In preparation for America’s Safe Schools Week, West Corporation 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 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.

All webinar attendees will receive “Five Layers of School Safety,” a white paper that 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. Co-authored by Sigrist and Poland, the paper will be available Oct. 18. To register for the Oct. 12 webinar, visit





Held During Red Ribbon Week®, Panel of Leading Experts To Powerfully Address the Science of Addiction and Answer Questions LIVE in Virtual Town Hall Event on October 25, 2016


WHAT:                        “Operation Prevention Virtual Field Trip: The Science Behind Opioid Addiction” for middle school and high school classrooms by Discovery Education and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help students understand the impacts of prescription opioids and       heroin.


WHEN:                       October 25, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT, held during Red Ribbon Week®, a week spanning from Oct 23-31 that raises awareness of the danger caused by drug misuse in America.  Advanced classroom signup available at:


WHY:                           Drug overdose is the #1 cause of accidental death in the U.S., with opioid addiction driving this epidemic.  It affects every type of person in a community – from the toughest neighborhoods, to the most affluent; from the soccer player, to the student government       president. This virtual field trip will:

  • Raise awareness among students in grades 6-12 of the prescription opioids and heroin epidemic through science, statistics and compelling personal stories.
  • Arm students with the unfiltered facts and tools they need to make smart, informed choices when they are prescribed or presented with the opportunity to experiment with prescription drugs.
  • Dispel the myth that prescription drugs are safe to take occasionally without a prescription from a doctor because they are legal, created in a laboratory, and prescribed by health professionals.


WHO:                          Melvin Patterson, DEA Special Agent – to discuss the role of an agent as it relates to opioids in America, how it affects communities across the spectrum, and his personal connection to the issue.


Peggy Compton, Associate Dean at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies – to outline the science behind addiction and how the brain is affected (or “hijacked”) when people begin to misuse prescription drugs and heroin.


Jamie Lane, Assistant Principal, McLean High School – to discuss the important role the school community can play in fighting this epidemic and how her school has dealt with this issue personally.


Former teen user – to share his/her addiction story and lifetime of struggle with it, emphasizing how easily one can become addicted.


WHERE:                       Broadcast live in Town Hall Format from McLean High School in McLean, VA.  Classrooms nationwide may register and participate in the virtual event at:


The DEA and Discovery Education have joined forces to combat a growing epidemic of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use nationwide. Operation Prevention’s mission is to educate students about the impacts of opioid use and kick-start lifesaving conversations in the home and classroom. To learn more, and perhaps save a life, go to:



About the Drug Enforcement Administration
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.

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


Pearson, Unizin Consortium Partner to Provide Affordable Digital Course Content to More Than 750,000 Students


Partnership brings students at 22 leading institutions digital materials at significant cost savings


NEW YORK – October 11, 2016 – Today, Pearson and Unizin, Ltd. announced a partnership to increase access to affordable digital course materials to college students on the first day of class. Utilizing Unizin’s All Students Acquire model and leveraging Pearson’s Digital Direct Access (DDA) model, Unizin can provide its member institutions with Pearson’s high-quality eTextbook catalog and proven adaptive learning products, such as MyLab™ and Mastering™, at significant cost savings. The partnership will also provide educators with valuable insights into students’ learning activity through data access, enabling instructors to monitor learners’ progress and intervene when needed to ensure they are on the path to success.


Unizin is a nonprofit consortium of 22 leading universities serving more than 750,000 learners. Unizin’s Engage digital learning platform along with publishers’ proprietary content, including Pearson content, have been used to deliver course materials as part of Indiana University’s eText initiative, saving students more than $15 million since 2009.


More than 80 institutions around the country have partnered with Pearson in 2016 to implement the DDA model, which enables schools to deliver high-quality digital course materials to their students on the first day of class at a more affordable cost.


“We are excited to provide these quality instructional materials from Pearson,” said Amin Qazi, CEO at Unizin, Ltd. “With the inclusion of interaction data from Pearson’s catalog, Unizin’s learner analytics strategy is better-positioned to provide the tools for instructors to derive insights and make meaningful interventions in a data-driven learning environment.”


With the addition of Pearson’s eTextbook catalog and adaptive learning products, Unizin makes available more options for leading commercial course materials and high-quality Open Educational Resources. Pearson supports Unizin’s efforts to provide a better learning experience for students at a lower cost. It also ensures that all students have access to digital course materials on the first day of class with the option to print the textbook, if desired. Unizin does not mark up the price of digital content, ensuring students pay the lowest price possible.


