California’s Capistrano Unified School District Deepens Partnership with Discovery Education to Launch New Professional Development Initiative Supporting STEM Education


-New Collaboration Supports District’s Effort to Reimagine Teaching and Learning-


Silver Spring, Md. (February 15, 2017) – California’s Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) announced today an expansion of its partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In this new phase of collaboration, Discovery Education will support CUSD’s efforts to develop district educators’ capacity to build and sustain a culture of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in their school system through the implementation of a multi-year STEM professional development initiative in 11 district elementary schools.


The deepening of CUSD’s partnership with Discovery Education also supports the district’s CapoForward initiative.  A reimagining of the educational programs in selected CUSD schools, CapoForward is transforming instruction by introducing a variety of innovative new teaching strategies into the learning environment.  CapoForward also bolsters the district’s mission to prepare students to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world and CUSD’s goal of maintaining its position among the state’s top-performing school districts.


Since 2014, K-5 classrooms across CUSD have used Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital service that supplements instruction across all curricular areas, to create engaging and dynamic learning environments.  Now, educators in the 11 elementary schools included in this initiative will participate in a professional capacity building model that develops and nurtures teachers and administrators as they create a culture of STEM within their school system.  Through a shared leadership model, robust professional development, ongoing coaching, and administrative leadership support, educators participating in this initiative will develop a transdisciplinary curriculum preparing students for success beyond the classroom that can be scaled districtwide.


“We want every child engaged in meaningful, challenging, and innovative educational experiences that prepare them for greater opportunity and success after graduation,” said Martha McNicholas, President of the CUSD Board of Trustees. “Discovery Education has been a great partner and we are thrilled to expand our relationship, as it will help us provide our educators additional resources and opportunities to evolve their classroom instruction and meet our district’s goals.”


The Discovery Education Community will continue supporting CUSD educators as they 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.


“We are excited to support the Capistrano Unified School District in their quest to reinvent instruction and build STEM-focused teaching experiences that truly engage students in learning,” said Dana Dodge, Education Partnerships Manager at Discovery Education. “Discovery Education looks forward to partnering with Superintendent Vital and her talented team of administrators and teachers on this new endeavor.”


For more information about Discovery Education’s Professional Development Services, Discovery Education Streaming Plus, or other initiatives from Discovery Education, visit




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



Follett Announces Key Updates to

Its Market-Leading Destiny Solution

Destiny 14.5 features improved reporting, Destiny Discover homepage customizations


McHENRY, Ill., Feb. 14, 2017 –With the addition of key reporting capabilities and new homepage customization options,Follett’s Destiny 14.5 is giving users a more efficient, streamlined experience from start to finish. The updates encompass the company’s market-leading products for Destiny Library Manager, Destiny Resource Manager, and Destiny Discover.

“We’re listening as our customers share their needs and challenges,” said Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions. “Destiny 14.5 gives educators features and capabilities that not only will save them time, but also help them better manage digital resources and make smart decisions on behalf of their students.”

Destiny’s basic reporting features have been improved across the board, explained Don Rokusek, Program Director for Follett Destiny Library Manager. New district reports, for example, give users an at-a-glance view into each school’s resources, and while another improved report allows users to see prices of overdue materials in Destiny Resource Manager.

“These latest updates make it easier to complete a variety of tasks – such as printing labels and exporting data to Excel – as well as gathering valuable data on usage and circulation, which can be used to support funding and curriculum decisions,” Rokusek said. “Customers can spend less time searching for the data they need to create reports and more time with students.”

Additional Destiny 14.5 improvements include:

  • Usage reporting for Follett Lightbox titles;
  • The ability to manage the ordering and visibility of collection ribbons on the Destiny Discover homepage, and easilyfeature preferred digital resources in a new “links” ribbon;
  • New renewals functionality has been added to Destiny Resource Manager;  and
  • Account information for access to Follett eBooks and audiobooks is automatically maintained with changes to patron information in Destiny.

