7 Mindsets Taps Lupita Knittel as President, Announces New Product Roadmap

New President to expand 7 Mindsets Academy, the social emotional learning framework that integrates youth empowerment, relationship-based teaching, PBIS, and character education


(Roswell, GA) February 8, 2017 — Lupita Knittel has joined 7 Mindsets, the national leader in mindsets-based social and emotional learning. She will oversee the company’s international expansion and product roadmap for its flagship offering, 7 Mindsets Academy.

Knittel joins 7 Mindsets after more than 17 years of pioneering leadership in the K-12 education marketplace, most recently with PlanetHS and Promethean, where she was a core member of the leadership team that built Promethean from its early start into a market-leading platform. Prior to working at Promethean, she led strategic initiatives for Apple and Electronic Data Systems. Knittel began as a school teacher in her native Mexico, where she also founded and operated her own marketing research company.

The 7 Mindsets are based on an extensive three-year study that assessed the happiest and most successful people in history to learn what mindsets they all had in common. This research was combined into 7 Mindsets, or ways one thinks about yourself, your surroundings, and the future. Some examples of these mindsets include “Everything is Possible,” “100% Accountable,” and “Live to Give.” Following an additional five years of in-school research programs and pilot implementations, 7 Mindsets Academy was formally launched in 2011. Today, 7 Mindsets Academy operates in 22 states, with adaptations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and the United Kingdom.


A Framework for Social Emotional Learning


7 Mindsets Academy starts with intense, immersive professional development for teachers that explores how to teach the mindsets and apply them in everyday life. Each new school is paired with a partner school that helps with leadership application, instructional integration, and overall resource sharing. Ongoing coaching and training is then provided on how to use 7 Mindsets Academy’s lessons and online content portal with students in classrooms.


School administrators are also trained on best practices for implementation, with a unique focus on structural integration of the 7 Mindsets into day-to-day campus activities, applying the 7 Mindsets as a “language” that aligns teachers, students, staff, and parents. Each course contains 30 lessons that focus on the underlying, non-cognitive skills that young people need to live fulfilling, successful lives.


Lesson themes include foundational concepts for raising expectations, developing meaningful relationships, embracing accountability, practicing gratitude, managing setbacks, and learning from mistakes. Lessons feature thought-provoking videos, educational games, and personalized activities intended to drive positive student conversations and empower educators to consistently impact students’ lives. Lessons are designed to be taught in 30 to 60 minutes in a normal classroom setting, once or twice a week, but are flexible to meet unique scheduling needs.



“We’re committed to igniting a social movement that places mindsets-based education in elementary, middle, and high schools across the country,” said Knittel. “The most exciting aspect of working with the 7 Mindsets in schools across the country is watching the results pour in. Not only do disciplinary referrals and suspensions reduce by as much 97%, but attendance gets better, school culture improves, and whole communities are impacted by each student’s personal transformation.”


About 7 Mindsets Academy

Combining elements of relationship-based teaching and social emotional learning, the 7 Mindsets Academy distills extensive research on the nature of happiness and success into tools that provide a new language and operating system for schools and classrooms. With multiple courses of flexible, age-appropriate online curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school, 7 Mindsets Academy is an easy-to-implement, transformational program that has been established in 17 U.S. states. For more information, please visit 7mindsets.com.


Louisiana’s Rapides Parish School District Expands Partnership with Discovery Education to Accelerate Transition to Student-Centered Learning Environments


-Digital Social Studies and Science Textbooks to Support District’s Efforts to Continuously Improve Instruction 


Silver Spring, Md. (Feb. 6, 2017) – Louisiana’s Rapides Parish School District (RPSD) announced today an expansion of their ongoing partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In this new stage of the collaboration, educators in more than 20 district schools will now be empowered to support RPSD’s transition to student-centered learning environments with Discovery Education’s digital social studies and science textbooks.


RPSD’s expanded partnership with Discovery Education advances the district’s efforts to continuously improve instruction across the school system so that every child receives an excellent education that nurtures the development of the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in any professional career they choose. This goal will be achieved through the application of the district’s Framework for Effective Schools, which calls for the alignment of district resources to support the implementation of high-quality instructional practices in every classroom.


The district’s endeavor to create student-centered learning environments began in 2011, when RPSD replaced science textbooks in eight elementary schools with Discovery Education’s Science Techbook™.  The district’s effort to create dynamic classrooms that provide students greater control, ownership, and accountability over their education will continue as K-12 educators districtwide integrate Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbooks™ and Science Techbooks™ into instruction.


