CHIPOTLE LAUNCHES ‘RAD LANDS’ TELEVISION SERIES FOR FAMILIES ON ITUNES

 

Available exclusively on iTunes and in partnership with Discovery Education, the original series highlights ways for parents and kids to make good food choices

 

DENVER, March 22, 2017 — Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today released “RAD Lands,” an original video series about food for kids between the ages of 7 and 10. The show is available exclusively on iTunes at iTunes.com/RadLands. The unbranded series, created in partnership with CAA Marketing and The Magic Store (the team behind the Daytime Emmy nominated series “Yo Gabba Gabba!”), features celebrity chefs, musicians and YouTube personalities, and is aimed at educating families about where their food comes from and how it is prepared.

 

“Chipotle is ensuring that better food is accessible to everyone,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle. “We created ‘RAD Lands’ to educate young eaters and their parents about food in an entertaining and engaging way. We don’t advertise to kids so the show is completely unbranded. We hope that it sparks conversation and curiosity among families, ideally leading to smarter and more informed choices about food.”

 

The main storytelling component of “RAD Lands” is an animated segment called “The Cultivators” that follows a small rebel squad’s epic journey to help save the galaxy’s plants and animals to preserve their access to real, fresh food. The squad is challenged by a nemesis trying to homogenize food across the galaxy and turn it all into highly processed junk food.

 

Season one will be available exclusively on iTunes in the US and Canada for $4.99, bringing the series to a wide and digital savvy audience on the world’s premium destination for music, TV and movie content. Alternatively, families can download the first episode for free, and the remaining five episodes for $1.99 each. As part of the “RAD Lands” launch and to support school lunches, Chipotle will donate $100,000 to the Chef Ann Foundation, a non-profit organization that works with schools nationwide to provide the tools and resources they need to serve healthy, nutritious, and delicious food to every student, every day.

 

“RAD Lands” continues Chipotle’s tradition of producing innovative unbranded content focusing on fresh ingredients and a wholesome lifestyle. The series was created by Chipotle in partnership with CAA Marketing and The Magic Store, one of the most respected producers of children’s television and the team behind the popular television series “Yo Gabba Gabba!” The culinary and musical talent appearing in “RAD Lands” include chefs Amanda Freitag, Michael Voltaggio, and Duff Goldman, along with musicians Neon Trees, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Biz Markie and Portugal. The Man, among others.

 

“Chipotle and the ‘RAD Lands’ series are a great fit with the values of my foundation,” said Ann Cooper, founder of the Chef Ann Foundation. “We are thrilled with the generous support from Chipotle and iTunes through this program, and hope it encourages others to contribute what they can to influence future generations’ views on food.”

 

Discovery Education Partnership Enhances Program Benefits

 

To enhance the program’s reach to educators and students, Chipotle is partnering with Discovery Education, a leading provider of digital education content for K-12 classrooms, for RAD Lands In School. In this online program for elementary students launching later this spring, RAD Lands episodes will be paired with lesson plans and activities that have been developed by Discovery Education’s award winning curriculum team. These no-cost resources incorporate music, animation, and live-action segments to teach students key health and science content, including the benefits of eating fresh food, the importance of caring for our environment, and how to create healthy and tasty snacks. These engaging lessons and activities can be used as stand-alone materials or integrated into elementary health and science curriculum. Additionally, Discovery Education will host an original, nation-wide virtual field trip this fall for students and teachers that will combine food literacy experts and the RAD Lands content for a real-time learning experience. More information can be found at www.RADlandsinschool.com.

 

“RAD Lands In School offers educators and students a way to explore where fresh food comes fromand how it can support a healthy lifestyle in a fun and compelling way,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of Discovery Education. “We are pleased to partner with Chipotle on this effort to start conversations with students about health and nutrition, farming and food, through vibrant content and easy to use activities.”

