City Year Webinar Offers Insight on using Mentors to Improve Social-Emotional Skills of At-Risk Youth


Webinar hosted by Aperture Education Aug. 9, 2017 will explore City Year’s use of mentors and SEL data for progress monitoring


Charlotte N.C. (July 7, 2017) — Providing at-risk youth with opportunities to develop positive relationships and social-emotional skills can have a dramatic impact on their success in school and life. City Year, which supports schools with high dropout rates in 27 cities across the country, will lead a webinar at 2 p.m. EDTAug. 9, 2017, to share how it has achieved success in this area.


The webinar “Case Study: Using Near-Peer Mentors to Progress Monitor & Foster Social-Emotional Skills” will highlight how City Year AmeriCorps members support students’ social-emotional health by providing individual support to students who need it the most. Schools in the program use the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) for progress monitoring.


The webinar is hosted by social-emotional learning (SEL) company Aperture Education. To register, visit It will feature three members of City Year’s National Program Design and Impact Analytics teams.


  • Kara Bradley is lead evaluation analyst for City Year. She manages the collection and interpretation of social-emotional data.


  • Ashley Kurth is senior director of evaluation strategy and operations for City Year. She supports City Year’s use of data and analytics for monitoring student progress, measuring impact, and continuous improvement.


  • Lisa Klane is national manager of student engagement initiatives for City Year. As part of the National Program Design Team, she creates tools and resources to support AmeriCorps members across the country in running interventions and events to foster social emotional learning and development with their students.


“City Year is a great example of the impact that data-driven mentoring can have on at-risk youth,” said Aperture Education CEO Jessica Adamson. “Our webinar with Kara, Ashley and Lisa will provide a deeper look at what City Year is doing and provide advice on how schools and organizations can achieve success in this area.”


The webinar is part of Aperture Education’s ongoing work to support educators, administers and out-of-school-time providers in implementing social-emotional learning programs within their schools. Aperture Education provides strength-based assessments and resilience-building resources to help organizations address the whole child. Its goal is to ensure members of school and out-of-school time communities, including adults, have the social and emotional skills needed to thrive.


Aperture Education offers products and services to support SEL programs, including Evo Social/Emotional, a K-8 online assessment and intervention tool. It uses the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) to help educators measure students’ SEL skills and implement individualized, classroom and school-wide strategies for instruction and intervention.



About Aperture Education

Aperture Education is a social enterprise focused on addressing the whole child. Its social-emotional learning (SEL) solution, Evo Social/Emotional, is based on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strengths-based measure of critical social and emotional skills such as personal responsibility, self-management, relationship skills and healthy decision-making. The Evo Social/Emotional online platform includes both the DESSA assessment and the DESSA-Mini, a brief, universal screener of social and emotional competence. Evo Social/Emotional also provides strategies to strengthen social and emotional skills. Version 2.0, now available, provides the data needed to help SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and to help educators understand students’ SEL needs and strengths. For more information, go to



myON Partners with NELSON to Personalize Literacy Learning in Canada

The award-winning personalized literacy platform is now available to Canadian educators and students

(Minneapolis, MN) July 12, 2017 — myON, leading provider of digital literacy solutions, and NELSON, Canada’s leading education provider, have entered into a strategic partnership to personalize literacy learning for pre-kindergarten to 8th-grade classrooms. NELSON will take an exclusive role in sales, support, professional development, and marketing of the myON personalized literacy platform in Canada.

“We pride ourselves on providing access to the most engaging titles available to students throughout the world,” said Todd Brekhus, president of myON. “Through our partnership with NELSON, Canadian students will have 24/7/365 access to over 10,000 digital books with innovative supports to further engage in learning and support their academic achievement.”

The unlimited access that myON’s users receive through their digital literacy ecosystem complements NELSON’s long-standing, pedagogically sound learning products. With their individual accounts, students will have access to an enhanced digital reading experience through a digital library customized to their individual interests and reading ability. Literacy tools within the platform support independent reading and project-based learning modules. Educators can access embedded metrics to monitor each student’s reading activity to gain analytics and insights to inform teaching and student development.

“All of us at Nelson recognize and value the growing importance of personalized reading and learning in today’s modern classroom,” said Steve Brown, NELSON President and CEO. “Our partnership with myON will enable us to further augment our digital literacy offering, and deliver on our commitment to ensuring that Canadian classrooms have access to world-class resources and learning experiences.”

About myON
myON is an award-winning personalized literacy environment that incorporates a state-of-the art learning platform, enhanced digital reading content including five daily news articles written for students, The Lexile® Framework for Reading, cutting-edge literacy tools, and embedded metrics to monitor activity and growth. Robust professional development ensures that educators have the support needed to effectively implement myON. Together, these components power a Literacy Ecosystem that is built upon five pillars: personalization, unparalleled content, unlimited access, collaboration, and success.

