s Evo Social & Emotional assessment can be used in these systems. Evo SEL uses the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) to help educators measure students’ social emotional skills in grades K-8. It also provides strategies for instruction and intervention.


The webinar will be led by Apperson SEL Coordinator Tatiana Carter, a licensed school social worker who runs her own consulting company. Carter has also coordinated SEL consulting and professional development for the Chicago Public School District.


The webinar is part of Apperson’s ongoing work to support educators, administrators and out-of-school-time organizations in implementing social and emotional learning programs within their schools.


“Social emotional skills are a critical part of teaching the whole child,” said Bill Apperson, chairman of the board of Apperson. “Schools that are using or considering multi-tiered systems of support are already ahead of the curve in helping students develop all the skills they need to succeed. This webinar will provide valuable information on how these schools can incorporate SEL assessment data into those systems to make them even more effective for students.”


About Apperson

Apperson’s Evo SEL is based on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strengths-based measure of SEL competencies such as self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills and decision-making. Apperson provides the online platform for administering the DESSA and DESSA Mini universal screeners to quickly identify students’ SEL competencies. It also provides resources and activities to address SEL gaps. Version 2.0, now available, provides the data needed to help SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and to help educators understand students’ SEL needs. For more information, go to http://www.apperson.com/sel.




Pearson Survey Reveals Professors See Benefits for Students, Opportunity to Improve Education System with Digital Course Materials


Top factors in shift to digital materials include affordability and quality of materials


NEW YORK – October 3, 2016 – Today, Pearson announced key findings of its “Digital appetite vs. what’s on the table: Student attitudes toward digital course materials in 2016” survey of learners, educators and administrators. The survey revealed that educators see benefits for their students who have shifted to digital course materials and see this shift to digital as important to solving challenges in the education system.


Seventy-eight percent of educators reported that their students benefit from a growing role of digital in the classroom. They don’t only see benefits for students, however. Seventy percent of educators reported that the transition from print to digital is important or very important to them, personally. Eighty-seven percent of educators and 86 percent of administrators believe digital learning is important in resolving challenges facing the education system, and nearly half say it is “very important”.


Faculty and students are also looking for greater support from higher education institutions to harness the power of digital learning tools. Fifty-seven percent of students feel that it is the responsibility of the institution to help them make the shift from print-based learning materials to digital course materials and courseware.


“There is growing recognition of the broad range benefits–for students, faculty, and institutions–provided by digital learning,” said Tom Malek, senior vice president of partnerships, Pearson. “Institutional leaders have an opportunity to further explore how digital can provide a rich, more personalized learning experience for students, while lowering the cost of course materials and providing new insights and data for faculty.”


Other findings from the survey include:

-Fifty six percent of educators say more than half of their courses use digital course material. Furthermore, 82 percent of learners and educators have used digital learning products in the past six months, while 82 percent of learners and educators think digital learning is the future of education.


-While a majority of learners prefer studying on paper, most want learning materials to be accessible online. Fifty seven percent prefer learning on paper, while 56 percent would prefer to have learning materials accessible online.


-Cost is a concern to all audiences, but each group perceives specific barriers to making the digital shift. For learners, in the hierarchy of things that students consider important to their education, they haven’t historically seen using digital course materials and courseware as a personal priority. Also, in many cases, digital course materials are not required by their instructors. Educators are concerned that technology is replacing the role of the educator, while administrators are concerned about limited time to learn how to use new technology.


This survey was conducted in August 2016 within the United States by Penn Schoen Berland, a market research, political polling and strategic consulting firm, on behalf of Pearson. Qualified respondents – based on 1,250 interviews (1,000 with learners, 200 with educators, and 50 with administrators) – represented U.S. colleges and universities at the 2-year college, 4-year college or university, and graduate levels.


The complete survey report and infographic are available at http://www.pearsoned.com/setting-the-table.


About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.Pearsoned.com.


Follett Adds New Titles for

Award-Winning Lightbox

Spanish elementary titles also introduced


McHENRY, Ill., Oct. 6, 2016 – Follett has added a wide array of new Lightbox titles for elementary, middle and high school, providing engaging new topics and additional ways of making digital classroom content accessible to all levels of learners. With these almost 200 new titles, Lightbox gives educators the variety of subjects to support classroom curriculum, and, for the first time, the Lightbox lineup now includes more than 50 Spanish elementary school titles.

Lightbox, which debuted one year ago, is Follett’s award-winning, fully interactive solution designed to improve engagement and literacy skills. Lightbox was named a “Best of Show at ISTE 2016” winner by Tech & Learning; a “Top 10 K-12 Educational Technology Product of 2015” by K-12 Tech Decisions; and a finalist in both the 2016 SIIA CODiE Award and EdTech Digest Cool Tool Award competitions. It is currently a finalist in the education category of the Chicago Innovation Awards.