 

“Every student should be knowledgeable about making good food choices and RAD Lands in School will help to support my health classroom lessons in a new and engaging way while also providing activities for the family at home,” said Brandon Wislocki, fifth grade teacher at Stonegate Elementary (Irvine Unified School District) in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

 

“Through ‘RAD Lands,’ we wanted to create a show for families to watch together that engages and teaches without preaching,” said Scott Schultz, “Yo Gabba Gabba!” creator and executive producer at The Magic Store. “We achieved that goal through a combination of animation, music and live action throughout the series.” To learn more about Rad Lands, visit chipotle.com/radlands. To download episodes of the show, visit iTunes.com/RadLands.

 

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, Founder, Chairman and CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in an interactive style allowing people to get exactly what they want. Chipotle seeks out extraordinary ingredients that are not only fresh, but that are raised responsibly, with respect for the animals, land, and people who produce them. Chipotle prepares its food using whole, unprocessed ingredients and without the use of added colors, flavors or other additives typically found in fast food. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,200 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

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VariQuest Combines STEM Curriculum and 3D Printing for the K-12 Market at the ASCD Empower17 Conference

With new CREATE Packages, educators now have access to a powerful suite of hands-on projects and career-based knowledge solutions

 

(Brooklyn Park, MN) March 21, 2017 — Varitronics, creator of the VariQuest® suite of solutions and leading provider of visual and kinesthetic learning tools for the K-12 market, is pleased to introduce its CREATE Packages. The standards-aligned, STEM-based curriculum directly integrates with VariQuest 3D printers to bring ideas to life through hands-on learning.

 

Designed in partnership with STEM Fuse, a premier developer of K-12 digital curriculum, the engaging STEM:IT content is designed to fit any LMS. When used in tandem with the VariQuest Trifecta 800 3D printer, the STEM:IT curriculum provides kinesthetic enrichment to lessons in any subject. Both the printer and the curriculum will be on display at the ASCD Empower17 Conference, which begins on March 25.

 

The STEM:IT curriculum is unique to VariQuest. It offers educators an easy way to incorporate 3D printing into their lessons, so they aren’t just acquiring a new piece of technology for their classroom, but also a new way of engaging students in relevant, 21st-century, hands-on learning.

 

STEM:IT provides 80+ lessons for elementary through high school students, including skills such as coding, 3D design, and engineering. Each lesson contains a 3D printing project and anchor visual that reinforces the topic. Teacher’s Guides are included in every lesson to help teachers coach students as they explore what it means to become next-generation problem solvers. STEM:IT also aligns with applicable state and national standards, including Common Core, ISTE, Next Generation Science, 21st Century, and CTE.

 

The CREATE Packages, which include the Trifecta 800 3D printer and STEM:IT curriculum, were designed specifically for enhancing K-12 students’ education. The Trifecta 800 has a small footprint but a large printing capacity (it can print 3D objects as tall as a soccer ball), making it a convenient choice for classrooms. The simple software doesn’t require previous 3D-printing knowledge or experience, and the printer is one of the quietest on the market. Unlike enclosed printers, the Trifecta 800 gives students a 270º+ bird’s-eye view of their creations while they are printing.

 

“By bundling the curriculum [STEM:IT] with the hardware [Trifecta 800], VariQuest has provided a solution to effectively marry pedagogy with technology,” said David Grey, the CEO of Varitronics. “When students have the chance to apply their knowledge through hands-on learning activities, it shows them that what they learn in class has real-world applications, and gets them excited about taking charge of their own learning.”

 

VariQuest provides free resources for its customers in its online resource center. Resources include additional lesson plans, classroom activities, design templates, units of study, and professional development webinars for educators. The resource center also provides product training and tech support.

 

For more about these and other products, request a meeting, or simply visit VariQuest.com.

 

About Varitronics

Varitronics provides easy-to-use solutions that facilitate visual and kinesthetic learning. Our VariQuest® suite of products includes the award-winning Perfecta® Series Full Color Poster Printers, Trifecta™ 800 3D Printer with STEM curriculum, Design Center (powered by VariQuest Software), Cutout Maker, Poster Maker, Awards Maker, and Cold Laminator. Educators use the tools to differentiate instruction, improve student achievement, and increase student engagement. Our vision is to become a leading technology integrator for education and information purposes. For more information about VariQuest visual and kinesthetic learning tools, visit Variquest.com.