“Every individual at the Rapides Parish Schools is committed to providing our students exceptional educational experiences that will help them to succeed beyond graduation,” said Kim Bennet, Executive Assistant Superintendent of Rapides Parish Schools District. “We are excited to move forward in partnership with Discovery Education and continue our transition to student-centered learning, as it is creating modern classrooms that capture the attention of our students, ignite their creativity, and improve their academic achievement.”


Discovery Education’s award-winning 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 one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.


The Social Studies Techbook series uses an inquiry-based, instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, 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. Currently, Discovery Education Techbooks are used by more than 3 million students in all 50 U.S. states and several Canadian provinces.


To ensure each RPSD teacher is fully supported as they continue their digital transition, Discovery Education makes available to district educators high-quality professional development that supports the integration of the digital textbook into classroom practice.


Additionally, the Discovery Education Community will continue supporting RPSD’s educators in their 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 honored to be a part of Rapides Parish School Districts’ efforts to create digital learning environments that engage all students,” said Dr. Felicia Bustle, Partnerships Manager at Discovery Education. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Assistant Superintendent Bennett and the committed faculty at RPSD on our joint mission to support the academic success of all students.”


For more information about the Discovery Education Techbook series or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.


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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 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 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 www.discoveryeducation.com.


Follett Partners with New Zealand’s Wendy Pye Publishing

Revival of Sunshine Classics brings back ‘gold standard in leveled, guided reading’


MCHENRY, Ill., Feb. 7, 2017 — Follett announced today it has formed a partnership with New Zealand-based Wendy Pye Publishing to provide more than 300 fiction and nonfiction print titles for K-2 classrooms. Pye’s company introduced Sunshine Classics in the USA in the 1980s, and the popular reading program has been revived with updated print options for learners and educators.

The features that made Sunshine Classics popular – timeless titles that draw on children’s experience and view of the world, loveable characters and engaging stories, leveled and constructed to specifically support to K-2 readers – all have returned. The titles have been edited and modernized to reflect current topics and interests to today’s young students, as well as to provide question stems that help teachers correlate them to state standards.

In addition, nonfiction texts have been added to the K-2 set, which provide important language skills based around scientific vocabulary and range in topics from outer space to animals to science and technology. The content is designed to engender new interests in young readers.

Dame Wendy Pye, CEO and publisher of Sunshine, said she is looking forward to working with Follett’s team to bring Sunshine Classics, featuring authors such as Joy Cowley and Margaret Mahy, to elementary classrooms throughout the country.

“This partnership brings together the best of Sunshine resources and the marketing vision and expertise of Follett,” said Pye, who has earned many awards and accolades for helping to improve learning outcomes in literacy through ongoing partnerships. “We are very excited to bring back the gold standard in leveled and guided reading. Whether educators are looking for solutions for guided reading, shared reading, and take-home books or to support ELL/DLL students, students at risk of reading failure, or intervention, Sunshine Classics supports instruction with a systematic, authentic reading approach.”

Pye added Sunshine Classics’ authors are skilled at writing stories for beginning readers by providing just the right amount of support and challenge. Each story in a series has been leveled and constructed to support early learners from the introduction, repetition of high frequency words to the illustration and text matching sentence construction and line breaks.  Moreover, question stems, guided reading teacher notes and high frequency words are embedded in each book, while skill charts are provided to ensure teachers are supported with the scope and sequence of the program.

“Follett is thrilled to play a key role in the revival of Sunshine Classics,” said Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions. “We look forward to working with Dame Wendy Pye and her team to engage young readers throughout the U.S. and help continue her inspiring dream of teaching the world to read.”

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.


Dremel Partners with 3DPrinterOS™ to Provide Cloud Connected 3D Printer Platform
For simplicity and ease of use, Dremel licenses 3DPrinterOS™ software to drive its line of cloud-connected 3D printers

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. [Feb. 7, 2017] – The evolving landscape of 3D printing technology demands flexibility in everyday classrooms and businesses. To expand capabilities for printing and modeling across devices, Dremel has adopted the digital manufacturing system company 3DPrinterOS™ to enable complete, cloud-based connectivity for the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printers.

Access to the 3DPrinterOS™ software system will allow users of Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer to prepare models and monitor print progress anytime with any device — without the need to download software. These cloud capabilities add another dimension to the 3D printing ecosystem for small businesses and classrooms, allowing the management of unlimited fleets of printers and users without additional overhead.

