San Antonio, TX (May 17, 2017) – Today, Discovery Education, a leading provider of digital content and professional development in K-12 schools; USAA; and the Texas ASCD, an association for teaching, learning and leading, announced a new multi-year investment to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career development and financial literacy in San Antonio-area middle and high schools. Named STEMvest, this innovative education initiative will reach thousands of educators and students in middle and high schools across area public school districts.


Made possible by philanthropic support from USAA, this regional education initiative empowers area educators with the dynamic digital resources and professional development they need to create a culture of STEM teaching and learning in their classrooms. The digital learning environments created by this program will improve the STEM and financial literacy skills of area students, and will prepare them for success beyond graduation. The program is offered at no cost to participating school districts.


STEMvest resources available to educators, students and families through this initiative include:

  • STEMinars: Dynamic visual, on-demand online professional development for San Antonio educators that provide a foundational understanding of STEM and highlight program resources.
  • Science Techbook™: An award-winning digital textbook for middle school students in San Antonio that includes hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities that help teach students to read, write, and think like scientists.
  • Financial Literacy Interactives: Engaging, digital experiences to help teach high school students how to make responsible choices about personal finance. These self-paced activities align to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and are perfect for in-class instruction, self-directed student engagement or at-home learning with the family.
  • STEMCamp: A series of standards-aligned curricula for use as part of summer camps, after-school STEM programs or wherever support is needed. STEMCamp combines hands-on labs, engineering challenges, digital investigations, and more – all designed to immerse kids in the grand challenges of science set forth by the National Academy of Engineering.


Educators at Northside Independent School District’s Anson Jones Middle School will participate in Discovery Education’s STEMFormationmodel, which provides specialized focus and instruction on STEM education and professional development. A comprehensive, three-year system of professional development, STEMformation helps educators strengthen and sustain a culture of STEM at individual school sites and guides educators as they master STEM instructional strategies. Northside educators will also be empowered to create modern digital learning environments with Discovery Education Streaming Plus™, a comprehensive service of standards-aligned digital resources to supplement instruction across all curricular areas and address multiple learning styles.


“A great STEM experience can really jumpstart a student’s engagement in learning,” said Deborah Rice, K-12 STEM Specialist, in Judson ISD. “With the new digital resources and professional development I’ll be receiving from Discovery Education through the STEMvest program, I’ll have the tools and know-how I need to create a great STEM learning environment and encourage responsible financial decision-making.”


“It’s a powerful combination to deliver STEM and financial programs together,” said Harriet Dominique, USAA senior vice president of corporate responsibility. “Conversations with area administrators and teachers made clear the need for results-driven STEM professional development for teachers and relevant, engaging STEM and financial literacy content for students to help them better prepare for future careers. USAA is thrilled to support this effort for the San Antonio community.”

In addition, the Discovery Education Community will support the educators in STEMvest districts 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.


“Texas ASCD is committed to helping our states’ education leaders evolve their professional practice to meet the changing needs of today’s students,” said Dr. Yolanda Rey, Executive Director of Texas ASCD. “This initiative will provide educators across the San Antonio area with proven digital resources and strategies they can immediately integrate into classroom instruction to support the success of all learners.”


“Discovery Education is proud to join forces with USAA and Texas ASCD in support of our shared mission to provide San Antonio area students the STEM and financial literacy skills they need to find success in college and career,” said Phillip Mikula, Director – Education Partnerships, Discovery Education. “Together, we are delivering to educators the dynamic digital resources and professional development they need to create immersive learning experiences for all students. We look forward to collaborating closely with the talented teams at both TXASCD and USAA on this outstanding education initiative.”


To learn more about STEMvest, please visit www.STEMVestSA.com


About USAA

The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 12 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit usaa.com.


About Texas ASCD

Founded in 1947, Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Texas ASCD) is a non-profit organization committed to improving teaching and learning for the success of all learners. It has a diverse membership of approximately 2,500 superintendents, principals, teachers, curriculum directors, staff developers, students and professors. Texas ASCD is a state affiliate of International ASCD. In the ever-changing world of education, Texas ASCD remains on the cutting edge of educator needs. What remains unchanged, and as vibrant today as it was in its infancy, is the commitment and dedication to lifelong learning for educators. Texas ASCD has 12 regional affiliates, spanning the state. Regional affiliates, the liaison between Texas ASCD and local schools, concentrate on regional policy issues, and offer professional learning to their members. For more information, please visit: www.txascd.org

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.


IO Education Expands Leadership Team To Continue Accelerating Growth

Leader in education technology sets bold vision for 2017

ATLANTA – May 18, 2017 – IO Education, a market leader in helping educators use data to improve outcomes, has announced an expansion of its leadership team as the company seeks to build on its strong growth in 2016. As part of this expansion, Eric Masters has joined as Chief Marketing Officer and Robbie Payne has joined as Vice President of Operations. Additionally, Eric Miller, who has been with IO Education for the past two years, has been promoted to vice president of product management.