 

 

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The Center for Education Reform Releases the 17th Edition of its
National Charter School Law Rankings & Scorecard

Washington, D.C. — The Center for Education Reform (CER) today released its annual ranking of charter school laws for the states and the District of Columbia, giving fewer than a quarter of state charter school laws in the U.S. above-average grades.

“It’s a troubling commentary,” said CER founder and CEO Jeanne Allen. “Too many laws are not being implemented as envisioned when they were adopted, and it is stifling the effectiveness and growth charter schools of across the country.” CER gave above-average grades to only 25 percent of school laws—a significant drop from past rankings, which, as recently as 2014, had half the schools earning above-average marks.

In addition to reviewing the environment for chartering in each state over the past several months, CER consulted more than 100 stakeholders representing three-quarters of schools across the country.

The CER rankings evaluate whether a state’s charter law enables citizens to create schools that are independent in oversight and operations, are beyond the reach of traditional school bureaucracies, have wide latitude to operate and innovate, and provide parents with many options when deciding which schools will best meet the needs of their children. An analysis of the rankings provides further details of the charter law scorecard.

One of the key findings of the research conducted for this year’s report was the identification of what the analysis described as ‘uber authorizers’— new, or existing, regulatory bodies that are given the power to regulate and revise rules.

“The uber-authorizer provisions put state agencies in control, which is the antithesis of the core philosophical concept of charter schools: that they’re independent of such control and free to innovate, experiment, and offer opportunities that aren’t found in traditional schools,” said Allen.

In the current assessment only the District of Columbia, Arizona and Indiana earned an A. Those earning B’s were: Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts and South Carolina.

Compared to its 2015 rankings, CER lowered the grades of 13 states:  Minnesota and Michigan from A to B; Utah, Missouri and Idaho from B to C; Delaware, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Maine and Illinois form C to D; and Alaska and Iowa from D to F.

The two states that improved their rankings the most from 2015 to 2016 were Massachusetts, which jumped from 27th place to 10th and North Carolina which moved from 23rd place to 13th. Three states experienced double digit drops in their rankings; Washington fell from 28th to 40th, Delaware dropped from 21st to 31st, and Ohio went from 14th to 24th.

Joining the pack this year for the first time is Kentucky, ranked as if it were implemented as written in law. Because of uncertainty over funding and other issues, it merits only a high D.

Additional analysis can be found at www.edreform.com and a comprehensive report is forthcoming.

About the Center for Education Reform

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.

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President & CEO of The Virtual High School Named Finalist

in 2017 EdTech Digest Awards Program

 

Boston — March 20, 2107 —The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) has even more reasons to celebrate its 20th year in education. Today, the company announced that President & CEO, Carol Ribeiro, was named a finalist in the Leadership category of the 2017 EdTech Digest Awards program.

 

As the President & CEO of VHS, Ribeiro is passionate about providing students with equal access to quality education, and has dedicated the last 17 years to helping shape The Virtual High School’s online learning program. She joined VHS shortly after its inception and her enthusiasm for combining technology and education to make a difference for students helped VHS successfully transition in 2001 from grant-funding to a self-sustaining nonprofit organization. Twenty years later, the collaborative has expanded from its initial cohort of 30 schools to its current participation of more than 700!

 

During Ribeiro’s time at VHS, the organization has won numerous awards globally, 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.

“The entire VHS team works tirelessly to provide quality online education through our student-centered global classrooms and rigorous professional development in online teaching methodologies for educators”, said Ribeiro. “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized among my peers for my role as President & CEO of this amazing organization.”

The competitive EdTech Digest awards program recognizes outstanding solutions and the best and brightest minds in the education and technology sector. In addition to the leadership category, this year’s program featured dozens of categories, including best new product or services, academic gaming solutions, hardware products, and more.