The newly announced Lightbox Literature Studies for high school explores many important literary works, including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “1984,” “Animal Farm,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “Macbeth.” Designed as a teaching and learning supplement, the series gives students new ways of connecting to the time period, themes, symbolism and impact of the novel, setting the stage for engaging classroom discussion, extending learning, and developing a deeper connection to the content.

The new Lightbox U.S. History series takes students on a journey using primary source documents, biographies, speeches and first-hand accounts to tell and show the country’s story. The pages and resources found in “Civil War and Reconstruction” illustrate precisely how learning U.S. History can be reinvented for today’s students.

“Educators tell us they are impressed with Lightbox’s ability to stimulate students’ interest and immersion in a topic that ultimately leads to deeper mastery of the subject,” said Nader Qaimari, president, Follett School Solutions. “As for the product’s uniqueness, national surveys show students spend an average of eight minutes with a traditional eBook; Lightbox districts are reporting its students are spending an average of 45 minutes in a Lightbox title.”

Qaimari added his company’s thorough research in the market led Follett to develop a tool that introduced students to key concepts such as theme, symbolism, setting and conflict, plus a place where they can understand the context of a novel based on the time period of its publishing, its author’s motivations, and the key perspectives it illuminated. The “To Kill A Mockingbird” Lightbox menu, for example, includes an interview with Gregory Peck, who earned an Academy Award for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in the film.

Designed with digital natives in mind, Lightbox supports instructors and offers varied approaches to teaching topics, while its built-in tools create an engaging, student-centered learning experience for students at all levels. Moreover, Lightbox is an exceptional value with an affordable pricing structure that varies according to grade level.

For more information about Follett, visit www.FollettLearning.com.


About Follett’s PreK-12 Business| FollettLearning.com
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, eBooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.


About Follett Corporation Follett.com

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus bookstores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach, students to learn and fans to celebrate. A leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett currently works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett’s reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. Today Follett Corporation is the world’s largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Follett is a $3.6 billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.



Envision and Discovery Education Launch Nationwide Contest for Chance to Attend the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit 

— Champions for Change Contest Invites Students to Vote for Their School Delegations to Attend the 58th Presidential Inauguration, Celebrate Change and Make an Impact —

— Speakers Include General Colin Powell, Spike Lee, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai as part of National Program Encouraging Youth and Civic Engagement —

WASHINGTON, DC (October 6, 2016) – The 2017 Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students and teachers to witness history and make an impact on the future.  Now, Envision, a leading experiential education organization, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, are launching the Champions for Change Contest – a chance for high school and middle school students nationwide to play a role in history and attend the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit held in Washington, D.C.. The sweepstakes is part of the Chase the Race in School program that works to engage, captivate and energize the youth voice on the importance of democracy and civic engagement.


Starting today, teachers, the school community and students age 13 and above can vote at http://www.ChasetheRaceinSchool.com for the chance to send five students and an educator to the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit. The Summit takes place in the nation’s capital from January 18th to 22nd, 2017.  Participants can vote their school in for a chance to win, and return daily to the site to keep voting, as well as share their vote on social media to receive extra votes. Three grand-prize winning schools will be awarded with this life-changing experience with roundtrip airfare, four-night hotel accommodations and meals provided.  97 additional schools will be recognized at the Summit as “Champions for Change” institutions.

Summit delegates will not only attend the 58th Presidential Inauguration on the National Mall, but will be inspired by world-renowned speakers such as Gen. Colin Powell, Spike Lee, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai; participate in events that will solidify their path to becoming a future leader; work to create solutions to 21st century challenges as part of a Delegation for Change; and connect with fellow civic-minded, high-aspiring students.  Delegates also get to take part in a night of food and dancing at an exclusive inauguration gala hosted at one of the Smithsonian Institution’s historic museums.

To enter, select a school within the database or manually enter school data.  The three schools with the highest number of nominations will be awarded the grand prize, including the expense-paid trip to the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit for a full delegation: (1) educator and (5) students.  97 schools will receive a school banner and recognition at the Presidential Inauguration Leadership Summit.


Random drawings will be conducted for secondary prizes:


  • (5) runners-up receive an iPad
  • (25) runners-up receive a t-shirt


The Champions for Change contest is a part of the broader Chase the Race in School program, which Envision and Discovery Education launched in February 2016, and includes a series of classroom resources to lead students through this year’s major presidential election milestones. The online resources, videos, digital tools, and live virtual experiences bring these events to life through the perspective of the youth audience — from the primaries to the national debates, all the way to Election Day and the Presidential Inauguration.


