Accomplished Leader in Education Industry Joins Acumen Partners

Michael Campbell Named New Vice President of Client Development and Principal Advisor


Chicago, October 11, 2016 – Michael Campbell, a 25 – year veteran and leader in the educational technology and publishing industry has been appointed Principal Advisor and Vice President of Client Development for Acumen Partners, the company announced today.

A graduate of Southern Arkansas University and Duke University’s Executive Management Program, Campbell will be responsible for expanding Acumen’s databased solution to education companies for increased profitability.  The Acumen team works with companies at all points in their lifecycle from seed to start-up to growth and beyond. The Acumen Advisors are laser-focused on the ultimate goal: increased profitability. Acumen’s use of real-time data provides exclusivity to our clients, their products and their goals. The Acumen Advisors specialize in helping leaders accurately gauge market position, target key actions and achieve better-than-market results.

Most recently, Campbell was the Head of Sales and Marketing for Learning Bird, a differentiated learning start-up based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Previously Campbell was the President of Forward Thinking EDU, a strategic marketing consulting company.  Earlier positions he held include Vice President of product marketing at ETA hand2mind; Director of Marketing, Follett Software Company; Vice President, Pearson Canada; Executive Marketing Manager, Prentice-Hall; Director of Channel Marketing, Brooks/Cole Publishing (Cengage); and Marketing Manager, McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

“Michael’s well known in the industry for his ability to relate to educators and industry colleagues in the K12, and Higher Education space,” said Steve Rowley, CEO of Acumen Partners. “Michael will bring the experience of his publishing background, business acumen and insights into the educational digital transition to help us provide our clients with the opportunity to focus on the innovative sales and marketing strategies happening the marketplace now, so they can take advantage and move forward profitably.”

Michael has attended the Executive Management program at Duke University and has been privileged to speak at many conferences and webinars.  Michael has also written for numerous blogs and publications during his career.

For more information about Acumen Partners, visit

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About Acumen Partners |  Acumen Partners is a data-driven advisory firm committed to guiding leaders to more accurately gauge their market position, target key actions and achieve better-than-market results. Acumen works with companies at all points in their lifecycle, from seed to start-up to growth and beyond.  Acumen’s Dataslice® solution, using real-time, market data, enables our advisors and consultants to assess your company and provide a 90 day plan of action through a baseline index.  Acumen’s team of experienced advisors and consultants will insure your company is doing the right things in their day-to-day business operations, the right way and with the right people.  With Acumen Partners, companies are able to find their shortest path to strategic success.




-Dynamic Digital Textbooks and Professional Development Support School System’s Efforts to Create Modern Science and Social Studies Learning Environments-


Silver Spring, Md. (October 10, 2016) – Colorado’s St. Vrain Valley School  District (SVVSD) today announced a new partnership withDiscovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.


As part of this new relationship, Discovery Education is supporting the district’s continued transition to modern learning environments by empowering the district’s middle school educators to more deeply engage students in science instruction with its award-winningScience Techbook™. In addition, Discovery Education and SVVSD are commencing two year-long pilot review programs, bringing the Science Techbook to high school classrooms, as well as the Social Studies Techbook to middle school classrooms.


SVVD’s new partnership with Discovery Education directly supports the continued implementation of the district’s Learning Technology Plan (LTP).  The LTP, developed by a committee of 33 district teachers, principals, and other staff members, ensures the district’s investment in technology is aligned to instructional priorities and school needs.  The LTP also makes certain students and teachers have the tools they need to investigate, communicate, collaborate, create, model, and explore concepts and content in authentic contexts, andprovides all learners with devices they can take home and use to extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom to the entire family.

Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost.  The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in any classroom configuration or instructional environment.

The Social Studies Techbook series uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy and the analytical writing and problem solving skills that students will apply in the classroom and beyond. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, a multimedia reference library, interactive maps and informational texts.  Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, the Science Techbook, through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities, helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists.

To ensure each SVVSD teacher is fully supported in their transition to the Techbooks, Discovery Education experts will provide faculty high-quality professional development supporting the integration of the digital textbook into classroom practice.