To fully introduce Destiny 14.5, Follett recently hosted a free webinar. The recording can be accessed on Follett Community, using this link.

To update to the latest version of Destiny, customers must be on Destiny version 12.0 or later.

For more information about Follett Destiny, visit For more information about Follett, visit


About Follett’s PreK-12 Business|
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 |

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach and students to learn. Every day, Follett serves more than half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett is higher education’s largest campus retailer and a hub for school spirit and community, operating more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,700 virtual stores across the continent. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.6 billion privately held company.



Free 82-Lesson Phonics Curriculum Now Available for Download


Can you turn “damp” into “dump,” then “dump” into “bump,” then “bump” into “jump?” FREEPhonics introduces young students to the building blocks of reading


Berkeley, CA – February 15 2016 – Primary Concepts, producer of PreK-3 products and curriculum, has released FREEPhonics, a new, comprehensive word building curriculum. Distributed in the form of an eBook, the curriculum is free for teachers to download at It offers 82 step-by-step lessons, beginning with the simplest CVC words and progressing sequentially through blends, digraphs, diphthongs, consonant and vowel pairs, and r-controlled vowels. The program introduces the building blocks of reading with sequential lessons that are fun, hands-on, and designed to ensure success.


FREEPhonics lessons introduce phonics patterns one-by-one, then contrast each new pattern with similar patterns. Children enjoy the multisensory word building as they construct words by physically adding, switching, and removing letters, and tend to easily retain their understandings of how letters go together to make words. Phonemic awareness skills are an intrinsic part of the word building, because children must listen carefully for the differences in words in order to build new words from previously-built words.


Phonemic awareness refers to a child’s ability to hear, understand and manipulate the smallest sounds (phonemes) in spoken words. Research has shown that children begin developing these skills as preschoolers. As described in Threads of Reading, published by ASCD, the two best predictors of how well children will learn to read during the first two years of formal reading instruction are the level of phonemic awareness that they possess and their knowledge of letters.


The program also includes:


  • Built-in printable assessments for each unit of instruction to document progress.
  • Reproducible letter tiles, sorting mats, and sorting journals.
  • A free teacher app for projecting and demonstrating the lessons to groups.


“FREEPhonics lets children experience success while building phonemic awareness skills,” said Jim Whitney, president of Primary Concepts. “Students have fun listening to different sounds in words and figuring out which letters to change to make new words. The free teacher app and printable assessments help to provide a comprehensive, engaging curriculum.”

FREEPhonics is perfect for intervention, small group, or whole class work. FREEPhonics may be downloaded at


About Primary Concepts

At Primary Concepts, we believe the early years are a unique part of a child’s development.  We focus on the essentials of the preschool and primary curriculum, emphasizing engaging, motivational, hands-on learning to build a foundation for academic success.  We translate the most current educational research and best practices, as recommended by state standards, the International Literacy Association, and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, into developmentally appropriate learning materials that offer ease of use for teachers and effective outcomes for your children.



New Guide From Boxlight Helps Educators Select and Implement

Whole-Class Interactive Technology


“A Helpful Guide to Interactive Solutions in the Classroom” helps readers make the right choice for classrooms, curriculum, teaching styles, and students.


Lawrenceville, GA – Feb. 17, 2017 – Educators now face an embarrassment of riches when it comes to choosing interactive solutions for their classes, but all that choice leaves many in a quandary. How does technology for student collaboration and small-group work complement or influence the choice of front-of-classroom technology? How do you decide between one technology and another? To help schools and districts answer these questions and more, Boxlight has published A Helpful Guide to Interactive Solutions in the Classroom, which can be downloaded at no charge from


The 14-page eBook provides guidance for selecting interactive learning solutions. For example, educators will learn the top things to consider when preparing to select front-of-classroom technology for their schools. Readers will find an in-depth overview of a variety of solutions with pros and cons to help select the tech that best aligns with their needs and learning goals.