“IO Education has undergone significant growth over the past few years through key partnerships and acquisitions. These additions to our leadership team will continue to propel IO Education’s growth forward,” said Michael Williamson, chief executive officer of IO Education. “We have ambitious plans for 2017 and view these new hires as an important step forward.”

To read the full release, please click here.




Two winners will be awarded with a $5,000 Grand Prize to Implement Plan of Action Plus Other Prizes; Special In-School Assembly To be Held On May 18, 2017–


–Runner-Up Schools Receive $2,500 Grants and Prizes


New York, NY (May 18, 2017).  Recognizing that big change starts with small steps, today, Comic Relief Inc. announced the winners for the Red Nose Challenge, as part of its Red Nose Day in School program. Two grand prize winners were chosen for grades 3-5 and 6-8, based on their creative videos explaining how they plan to make a difference for children living in poverty.  They are receiving $5,000 to implement their plan of action or donate to a charitable organization, as well as a video equipment package for the team leader and individual prize packs for each team member. View videos here.


Grand Prize Winners include:


Student Team (William McKnight, Anajiah Edwards, Jermaine Edwards, Branniyah Taylor) from Manatee Charter, Manatee Elementary and Samoset Elementary Schools of the School District of Manatee County in Bradenton, FL

Student Team (Rakshita Gorrepati, Elizabeth Ryan, Ansley Cachuela) from Lakeside Middle School of Forsyth County School District in Cumming, GA


The Red Nose Day in School program is about educating students on the important issue of child poverty, and empowering and inspiring them to make a difference. The program is just one element of the broader Red Nose Day campaign, which launched in the U.S. in 2015 with a mission to end child poverty. The third annual Red Nose Day in America will take place next week, on May 25, 2017, raising awareness and funds to keep children in need safe, healthy and educated – both here in the U.S. and around the world.  A student team in Grades 3-5 from Bradenton, Florida including William McKnight of Manatee Charter, Anajiah Edwards, and Jermaine Edwards of Manatee Elementary School and Branniyah Taylor of Samoset Elementary School and a student team from Lakeview Middle School in Cumming, GA including Rakshita Gorrepati, Elizabeth Ryan, and Ansley Cachuela, best showcased their idea to make a difference for children living in poverty, as well as one statistic or fact on the issue, and why everyone should care. Even though the winners of the Red Nose Challenge are announced, you can still organize your own fundraiser and donate to the cause – your donation will truly make a big difference for children in need. Find out how your school can get involved and access fundraiser tookits atrednosedayinschool.org


Additionally, Comic Relief Inc. announced second place teams and People’s Choice winners, who were voted on by the general public.


2nd place schools include:

  • Grades 3-5 Student Team, Homeschooled in Bellevue, WA including Frances “Frankie” Arendale and Mary Jane Arendale
  • Grade 6-8 Student Team from Steelville Middle School in Steelville, MO including Dalton Hutson, Abigale Ireland, Emma Kreitner, Margaret Yeomans


People’s Choice winners include:

  • Grade 3-5 Student Team from Nellie F. Bennett Elementary School in Point Pleasant, NJ
  • Including Ryan Acquisto, Lindsey Ludwig, Samuel Hankins, Jordan Davidson
  • Grades 6-8 Student team from Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto, CA
  • Including: Boston Abrams, Joshua Yang, Noa Shoval, Kyle Ethan Heller


These runners up in grades 3-5 and 6-8 win $2,500 to implement their plan of action or donate to a charitable organization and an iPad for the team leader. People’s Choice Winners in each grade band receive a $250 gift certificate.  All entries were evaluated based on their originality, advocacy, action plan and presentation.


The Challenge included a two-part classroom activity engaging students on the issue of poverty by first viewing videos, and/or researching on their own, and participating in group discussion; and second, by engaging with the concept of empathy using role-playing activities. Students work to understand empathy as the ability to step into the shoes of another person, and specifically what life is like for children living in poverty.


Comic Relief Inc. worked with Discovery Education to deliver the Red Nose Day in School program and the Red Nose Challenge, leveraging their expertise in reaching students and teachers across the U.S.  For more information, please visit: http://www.rednosedayinschool.org/challenge


About Red Nose Day   

Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief Inc., a registered U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity. Red Nose Day started in the U.K., built on the foundation that the power of entertainment can drive positive change, and has raised over $1 billion globally since the campaign’s founding in 1988. Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015 with a mission to raise money and awareness to end child poverty, and has raised over $60 million to date for the cause. Red Nose Day 2017 will take place on Thursday, May 25. Money raised goes to the Red Nose Day Fund, which supports programs that keep children in need safe, healthy and educated, both in America and abroad. Beneficiaries include the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; charity: water; Children’s Health Fund; Feeding America; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; National Council of La Raza; Save the Children; and The Global Fund. Since launching in the U.S., Red Nose Day has received generous support from millions of Americans, hundreds of celebrities and many outstanding partners, including Walgreens, NBC, Mars, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


About Discovery Education

A leader in educational technology, Discovery Education partners with K-12 districts and like-minded partners to strategically support the shift from print to digital learning environments.  Providing the highest quality digital content (digital textbooks) and professional development, Discovery Education is increasing student achievement for over 50M students and 4.5M teachers worldwide. Learn more:  www.discoveryeducation.com.


