(We’ll be doing a show on this with Discovery and DEA  NOON on Thursday Dec.15)

 The Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education Invite Teens

to Create Original Public Service Announcements on the Dangers of Opioid Misuse for Chance to Win up to a $10,000 Scholarship and Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the DEA Training Academy at Quantico


Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, MD (December 12, 2016) – Prescription opioid misuse has reached epidemic levels ― with hospitalizations spiking among children and teens for opioid painkiller overdoses in recent years.[i]  That’s why the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), DEA Educational Foundation and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, are launching the Operation Prevention Video Challenge that gives students the power to send a message to their peers about the dangers of opioid misuse.
For the first time, the Operation Prevention Video Challenge invites teens across the country to create a unique 30-60 second public service announcement, aimed to reach other teens about this widespread issue. The question: “If your friends were going to watch ONE video that made them think twice about misusing prescription opioids, what would that video be?”

The challenge is part of a joint nationwide education initiative called Operation Prevention that educates students about the science behind addiction and its impact on the brain and body. Available at no cost, the program’s resources help initiate lifesaving conversations in the home and classroom.

“The video challenge is a great way for students to be creative and to reach their peers,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.  “They can illustrate the science of addiction and the effect opioids have on the brain and body to their friends ― and be seen and heard in ways that adults cannot ― and help tackle this epidemic.”

A panel of judges from Discovery Education and the DEA, as well as community leaders, educators, and communications experts, will select the winners for three DEA Educational Foundation scholarships. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000, the second place winner will receive $5,000, and the third place winner will receive $1,000.

One People’s Choice winner will also be selected through public vote in April 2017 and will win a trip provided by the DEA for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of DEA agent training at the DEA’s Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Winning PSAs will also be featured on-air and across DEA’s digital and social media platforms.

Students must be at least 13-years-old and enrolled in 9th through 12th grade. Video entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, content, persuasiveness and overall effective communication. No violent, dangerous, or illegal behavior in creating the Entry Video is allowed. Teens can register and submit their entries today through March 28, 2017 at  https://www.operationprevention.com/video-challenge.

“Through our important grassroots programs, The DEA Educational Foundation has seen time and time again the power of peer-to-peer messaging and influence. We believe the video contest will not only bring to light the serious topic of the opioid epidemic in our communities, but will also help educate youth about the dangers of these drugs through the teen voice; one in which they will strongly relate,” said Bill Alden, Chairman and CEO of the DEA Educational Foundation. “We are thrilled to do our part in supporting America’s youth in bringing them critical and timely information and by helping them to make positive and healthy decisions ultimately leading to successful and fulfilling lives.”

“We know what a powerful voice young people have as influencers in their friends lives,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Discovery Education. “The DEA recognizes this fact and we are proud to join them in the effort to engage students in this critical conversation. The Operation Prevention Video Challenge empowers teens to use their digital storytelling skills to make a difference in the midst of a national crisis, and perhaps even save a life.”

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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 the DEA Educational Foundation

Established in 2001, the DEA Educational Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to educate and encourage young people to avoid the pitfalls of drug addiction. The foundation supports the DEA Museum through advocacy, outreach, and educational program development.


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 4.5 million educators and over 50 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.


Achieve3000 Now Forecasts Student Performance Results on Smarter Balanced Assessments; Expands Current Forecasting Report Capabilities


Achieve3000, the Leader in Differentiated Instruction, can now forecast student performance on the Smarter Balanced ELA assessments, expanding on the number of state tests for which educators can forecast results. New Challenge courses also provide students with targeted practice for each state’s specific test.

LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Dec.12, 2016 – Achieve3000® has launched a new proprietary forecasting tool that allows educators to predict their students’ performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s ELA assessments (SBAC). Achieve3000’s forecasting reports, designed to help educators predict and enhance student performance on high-stakes state reading tests, were already available for seven states. The new SBAC forecasting report expands this capacity to educators in an additional 14 states and the US Virgin Islands.

Achieve3000 is the leading literacy platform in blended learning programs today, providing cloud-based, differentiated learning solutions for school-aged youth as well as adult learners that deliver daily instruction for nonfiction reading and writing that’s precisely tailored to each student’s Lexile reading level. Forecasting reports for the SBAC and other high-stakes state assessments are part of the Achieve3000 platform’s robust reporting package, which also empowersteachers and administrators to monitor their students’ progress on key literacy skills and mastery of state standards as well as forecast their Lexile reading growth.

Achieve3000’s new SBAC forecasting report, measures students’ Lexile reading levels via ongoing and embedded formative assessments and then uses that data to forecast their performance on the Smarter Balanced tests. Achieve3000 is the first platform to offer SBAC forecasting based on Lexile measures.