“St. Vrain Valley School District is committed to creating technology-rich learning experiences that engage students and help them cultivate the critical skills they need for success beyond the classroom,” said Damon Brown, Executive Director of Communications, Human Resources and Risk Management at St. Vrain Valley Schools. “Discovery Education’s dynamic digital resources and professional development are incredibly important to our efforts to create the authentic digital learning environments districtwide that make teaching and learning more engaging and accessible for all.”

In addition, the Discovery Education Community will support SSVD’s educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.

“Discovery Education is proud to be a part of St. Vrain Valley School District’s efforts to equip students with the digital tools and content they need to engage in dynamic learning experiences anytime, anywhere,” said Scott Burns, Manager of Partnerships at Discovery Education. “We are looking forward to supporting their talented team as they empower educators with rich, dynamic digital content they can use to enhance instruction.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s Techbook series, or other services and resources from Discovery Education,

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, 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 in 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 at    



myON and Indiana Department of Education Partner to Improve Migrant Students’ Reading and Writing Skills

Access to thousands of digital books in myON’s literacy environment has helped improve reading achievement among Indiana’s migrant student population


(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) October 11, 2016 – myON, a business unit of Capstone and leading provider of personalized literacy solutions in the K-12 marketplace, and the Indiana Department of Education today announced their continued effort to give every student access to a high-quality education.


The Indiana Department of Education and myON first partnered in 2014 to offer all migrant students access to a literacy-based program. The goal was to provide students a unique learning experience including high-quality text at their individual reading levels, writing tools, and measurable performance outcomes.


“Our relationship with Indiana and its migrant education program is one we are extremely proud of,” said myON’s President Todd Brekhus. “As a complete literacy solution, we aim to serve students at all reading levels by meeting them where they are. By getting more books in the hands of migrant students, we have created a successful partnership. In the future we hope to continue our relationship with the Indiana Department of Education and help other migrant students around the country.”


A majority of Indiana’s migrant students travel with their parents and are in the state from April to October. To ensure high-quality instructional programming during the summer months, when many students do not have access to educational resources, Indiana’s six migrant regional centers provide summer programming to migrant students throughout the state. Since the start of the partnership, more than 1,222 migrant students have read more than 80,000 books, spending more than 15,000 hours reading.


“The Indiana Department of Education is committed to ensuring that all students have access to the resources they need to learn and achieve both in the classroom and in life,” said Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Through our partnership with myON, migrant students are receiving high-quality support to maintain and often increase their literacy levels.  I am proud of the work we have done over the past few years to educate these students, and I look forward to a continued partnership with myON to ensure all Hoosier students are on track to succeed.”


Students use myON during the school year, in migrant summer programs, and at home. Most migrant students take advantage of the literacy environment during the summer months as part of summer school programming provided around the state. In order to provide continued educational services and to track overall reading growth, the state offers students continued access to myON even if they leave the state at the end of the farming season.


During the summer of 2016, Indiana’s migrant students spent approximately 2,700 hours reading more than 12,091 books. Within the first two summers, 85% of participating students experienced reading growth or maintained their reading level. During the 2016 summer programs, students averaged a growth of seven Lexile® points in only 4 to 8 weeks.


myON’s digital literacy environment provides students a wide range of text specifically designed to help English language learners and Spanish-speaking students. myON also tracks students’ reading growth online by providing embedded Lexile assessments used to fulfill the federal requirement for measurable program outcomes for reading proficiency.


As part of the largest 1:1 technology initiative for migrant students in the nation, each student in the Indiana Migrant Education Program is provided a personal learning device and unlimited access to more than 8,600 digital books. Titles range from picture books to first readers to novels, classic literature, and informative texts. Students also have offline access to books so they’re able to read even without Internet access.


Since implementing myON, leaders at the Indiana Department of Education have noticed an increase in the time migrant students have spent reading, and have seen corresponding growth in their Lexile levels.


The success of myON and the Hoosier Family of Readers program, starting in 2013, triggered the Indiana Department of Education to adopt myON for the migrant students. This year, myON and the Department teamed up for a statewide Bicentennial Challenge, giving Indiana students the goal of reading 2 million books before 2017.