For more information, visit www.ChasetheRaceinSchool.com.


About Envision

Envision helps students turn their career and life aspirations into reality.  The Envision family of programs (http://www.envisionexperience.com) enable students of all ages to explore their interests and gain learning experience beyond the classroom. Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students from more than 145 countries, with programs designed to connect high aspiring students with the leadership, scholarship, and career skills needed to success in today’s competitive college and career landscape; providing unique, real world experiences that enable students to discover their passion, try out a future career, and positively impact the world around them.


About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education atwww.discoveryeducation.com.


New White Paper from West’s Education group

Provides Schools with Blueprint for School Safety


Trusted provider of SchoolMessenger communications solutions

offers resources, webinar in recognition of Safe Schools Week, Oct. 16-22

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif., Oct. 4, 2016 — West Corporation, a leading provider of communication services, today announced a white paper addressing school safety best practices. Developed in recognition of America’s Safe Schools Week, Oct. 16-22, “Five Layers of School Safety” provides detailed information for schools and school districts on safety practices that address five specific areas of emergency response planning: plan administration, staff training, exercises, technology and culture.

The paper is co-authored by Gary L. Sigrist, Jr., a nationally known speaker, consultant, author and expert on emergency preparedness, and Scott Poland, Ed.D., an internationally recognized school psychologist and crisis expert.

“School leaders recognize that it is crucial to have a robust school safety plan. This white paper offers them a blueprint for developing that plan by outlining the variety of safety risks that need to be addressed as well as staff training, exercises and drills, hardware and software for monitoring and communicating, and the relationship between safety and school culture,” said Sigrist.

“Five Layers of School Safety” will be available to download from the SchoolMessenger.com website on Oct. 18.

Also in preparation for America’s Safe Schools Week, West is hosting a webinar for school and district leaders addressing school safety on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 12 p.m. ET. The webinar will feature both Sigrist and Poland.

“Now is the perfect time for school district leaders to evaluate safety preparedness at their schools and be sure their emergency plans are up to date,” said Poland. “This webinar will address topics, such as increasing student involvement, that will help districts safeguard the well-being of their entire school community.”

All webinar attendees will receive the “Five Layers of School Safety” white paper when it becomes available. To register for the Oct. 12 webinar, visit http://bit.ly/Oct2016SafetyWebinar


About West’s Education Group

West’s Education group, part of West Corporation, is the trusted provider of SchoolMessenger solutions. Thousands of schools and other educational institutions in all 50 states and Canada depend on SchoolMessenger products and services. From notifications and websites to custom mobile apps and social media, school leaders have relied on the SchoolMessenger platform since 1999 to engage with their communities in multiple languages and on any device. To learn more about SchoolMessenger products, visit www.schoolmessenger.com or call 888.527.5225.


Closing the Access Gap: One Year of Computer Science for All in New York City


NEW YORK, NY (October 6, 2016)—One year ago, CSNYC and the City of New York announced Computer Science for All (#CS4All), an ambitious ten-year, $80 million public-private partnership to provide computer science (CS) to all 1.1 million students in NYC public schools. CS4All is the largest expansion of computer science to public schools in the country, serving a K-12 population more than twice the size of Chicago’s in ten times as many schools as San Francisco.


Now in its first year of implementation, CS4All programs are being offered in 250 elementary, middle and high schools across the city—15 percent of the city’s 1,700 schools. More than 450 teachers are receiving rigorous training in computer science instruction, with programs ranging from intensive middle and high school courses to introductory explorations of computer science across the K-12 curriculum. “The growth and excitement we have seen for this effort is indicative of the desire our students and communities have to learn,” said Michael Preston, executive director of CSNYC.


Community support for high quality computer science education for all students is evident in the successful fundraising CSNYC has overseen in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and the Fund for Public Schools. CS4All reached the critical milestone of raising half of its $40 million private sector commitment in its first year, including new and significant support from Math for America (MƒA). All private funding is matched equally by public funding from the city. CS4All is administered by the NYC Department of Education with support and oversight from the city and a group of private donors led by CSNYC.


“We want to ensure that every student in New York City receives early and equitable access to computer science, a new basic literacy that has broad implications for our society and economy in the 21st century,” said Preston. “By offering CS to all students, CS4All is designed to expand access to computer science and technology pathways, with the explicit intention of driving participation among traditionally underrepresented groups including girls, black and Latino students, and students from low-income families. Not every student will go into the tech workforce, but all students should have the opportunity to learn and to decide for themselves if they are interested.”