The guide covers the following topics:


  • Top 8 factors to consider in order to buy the right interactive tools.
  • How to figure out which interactive solution will suit a particular school’s students, teachers, curriculum, and budget.
  • A list of resources to help teachers make the best use of interactive technologies such as lessons, tips, activities, training, and Boxlight’s online educator community.
  • An infographic that illustrates the size of interactive area in relation to cost and class size.


The solution overview section provides the pros and cons of different interactive whole-class solutions such as flat panels, projectors, touch boards, and portable whiteboards. It contains specifications for each solution, as well as testimonials from different educators on how a particular solution enhanced instruction and learning at their school.


“Whole-class tools put students at the center of the educational environment, so those kids will be more engaged, more collaborative, more motivated, and more prepared for their college and career experiences to come,” said Mark Elliott, CEO of Boxlight. “But while all the solutions have something to offer, students and teachers won’t reap the full benefits unless they have the solution that’s the right match for their purposes, classroom configurations, instructional delivery style, and learning needs. This guide will help schools and districts overcome many of the hurdles involved in finding that match.”


About Boxlight Corp.

The merging of Mimio and Boxlight Corp. has resulted in an expansive selection of premier digital classroom technology solutions designed for every K-12 classroom. The company is integrating Boxlight’s manufacturing of patented, award-winning interactive classroom technology and Mimio’s advanced line of classroom hardware and software solutions to create the most complete line of progressive, integrated classroom technologies available on the market today.


For more information about the extensive product offerings of the companies, please visit You can also follow us on Twitter @boxlightinc or like us on Facebook at



Vernier to Host 29 Free Data-Collection Workshops this Spring 

Workshops provide valuable PD for science and STEM educators as they learn new ways to integrate data-collection technologies into their lessons

BEAVERTON, Oregon, February 17, 2017 — Vernier Software & Technology will host 29 free, hands-on workshops this spring to help science and STEM educators learn how to use and integrate data-collection technology into their curriculum. Kicking off this month, each four-hour workshop will be led by a Vernier training specialist who will guide attendees through classroom-ready experiments using Vernier award-winning hardware, software, and mobile technologies for physics, chemistry, biology, environmental science, Earth science, and middle school science.

“Throughout the years, our hands-on workshops have provided thousands of science and STEM educators — from those new to data-collection technology to seasoned veterans — with a valuable professional development opportunity,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “During the workshops, educators gain deeper understanding of data logging as they practice instructional ideas and hear technology tips that they can incorporate into their curriculum and use to engage students in meaningful scientific discovery.”

Each workshop also includes a light meal and an electronic copy of the Vernier Workshop Training Manual, which includes ready-to-use experiment handouts for all science disciplines. Interested educators can select dates from the schedule below.

February 2017 Workshop Dates and Locations

February 22: Orlando, FL

February 23: Tampa, FL

February 27: Birmingham, AL

February 28: Atlanta, GA

March 2017 Workshop Dates and Locations

March 1: Marietta, GA

March 2: Knoxville, TN

March 4: Nashville, TN

March 6: Charleston, SC

March 8: Charlotte, NC

March 9: Greensboro, NC

April 2017 Workshop Dates and Locations

April 22: Hartford, CT

April 24: Phoenix, AZ

April 24: Westchester Co., NY

April 25: Newark, NJ

April 25: Benton/Washington Co., AR

April 26: Riverside, CA

April 26: Princeton, NJ

April 26: Little Rock, AR

April 27: Pasadena, CA

April 27: Memphis, TN

April 29: New Orleans, LA

May 2017 Workshop Dates and Locations

May 4: Philadelphia, PA

May 6: Wilmington, DE

May 8: Fresno, CA

May 8: Baltimore, MD

May 9: Stockton, CA

May 9: Arlington, VA

May 10: Sacramento, CA

May 10: Richmond, VA

To learn more and register for a Vernier data-collection workshop near you, visit

About Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier Software & Technology has led the innovation of scientific data-collection technology for 36 years. Vernier was founded by a former physics teacher and employs 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 140 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, visit