“Through our collaboration with Unizin, we are increasing access to pedagogically proven digital course materials at the most affordable price point, which positions more learners to achieve their higher education goals,” said Tom Malek, Senior Vice President of Partnerships at Pearson.


To learn more about the Unizin consortium working together to enhance learning experiences through technology, including more about course material delivery strategy and solutions, visit


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


About Unizin

Unizin, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit consortium of 22 leading universities dedicated to promoting affordability, access, and learner success in digital education. Unizin’s interoperable technology ecosystem supports the diverse teaching and learning environments across its institutions. Unizin solutions promote technology standards, enable integrations, eliminate the learner analytics black box, ensure accessibility of content and data, preserve and promote faculty choice, and support institutional collaboration. Unizin is owned and operated by its member universities through a Board of Directors.  Unizin is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more on Unizin, visit


New White Paper Analyzes How Creative Use of School Schedules and Instructional Space Fosters Successful Blended Learning Programs

Evergreen Education Group conducts in-depth analysis of Fuel Education partner schools’ blended learning programs


Herndon, Virginia, October 12, 2016 — Schools across the nation have begun breaking away from the traditional school day schedule by implementing blended learning programs in order to better serve a diverse student population. To encourage school leaders to be innovative with instructional area design and creative with the use of the school day, Evergreen Education Group took a deep dive into the blended learning programs at three schools using online course content from Fuel Education™ (FuelEd™) to examine how their use of space and time contributes to their success. Evergreen Education Group, in collaboration with FuelEd, has published their findings in a new white paper titled,“How Top Performing Blended Learning Programs Use Time and Space Effectively.” To download the free white paper, visit:


In the white paper, Evergreen Education Group provides in-depth profiles of three schools that embody innovation. Poudre School District Global Academy is featured for their creative use of the school day schedule; Springs Studio for Academic Excellence is featured for their creative use of space; and Bend-La Pine Schools’ Summit High School is featured for its transformation from a traditional school into an innovative blended learning program by implementing small, but impactful changes.


Blended learning has proven to be beneficial for the students at these three schools. Poudre School District Global Academy reported it outperformed the average PARCC end-of-year assessment scores in math and English Language Arts in almost every grade level and the elementary and middle school students greatly surpassed the average typical growth in math and reading on the 2015 NWEA Measure of Academic Progress® (MAP®) Assessments. More than 80 percent of students at Springs Studio for Academic Excellence re-enroll for the next year, and almost every grade level has outperformed state averages in English Language Arts, according to the school. At Summit High School, students have the choice of working on in-class instruction or using online courses, which has improved students’ interest in the topic being covered and given them time management skills they may not have gained otherwise.


Although these schools have many differences, researchers found three common characteristics.

  • The leaders and teachers at these schools are not afraid to rethink what school should look like and what practices will work best for their students.
  • The three schools use online curriculum, which frees teachers from being the main source of instruction and allows them to try more alternative teaching methods like team teaching, block scheduling, personalized learning, project-based learning and more.
  • Each of the schools embraces the change and realizes it is a process. By adopting a growth mindset, which they hope students will also adopt, the schools and their leadership were able to overcome any initial issues and are now reaping the rewards of blended learning.


“Along with online curriculum, there are many factors to consider when personalizing learning for each student,” said Gregg Levin, General Manager of FuelEd. “When schools have tools like online instruction; strong, supportive leadership; and creative use of learning spaces, they have the opportunity to break out of traditional practices and start to think differently about school and how it can serve students with different needs.”


About Fuel Education

Fuel Education™ partners with school districts to fuel personalized learning and transform the education experience inside and outside the classroom. The company provides innovative solutions for pre-K through 12th grade that empower districts to implement successful online and blended learning programs. Its open, easy-to-use Personalized Learning Platform, PEAK™, enables teachers to customize courses using their own content, FuelEd courses and titles, third-party content, and open educational resources. Fuel Education offers one of the industry’s largest catalogs of K–12 digital curriculum, certified instruction, professional development, and educational services. FuelEd has helped 2,000 school districts to improve student outcomes and better serve diverse student populations. To learn more, visit and Twitter.


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