Follett Announces Partnership with Unbound Concepts’ Artifact

Platform Empowers Teachers, Librarians to Work Together to Recommend Best Content


MCHENRY, Ill. and BALTIMORE, May 17, 2017 – Folletttoday announced it has entered into a partnership withUnbound Concepts and its flagship platform, Artifact,which helps districts, teachers, librarians and curriculum buyers discover the best content for their students. Artifact catalogs the topics, themes, concepts, educational objectives and literary elements in content — all of which can now be found as enhanced metadata tags withinTitlewave, Follett’s powerful collection development and curriculum support tool.

According to Katie Palencsar, CEO/Founder of Unbound Concepts, the Artifact platform’s metadata tags are pulled from a fixed set of more than 700 terms that describe content, encompassing topics, themes, literary and educational elements.

“Each tag includes descriptive information and a text snippet showing how the concept appears in the text,” Palencsar said. “Artifact supports a common language between teachers and librarians, which empowers stakeholders to work together to recommend the right books for a curriculum, classroom or student. Plus, it allows publishers to highlight, through search and discovery, critical elements in their text to better sell into schools and libraries.”

Nader Qaimari, President for Follett School Solutions, said the partnership is a first step toward developing universal meta-tagging for K-12 instructional content incorporation, and added the use of Artifact in Titlewave will provide educators the opportunity to curate titles and lists based on specific topics, themes and curriculum elements.

“Artifact provides assurance that targeted curriculum elements exist in the texts purchased and assigned to classrooms,” Qaimari said.“Artifact also provides a way to develop collections around a district’s scope and sequence. This partnership will allow us to provide evidence-based curation, meaning when a teacher or librarian assigns a particular text—print or digital— it supports exactly what a student needs and aligns to their instructional objective.”

Each Artifact includes three key items: 1) an artifact type, which is selected from Unbound Concepts’ taxonomy; 2) a rationale, which is written by a teacher and shows how and why the artifact is in the text; and 3) a quotation from the text to provide direct evidence.

Unbound Concepts partners with a variety of book distributors and publishers, including Baker & Taylor, which Follett acquired more than a year ago.

To learn more about Follett, visit www.follettlearning.com. To learn more about Unbound Concepts, visitwww.unboundconcepts.com.


About Unbound Concepts | www.unboundconcepts.com

Unbound Concepts is a technology company founded by educators to improve the way teachers, librarians and curriculum buyers discover the content that best serves their students and patrons. Its flagship platform, Artifact Access™, tags publishers’ content using an extensive Artifact taxonomy identifying topics, themes, educational characteristics, literary elements and teaching standards, going far beyond traditional metadata. Artifacts inform and support the discovery of books, and serve as pre-reading tools and post-reading strategies for readers.


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 stores, 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.



Schoology Unveils Session Details and Keynote Lineup for User Conference
Educators from more than 50 school districts and universities confirmed as speakers

NEW YORK (May 18, 2017) – Schoology, the leader in learning management systems (LMS) for education, announced today the release of session details, keynote speakers and additional sponsors to Schoology NEXT, the company’s fourth annual user conference. Users attending the conference can now customize their schedules for the event to take place July 24-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

For the full release, please click here.

Virtual High School Opens Registration for 2017-18 School Year


Boston — May 16, 2017 — Educational experts advocate exposing students to a wide variety of topics to motivate learning and encourage exploration of potential career options. The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.), a non-profit empowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs, helps educators expand learning opportunities with middle and high school core, Advanced Placement® and elective courses, including an extensive range of STEM options, that enable schools to supplement their own offerings. Registration for in the 2017-18 school year is now open.


VHS offers more than 200 courses, including 23 College Board approved Advanced Placement® courses. One of the recent additions is AP® Computer Science Principles, an introductory college-level computer science course designed to appeal to all students in grades 10-12, not just those interested in STEM subjects. The goal of AP® CSP is to promote success across all disciplines in today’s technology-driven society by cultivating logical thinking, problem-solving skills, and creativity in students with diverse backgrounds and interests.


In addition to AP® courses, students have the opportunity to take interesting and unique electives such as Business and Personal Law, Psychology of Crime,and Screenwriting Fundamentals. These courses stimulate students’ interests and expose them to possible career options. Elective courses also include an extensive range of STEM options such as Climate Science, Web Design,Engineering Principles, and Business Math.


“VHS partners with schools to help resolve curriculum issues due to budget, scheduling and staffing constraints. These issues limit the variety of courses most schools can offer. Our wide range of advanced courses and unique electives helps schools in more than 40 states and 30 countries. With VHS, schools can cost-effectively provide new and exciting learning options for their students,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of VHS. “When students have choices, they’re much more likely to take ownership of their learning and consider college majors and career paths that may have never occurred to them otherwise. We love helping students succeed both in the classroom and in life.”


About The Virtual High School

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 middle and high school online courses for students and professional development for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development, individualized course offerings, and support for blended learning initiatives. 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.