“Achieve3000 is at the forefront of innovation in education. We were the first to offer reports that could forecast student performance on state assessments, and we are proud to be the first to provide this new forecast report, as well,” said Saki Dodelson, Founder and CEO of Achieve3000. “We’re committed to staying ahead of the times and developing technology that helps educators intervene in time and ensure all students can build the strong literacy skills required for success in college and career. We’re excited to launch these forecasting reports now, so educators can take full advantage of them to help their students prepare for this spring’s Smarter Balanced tests. ”

Previously, educators were not able to forecast how a student would perform on the Smarter Balanced ELA assessments. By giving an early view of student performance and identifying students who are not on a trajectory for SBAC success, Achieve3000’s new forecasting report ensures educators can intervene immediately and provide the more intensive instruction those students need to strengthen their reading and writing skills – which translates to better SBAC scores. Because the report is based on real-time data and updated every time a student’s Lexile level changes, educators can continually monitor the impact of their instruction and adjust as needed throughout the school year.

To further help educators prepare their students for high-stakes state assessments, Achieve3000 also created new English Language Arts Test Challenge courses for all 50 states plus Washington, DC. Each Challenge course is customized by state and grade level, giving all students targeted practice for their specific high-stakes state test. For states with technology-enhanced items on their assessments, Challenge courses integrate drag-and-drop, sequencing, click-to-highlight evidence tasks, multi-part items (also known as Part A/Part B items), and multi-select multiple-choice questions. Challenge courses also have students read multiple sources of informational text, apply close-reading and critical-thinking strategies to complex texts, and write and revise evidence-based responses to those texts.

Both the forecasting reports and Challenge courses are only available as part of Achieve3000’s patented literacy solutions: KidBiz3000 for grades 2-5, TeenBiz3000 for grades 6-8 and Empower3000 for grades 9-12. These comprehensive solutions use the world’s only patented method of online differentiated instruction to automatically deliver the same grade-appropriate lessons to the entire class, while simultaneously tailoring them according to each student’s individual reading level. Lessons are customized for a state’s grade-level standards for English language arts, social studies and science so that students can build reading and writing skills and content-area knowledge and vocabulary simultaneously.

Dodelson concluded, “We are very excited to have expanded the range of the tests for which we can help educators prepare. We are able to pinpoint where students are headed and then provide highly tailored content and activities to help those students progress. Our goal is to continue providing students with the highly customized support and instruction they need to reach their full potential.”

To learn more about Achieve3000’s new forecast reports, ELA Challenge courses or patented literacy solutions, please visit achieve3000.com/reports/forecast.

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 www.achieve3000.com or by calling 888-968-6822.


PBS Digital Innovators Program Announces Call for Applicants

Now in its 5th Year, Annual Program Recognizes Top PreK-12 Educators Using Digital Technology and Tools in the Classroom

Arlington, VA, December 12, 2016 – Beginning today, educators from across the country—classroom changemakers who excel at using technology and digital media to spark excitement and drive learning in their classrooms—are encouraged to enter the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Program.

The call for entries officially opens today and will remain open through midnight, February 13, 2017. Educators are asked to submit a 60- to180-second “mini-presentation” video to show how they’re using resources from PBS LearningMedia, the free media-on-demand service for classrooms from PBS and the WGBH Educational Foundation, along with digital technology and tools in their classroom to enhance their teaching and inspire of love of learning in their students. Entrants will also be asked to complete a profile and answer a short essay question. The PBS Digital Innovators online application is available at:www.pbs.org/education/digitalinnovators.

“Over the past five years, PBS Digital Innovators have served not only as role models for using digital content and instructional resources in the classroom, but also as true change makers in their classrooms and communities,” said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “Education is at the core of PBS’ mission, both at the national and local level. Through our partnership with PBS stations, based in every community, this unique program allows us to recognize these leaders whose transformative work is inspiring a generation of lifelong learners.”

A panel of esteemed judges will seek to select one educator from each state throughout the U.S, its territories and the District of Columbia as PBS Digital Innovators. The Digital Innovators will receive a three-day all-expense paid trip to San Antonio, Texas, June 24-26, to participate in the 2017 PBS Digital Innovators Summit and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. Attendance at these conferences will provide the Digital Innovators the opportunity to meet with, and listen to, renowned speakers, experts and educators; to discuss strategies for delivering best practices in digital education that they can immediately apply to the classroom and across their schools; and an opportunity to network with educators from across the country.

All PBS Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing professional development opportunities, including unique virtual trainings focused on digital best practices, access to exclusive resources from PBS LearningMedia Custom, invitations to special events, a free PBS TeacherLine professional development course, networking opportunities, a choice of a digital gift to use in their classroom and more. PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will also receive ongoing support from, and opportunities to work with, their local PBS member stations.

PBS continues to deepen relationships with educators across the country, so all educators who meet the entry requirements, follow the guidelines and submit their application to the Digital Innovators Program will automatically become a member of a robust professional learning community with ongoing professional development opportunities and access to free webinars from PBS LearningMedia.

The 2017 PBS Digital Innovators will be notified on March 15, 2017. For more information on PBS LearningMedia, visit www.pbslearningmedia.org.

About PBS LearningMedia

As America’s largest classroom, PBS offers digital content and services for teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, is a free and paid media-on-demand service offering educators access to the best of public media and delivers research-based, classroom-ready digital learning experiences to engage students in exploring curriculum concepts that align with National and Common Core State Standards. Nationwide, more than 1.8 million teachers and users have registered access to more than 120,000 digital resources available through PBS LearningMedia. More information about PBS LearningMedia is available at www.pbslearningmedia.org or by following PBS LearningMedia on Twitter and Facebook.