 

A distinguished panel of industry influencers and veterans conducted this year’s evaluation proceedings. “There is a great deal of talent and quality out there, and we’re excited to recognize these Cool Tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space,” said Victor Rivero who oversees the program as editor-in-chief of EdTech Digest. “There are now thousands of startups, apps, and companies working in edtech, more than ever before. Shining a spotlight on the best and brightest, we intend to generate even more activity in this sector to continue pushing forward a slow revolution for the benefit of future generations.”

 

A full list of this year’s award finalists can be found at https://edtechdigest.wordpress.com/2017/03/09/2017-finalists-winners with winners being announced this week.

 

About The Virtual High School Inc.

The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization 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.

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Edgenuity’s Math Solution Receives Department of Education Recognition

 

What Works Clearinghouse Validates Positive Student Results

 

Scottsdale, AZ – Edgenuity, a leading provider of online and blended learning, today announced that its Odyssey® Math program shows “evidence of a positive effect” according to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The positive rating, given by DOE’s highly regarded What Works Clearinghouse, was based on a review of three studies in grades 4-8, with researchers finding medium to large evidence for its conclusion.

 

Odyssey® Math – the foundation for Edgenuity’s Pathblazer® − is a comprehensive math program administered in schools nationwide from grades K-8. In August 2016 Edgenuity acquired Compass Learning, which created Odyssey Math and enhanced the product under the new name, Pathblazer.

 

“What Works Clearinghouse is the definitive source of effective products for schools,” said Sari Factor, CEO of Edgenuity. “Their report underscores what we’ve known for a long time – the potential of education technology to benefit the teaching and learning of students. We are confident that Pathblazer – our enhanced product built on the foundation of Odyssey Math – can continue the legacy of driving strong academic outcomes.”

 

Pathblazer provides a customized learning path for each student that balances computational fluency, conceptual understanding, problem-solving application, and persistence in math. Across grade levels, students engage in problem solving in order to apply what they have learned in the context of real-world situations. Pathblazer engages students, builds mathematical fluency, and addresses the components of mathematics in the following ways:

 

  • Graduated Development: Students focus on building a solid understanding of operations with whole numbers. With this foundation, students can bridge to more complex work with rational numbers, including fractions, decimals, ratios, and percentages.
  • Teaching the Language of Math: The math curriculum offers mathematical vocabulary features that help students focus on the meaning of mathematical terms in everyday language.
  • Multiple Representations: Students develop an ability to visualize mathematical ideas by showing concepts in multiple representations.
  • Word Problem Visualization: Pathblazer offers special lessons that focus on applying key skills in word problems.
  • Real-time Data: Available for teachers via dashboard and progress reports that display information at the single-student and group level, showing school and district engagement, progress, and achievement data.

 

In January 2017, the What Works Clearinghouse reviewed three studies that documented the impact of Odyssey Math on the achievement of 2,768 students in 41 schools. Two of the studies met the What Works Clearinghouse’s highly sought after rating of having “evidence standards without reservations.”

 

To read the report, click here.

 

To learn more about Pathblazer, click here.

 

About Edgenuity

Edgenuity is a leading provider of online curriculum, supplemental material and instructional services for the K-12 market. Our solutions are in use in 9 of the top 15 school districts in the U.S., helping schools meet their academic goals and improving student outcomes. Our rigorous, standards-aligned digital content is fully flexible for use in any online or blended learning model to support a personalized learning environment – from elementary through high school. We offer honors and Advanced Placement courses, credit recovery, intervention and test readiness. Edgenuity’s Blended Learning Services, Instructional Services and Professional Development offerings, as well as intervention programs such as Edgenuity MyPath® and Pathblazer® by Compass Learning®, help students, educators and districts achieve success in their online learning programs. For more information, visit Edgenuity.com.