“We are proud that many teachers already involved in the CS4All initiative come from the MƒA community,” said John Ewing, president of Math for America. “But our $2.5M donation to CS4All is made on behalf of all teachers who want the opportunity to become involved in the exciting field of computer science. Teachers need to be partners—to have a voice—in this initiative if we want it to succeed.” MƒA focuses on excellence in teaching in order to inspire great teachers to stay in the classroom and change the perception of the profession. A number of MƒA’s community of more than 1,000 teachers are at the forefront of CS4All.


New York City’s technology sector grew by 300,000 jobs between 2007 and 2014, a rate of 57 percent over that time frame—higher than any other sector in the city. Currently, most of these jobs are filled by talent that comes from other places.


“Exposure to technology and a STEM education enhances students’ worlds. At Yext, we are proud to be part of the work CS4All is doing to establish New York City as the premiere city for the knowledge economy. The impact it will have on the tech talent pool in NYC is limitless,” said Howard Lerman, Yext co-founder & CEO.


“The Mayor’s vision for New York City schools will put a new generation on the path toward success,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, senior advisor to the Mayor and director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “Through this landmark public-private partnership, we will level the playing field for every student in every borough. Computer Science for All is an investment in creating opportunities for all of our young people, particularly in a global economy where technology is integral to every industry.”




CSNYC is a nonprofit founded in 2013 to ensure that all of New York City’s 1.1 million public school students have access to a high-quality computer science education that puts them on pathway to college and career success. CSNYC is the City of New York’s partner in CS4All: a 10-year initiative to train 4,775 teachers and reach all 1,700 public schools.



New Online Training Course from PublicSchoolWORKS Approved by California Department of Pesticide Regulation

Districts in California can now take PublicSchoolWORKS’ new training course to meet requirements mandated by
the California Healthy Schools Act

Cincinnati, OH (October 6, 2016) — Public school districts and childcare centers in California are held to high standards for pesticide use and the dissemination of information about their use under the California Healthy Schools Act (HSA). All staff that use pesticides are required to complete one hour of training annually, however, they can only take courses that are approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). To help California districts easily meet this HSA requirement, PublicSchoolWORKS created the “Healthy Schools Act” online training course, which has been approved by the California DPR.

According to the California DPR and the HSA, a pesticide is “any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest.” Even disinfectant sprays and sanitizing solutions, which almost all staff members use to disinfect surfaces, are considered pesticides. Therefore, almost every staff member must complete pesticide training on an annual basis.

PublicSchoolWORKS’ one-hour Healthy Schools Act online training course provides an overview of the California HSA and its requirements, outlines integrated pest management (IPM), how to implement IPM in the school setting, and explains how to properly use pesticides to keep children safe.

“It’s important for teachers to be trained to properly use any substance, pesticide or not, to ensure their students are safe,” said Tom Strasburger, Vice President, Sales & Marketing of PublicSchoolWORKS. “This new course adds to PublicSchoolWORKS’ ability to provide a culture of safety in schools.”

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.



Share Innovative Uses of Data-Collection Technology in Science or STEM Education for a Chance to Win a 2017 Vernier/NSTA Technology Award

Up to seven science educators to win prizes valued at $5,500 each


BEAVERTON, Oregon, October 6, 2016 – Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are now accepting applications for the 2017 Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards. This annual awards program recognizes seven educators—one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers, and one college-level educator—for their innovative use of data-collection technology in the science classroom.


Each winner will be chosen by a panel of NSTA-appointed experts and will receive $1,000 in cash, $3,000 in Vernier products, and up to $1,500 toward expenses to attend the annual NSTA National Conference in Los Angeles, CA on March 30, 2017–April 2, 2017. All current K–12 and college science and STEM educators are eligible and encouraged to apply by the November 30, 2016 deadline.


“We are committed to supporting teachers in providing students with engaging, hands-on STEM education,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “The Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards recognize teachers for their innovative teaching practices and award them with equipment, cash, and professional learning so they can further expand their use of data-collection technology in the classroom.”


Last year’s Vernier/NSTA Technology Award winners used data-collection technology for a wide range of investigations, including studying weather patterns, monitoring water quality at a nearby lake, exploring pollution in ponds and natural waterways, researching ants and termites, and more.


For more information and to prepare your 2017 entry, visit http://www.vernier.com/grants/nsta/.


About Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier Software & Technology has led the innovation of scientific data-collection technology for 35 years. Vernier was founded by a former physics teacher, current Co-President David Vernier, and hires educators at all levels of the organization. The company is committed to teachers and to developing creative ways to teach and learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With worldwide distribution to over 130 countries, Vernier data loggers are used by educators and students from elementary school to university. Vernier technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, build students’ critical thinking skills, and support the science and engineering practices detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Vernier business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visithttp://www.vernier.com.