About myON

myON, a business unit of Capstone, has created a personalized digital literacy environment that transforms learning. myON expands the classroom for teachers and students by providing unlimited access to the largest collection of more than 11,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time assessments, and a growing Literacy Toolkit that enhances the myON literacy ecosystem. myON empowers students and teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile® assessments that measure student reading and writing growth. With myON, every student experiences the benefits of personalized literacy instruction to propel them to new and unlimited learning opportunities. To learn more, visit




Supports Students in Developing Independent Learning Skills, Preparing For College And Careers, Earning Credit, And Engaging With Their Peers In Global Classrooms



Boston — Oct. 10, 2016 — This year, The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.), a nonprofit empowering schools with the industry’s most comprehensive online learning programs, will reach its 20-year milestone. The past two decades have seen the organization grow from a small operation funded by a U.S. Department of Education technology challenge grant to an international, non-profit e-learning provider. Today VHS delivers online instruction to middle and high school students at 639 schools in 33 countries; there were more than 18,000 student enrollments in VHS courses in the 2015-2016 school year.


“We’ve come a long way from the handful of schools that helped us pioneer our online learning program,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of VHS, referring to the 28 schools and 710 students who first partnered with the organization.


VHS began in October 1996 with a $7.8M grant to Hudson Public Schools and Concord Consortium from the U.S. Department of Education. By the following year it launched 30 courses including its very first Advanced Placement® course.


Two years later the organization established its first partnership with an international consortium. Recently schools from Turkey, Switzerland and Dubai joined the VHS family. All schools that partner with VHS have access to a wide range of core, elective, credit recovery and AP® courses that inspire, ignite and deepen learning. Currently the VHS offers more than 200 unique online courses including 23 AP® classes, one of the largest catalogs of online AP® courses anywhere.


In 2001, VHS transitioned to a non-profit organization and in 2004, was offering summer school courses. Its commitment to deliver exceptional results was recognized in 2008 when the highly esteemed United States Distance Learning Association honored the VHS for its 21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning award in 2008.


VHS launched its flexible credit recovery program in 2011 to help students at risk of falling behind or failing a course. In 2015, VHS developed and launched its Online Judaic Studies Consortium, funded through a grant from The AVI CHAI Foundation.


With each innovation, some things, including high levels of service and support, remained the same. Last year, 97% of schools working with the non-profit course provider continued their participation into the next academic year.


“Since our inception we’ve felt strongly that all education – not just online education – benefits from a supportive community working together to provide students with access to quality education, regardless of geographic location or resource constraints. Twenty years later, we continue to serve families, schools and educators; we know the work we do truly does make a difference. Moving forward, our long-term vision is to prepare students to be successful in college, careers, and life,” said Ribeiro.


About The Virtual High School

The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts has set the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for secondary school students and online professional development for educators.  The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development and individualized course offerings. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology, and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit or call (978) 897-1900.



Philip Idle Chosen Association for Learning Environments’ Chair-Elect


WASHINGTON, DC (October 6, 2016) Philip Idle, a director of EIW Architects from Perth, Australia, was elected as the chair-elect for the Association for Learning Environments’ Board of Directors.  Formerly the Australasia director on the international body, Philip Idle played a key role in the organization’s recent rebranding efforts.


Currently serving as chair for the Global Organization Task Force, Philip is leading the organization’s efforts to develop a global mindset, enhancing and furthering the association’s influence locally as well as in other global locations.  Philip has encouraged the leadership to develop a more comprehensive way of viewing cultural and geographic differences as potential opportunities.


Philip Idle’s work encompasses both the private and government sectors in Australia and has extended to service work in Tanzania, a country where he spent his formative childhood years. With expertise in the design and planning of educational facilities, Philip’s experience on educational projects in leading the consultation phases of projects has led to him developing great empathy for all learners.


“We are all learners being challenged and enriched by colleagues throughout our Association. To build on this heritage and begin to be truly global through exploring experiences from around the world and building a dialogue with other cultures is a natural step in our development,” Philip stated in accepting the position.


The Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) is the only professional organization whose primary purpose is improving the learning environment.  With approximately 4,500 members, the Association encompasses members across the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK.  The Association embraces a collaborative network of professionals with one single goal – building healthy, safe, resilient and sustainable 21st Century learning places that inspire transformation in education, enhance student and teacher performance, and support culture and community vitality. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter @A4LE2.