To learn more about cloud capabilities for the Dremel Idea Builder, read the full news release here
C8 Sciences Expands Reach in K-12 Education with New 1,000-Student Contract
Universal Academy in Dallas gains access to cognitive training tools through partnership  

DALLAS (February 7, 2017) — Faced with persisting achievement gaps, education leaders are searching for resources to help students meet their full learning potential. One solution that has yielded positive results for schools is cognitive training tools. C8 Sciences, distributor of a sophisticated brain training program used to help students improve thinking skills announces a new partnership with Universal Academy, located in the Dallas area.

With C8 Sciences’ ACTIVATE program in place, Universal Academy students from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds will have access to both physical and online cognitive exercises to improve thinking and learning skills. Committed to across-the-board student improvement, C8 Sciences and Universal Academy will collaborate to enable students of both low- and high-income families to experience the benefits of the robust ACTIVATE platform.

For the full release, click here.


Denton Independent School District Invents Custom Charging Solution with LocknCharge 

Texas district introduces custom-made mobile device charging stations for up to 20,000 devices as it restructures its classrooms to make them future ready

MADISON, Wis. (Feb. 7, 2017) – As Denton Independent School District (ISD) prepares for future ready classrooms with technology and builds new schools, the Texas district is partnering with LocknCharge to create a new mobile device charging cabinet – the Carrier 15 Charging Station.

“There were no solutions designed to fit the unique needs of Denton ISD,” said Judy Bush technology manager. “LocknCharge stepped in and constructed a new charging station to fit the vision of the curriculum and technology team to incorporate Chromebooks into classrooms.”

This customized solution will store, charge and deploy up to 20,000 devices in the school district.

To read the full news release, please click here.


Urban Teacher Residency Partnership Program Expands its Use of Video Coaching with Edthena


Video-based classroom observation platform helps teacher residents easily upload and share videos to receive feedback on their teaching practices


SAN FRANCISCO (February 7, 2017) – The award-winning Urban Teacher Residency Partnership Program (UTRPP), a collaboration between the University of South Florida and Hillsborough County Public Schools, has expanded its use of video coaching with teacher residents through the implementation of the Edthena platform. The UTRPP is using the video-based classroom observation platform to streamline – and enhance – the way teacher residents are uploading, storing, sharing, and receiving feedback on videos of their classroom practice as part of their ongoing professional learning process.


The UTRPP integrates both coursework and fieldwork, giving its teacher residents more than 2,000 hours of mentoring in K-5 classrooms in Hillsborough County Public Schools. In partnership with the district, the UTRPP received an Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) federal grant in 2014 to support the evaluation of this innovative model of teacher preparation. As a recipient of this grant, the residency is seen as a national model for what is possible in teacher preparation.


“A signature pedagogy in our clinically-rich program has been our use of video as part of our content coaching cycles with our residents,” said Dr. Sarah van Ingen, co-director of the UTRPP. “The use of video was really powerful, however, we kept running into technical issues around recording, uploading, storing, transferring, and tagging the videos. The implementation of Edthena solved these issues for us and saved us valuable time so that we could expand our use of video exponentially.”


With the Edthena platform, teacher residents can quickly and easily upload videos of their classroom instruction from any video camera and then share those videos with mentor coaches who provide timestamped comments categorized as questions, suggestions, strengths, and notes. The platform enables the residents and coaches to participate in collaborative professional learning cycles, as well as store and organize videos throughout each semester.


“With Edthena, our residents reflect on their teaching and share evidence of their teaching practices with their mentors and coaches,” said Dr. van Ingen. “For us, innovative teacher preparation is not just about having our residents teach more hours than the average student teacher, it’s about providing the residents with the timely feedback they need to increase their effectiveness in the classroom. Edthena helps us provide this feedback.”


Schools, districts, and teacher education programs in more than 30 states are using the Edthena platform. It helps these organizations make video observation an integral part of teacher induction, teacher mentoring, professional learning communities (PLCs), and peer observation.


To learn more about Edthena, visit www.edthena.com.


About Edthena
Edthena is the leading classroom observation platform for using teaching videos as part of professional development. Teachers upload classroom videos to share with colleagues who leave time stamped comments. Edthena also offers specialized collaboration tools to help organizations implement best practices for video-based professional learning. Edthena is the recipient of numerous awards from organizations such as SIIA, District Administration, and Tech & Learning. For more information, visit www.edthena.com. For more news about Edthena, visit blog.edthena.com.