Simbli has been recognized for making a positive difference with school boards and district leadership by K12 leaders who named it to District Administration magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products for 2016.”

The winners were compiled from 1,500-plus nominations from the magazine’s readers over the past year. The Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products has been announced online and in the December 2016 issue of District Administration.

The District Administration Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products awards program informs superintendents and other senior school district leaders about products their colleagues around the country are using to help their districts excel in a variety of areas, such as technology, sustainability and curriculum instruction.

Simbli makes board management easy by providing school boards, governments, nonprofits and other decision-making bodies with the tools and resources they need to simply get more done. Simbli’s one-of-a-kind suite of six integrated modules for meetings, strategic plans, board policies and regulations, board/leader evaluations, communications, and documents brings all of the board’s key governing documents online in one easy-to-access, convenient location.

“This year’s award from District Administration is particularly special,” said Mark Willis, Chief Operating Officer of eBOARDsolutions. 2016 was a big year for eBOARDsolutions, launching Simbli with a variety of new product enhancements, features, and an exciting long-term product roadmap. This award certainly validates our efforts and our commitment to serving school boards across the country.”

Visit www.eboardsolutions.com to learn more about Simbli.

About eBOARDsolutions

eBOARDsolutions is the leader in online board management tools for effective governance.  With a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing school boards, the Georgia School Boards Association began building these online tools nearly 20 years ago to help its member boards increase their efficiency and effectiveness. In 2007, eBOARDsolutions, Inc. was born, and has been making these tools available to school boards, nonprofits, and governments across the United States ever since. With an annual renewal rate of more than 98 percent, Simbli is helping boards and the people who work with them simply get more done. Learn more about eBOARDsolutions and Simbli at www.eboardsolutions.com.

About District Administration

District Administration provides K12 leaders with critical news and information for school district management, through its monthly magazine, website, e-newsletters and the District Administration Leadership Institute Superintendent Summits. For more information, visit www.districtadministration.com.

Attachments area


The Virtual High School Introduces Two New Judaic Studies Courses


Judaic Studies Courses Explore Modern Israel via the Hebrew Bible and

Questions of Ethics and Justice via the Gemara


Boston — Dec. 12, 2016 — The Virtual High School’s Online Judaic Studies Consortium (OJSC) is offering two new courses for the spring 2017 semester. One is A Look at Contemporary Israel through the Eyes of Tanakh, developed and taught by Rabbi Jeffrey Schrager. The other is Responsibility and Restitution: Perek HaChovel, an advanced Talmud course developed and taught by Sara Wolkenfeld, the Director of Education at Sefaria, a digital library for Jewish texts.

A Look at Contemporary Israel through the Eyes of Tanakh

This course focuses on applying lessons gathered from the biblical narrative to modern Israel while also discussing how recent events and discoveries inform the learning of Tanakh. “The creation of Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel,allows us to learn Tanakh in ways we had never experienced previously, gaining a better understanding of the lives of biblical figures and the places they inhabited,” said Schrager. “Along the way, we will learn about our relationship with the Land of Israel both as individuals and as a nation.”

Schrager was raised in Rochester, N.Y., and is an alumnus of Yeshivat Hamivtar in Israel as well as of Yeshiva Universityin New York City, where he studied English literature. He has been a classroom teacher for more than a decade, first in Rochester and then at the Akiba Academy of Dallas, where he served as the middle school Judaic Studies coordinator. In 2015, Schrager and his family moved to Israel and currently reside in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Responsibility and Restitution: Perek HaChovel

Through study of the eighth chapter of Bava Kamma, the Responsibility and Restitution course addresses questions of justice and ethics such as balancing the rights of both the injurer and the injured, the ways legal authorities can craft an ethical and functional justice system that addresses the needs of all members of society and how learning Gemara can impact students’ lives as Jews. The class will focus on cultivating the ability to analyze the text of the Gemara, while also incorporating excerpts from some of the classical commentaries.

In addition to being the Director of Education at Sefaria, Wolkenfeld teaches Talmud at Ida Crown Jewish Academy. She previously worked as the Director of Education for the Center for Jewish Life – Hillel at Princeton University, where she and her husband also served as educators for the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC). During the summers, Wolkenfeld teaches at the Drisha Institute in New York City, and she lectures on various Jewish topics on campuses and in synagogues. Wolkenfeld holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Judaica and Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and she has studied Talmud and Jewish Law at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, Pardes, Nishmat, Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel School, and Beit Morashah.

“We are committed to providing a comprehensive online program for Judaic studies,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of The Virtual High School. “It’s been our good fortune to partnering with educators of the caliber of Jeffrey and Sara to help us develop and deliver unique online Judaic studies courses through the OJSC.  We look forward to collaborating with them to provide Jewish day school students with access to this exciting new curriculum.”

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 www.VHSLearning.org or call (978) 897-1900.