 

 

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itslearning Partners with Gooru to Become First LMS to Offer 35 Courses in Science, Mathematics, English Language Arts and Social Studies in Platform

BOSTON — March 21, 2017itslearning, an award-winning learning management system (LMS) developer announced a strategic development in its partnership with Gooru, a nonprofit organization that curates and vets open educational resources (OERs). For the first time in the K-12 market, educators can now access complete online curricula for more than 35 teacher-curated courses in core subject areas, including science, mathematics, English language arts and social studies.

The availability of courses is the most recent development of the two organizations’ strategic alliance, first announced May 2016. The first phase of the company’s joint development resulted in a seamless integration of 1.7 million of Gooru’s high-quality resources and 14,000 collections (organized sets of resources) within the itslearning platform. Tagged with quality metadata, these resources provide a vast embedded library of discoverable resources for immediate use in lesson plan. Now, a range of core courses across subject areas, each containing resources, collections, and assessments, offers educators an additional advantage.

“With all this high-quality, vetted, and standards-aligned content readily available directly within our LMS, itslearning is truly a single hub for curriculum and instruction,” said Arne Bergby, CEO of itslearning. “This vast library allows districts to reduce their reliance on expensive publisher content. In addition, itslearning allows curriculum leaders and teachers to remix and customize content collections and courses to meet the personalized instruction needs of individual students and the performance objectives of entire districts.”

Courses offer educators tremendous flexibility. They can be copied and customized to support diverse student needs and varied instructional models such as blended learning or project-based learning. Each course provides educators with content and assessments organized into units and lessons to easily share with students.

“Our two organizations are the first to create such an offer for students and educators,” said Dr. Prasad Ram, CEO of Gooru. “These teacher-curated courses have been vetted and reviewed for quality. And, as with all of our resources, they are aimed at guiding all students toward positive learning outcomes rather than focusing on certifications, specific state accreditations or summative assessments. ”

The extensive amount of resources pales to other LMS offerings.  With itslearning, educators can tap into learning objects, such as websites, interactives, educational games, questions, digital text, and videos, that have been curated and organized from over 500 sources, such as PBS, Smithsonian, NBC Learn, NASA, National Geographic, and Algebra Lab. Resources span language arts, math, social sciences, science, world languages, visual and performing arts, career technical education, health and physical education, personal finance and 21st-century skills.

“We believe the Gooru content in the itslearning library will allow our teachers to quickly find high quality content for their students,” said Michele Eaton, Director of Virtual & Blended Learning for the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. “Currently, too much time is wasted sifting through endless pages of Google results or various social networks to find just the right content. With a few simple clicks in the itslearning library, our teachers can filter down to some of the best educational content on the web. That content can then be easily transferred to the students. Our teachers save time and find better materials because of the growing number of resources in the LMS library.”

For more information, go to https://itslearning.com/us/gooru

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Second Avenue Learning Welcomes Director of Research and Learning Design
Cimbricz expands learning and instructional design expertise at Rochester-based interactive media company

Rochester, N.Y. (March 21, 2017) – Second Avenue Learning, a leader in the design and development of serious games and interactive learning environments for K-12, higher education and corporate markets, expands its leadership team with Director of Research and Learning Design Sandra Cimbricz, Ph.D. To support Second Avenue Learning’s initiatives to improve how learning is experienced, applied and measured, Cimbricz will partner with clients and subject matter experts to provide cutting-edge, research-based solutions.

For the full release, click here.

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Schoology Expands Partner Ecosystem With BrainPOP Integration
BrainPOP offers free trial to all Schoology Enterprise customers 

NEW YORK (March 22, 2017) – Schoology, Inc., the leader in learning management systems (LMS) for education, understands that educator and student success requires an ecosystem of content partners and learning tools. Schoology’s integration with BrainPOP makes it easier to access BrainPOP content with single sign-on and embed links to content within individual educators’ curriculum.

BrainPOP’s digital, cross-curricular content is used by many Schoology Enterprise customers. The integration unifies the user experience for both students and educators. To raise awareness of the integration, BrainPOP is offering an extended free trial to all Schoology Enterprise users for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.

For the full release, click here.

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