NELSON is Canada’s largest and leading educational publisher. NELSON believes in the evolution of life-long education and dedicates its business efforts to the creation of quality, innovative solutions that support the needs of every student, teacher and instructor to empower learning success. For more information about NELSON, please visit us at or find us on Facebook and Twitter.


Lesson Planet Honored as SIIA CODiE Award Finalist 

The resource discovery engine earned the prestigious industry recognition in the category of Best Digital Aggregation & Sharing Solution

(WASHINGTON D.C.) July 11, 2017 — Lesson Planet, an online resource discovery engine providing educator-curated content for K-12 classrooms, today announced that its platform was named a 2017 SIIA CODiE Award finalist in the Best Digital Aggregation & Sharing Solution category. Finalists represent applications, products, and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services, and related technologies across the pre-K–20 sector.

With the Lesson Planet Enterprise solution for schools and districts, educators can search more than 350,000 free and open online educational resources that have been curated, reviewed, and rated by experienced, subject-specific teachers in accordance with Lesson Planet’s rigorous evaluation rubric.

Lesson Planet enables teachers to quickly find just the right resources that include expert educator evaluations, teaching tips, classroom considerations, pros and cons, aligned standards, resource-specific metadata, and URLs to curriculum resource types including lesson plans, units, videos, worksheets, presentations, activities, and apps. Teachers can search resources by grade, subject, resource type, state standard, teaching strategy, and more.

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier awards for the software and information industries, and have been recognizing product excellence for more than 30 years. Lesson Planet was honored as one of 160 finalists in the 34 education technology categories. The CODiE Awards are the industry’s only peer-reviewed awards program. Educators and administrators serve as judges and conduct the first-round review of all education nominees. Their scores determine the CODiE Award finalists, and SIIA members then vote on the finalist products.


“I am impressed by the level of innovation and creativity demonstrated by the 2017 CODiE award finalists,” said Bridget Foster, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN), a division of SIIA. “These products are opening doors for learners of all ages by combining new technologies with research about how people learn in order to respond to student and educator needs.”

LuAnne Abercrombie, Lesson Planet’s chief product officer, commented, “We are incredibly honored to be a finalist for the SIIA CODiE Awards. Earning recognition from our industry peers is immensely gratifying, and has reinvigorated us in our mission to deliver the best content available on the internet to the schools, districts, and individuals who rely on our platform.”


Award winners will be announced during a CODiE Award Winner Ceremony in San Francisco on July 26 at the Education Impact Symposium, hosted by ETIN. Details about each finalist are listed here.

About the SIIA CODiE™ Awards

The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services. Since 1986, thousands of products, services, and solutions have been recognized for achieving excellence.  For more information, visit

About Lesson Planet
The Lesson Planet Enterprise solution (LPE) for schools and districts is an award-winning, educator-curated, online curriculum resource discovery engine that is intuitively integrated with an easy-to-use, drag and drop curriculum management system designed by educators for educators, curriculum specialists, librarians, and administrators. LPE allows educators to easily discover high-quality, teacher-reviewed online educational resources (as well as any district-shared or licensed resources); then use the management tools to organize and plan the scope and sequence of their lessons, units, and courses. The platform makes it simple for teachers to customize their collections of resources for their students as online assignments. Founded by educators in 1999, Lesson Planet is entirely membership-sustained. For more information, please visit


CUE is thrilled to announce that Pernille Ripp will be the Closing Keynote speaker at the CUE 2017 Fall Conference to be held October 27-28 at American Canyon High School in the Napa Valley.

Pernille Ripp

Pernille Ripp will deliver the Closing Session and Keynote on Saturday, October 28, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. Pernille Ripp is an expert in literacy and technology integration and dedicates her research and practice to developing engaged and empowered students and communities.

She is a teacher, speaker, author, blogger, and passionate advocate for education. Ripp is a Skype Master Teacher; Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert; recipient of the 2015 WEMTA Making IT Happen Award; and the 2015 ISTE Award for Innovation in Global Collaboration.

In 2010, Pernille founded The Global Read Aloud, a global literacy initiative that began with a simple goal in mind: one book to connect the world. From its humble beginnings, the GRA has grown to connect more than two million students in 60 different countries.

She is the author of Passionate Learners, How to Engage and Empower Your Students (Routledge), now in its second edition, Empowered Schools, Empowered Students (Corwin), Reimagining Literacy Through Global Collaboration (Solution Tree), and the forthcoming Passionate Readers (Routledge) which focuses on creating learning spaces and communities where students thrive and where all stakeholders are empowered and passionate about learning. Her work has been featured in many print and online journals including Entersekt, Literacy Today, The New York Times, School Library Journal, The Guardian, and MiddleWeb.

Ripp’s current research interest is creating passionate literacy environments within the restriction of our current educational systems to help students fall in love with literacy again. She uses her own classroom as a laboratory as well as the many educators she works with across the country. You can follow Pernille Ripp’s work on Blogging Through The Fourth Dimension, her personal blog and a frequent Teach100 top-rated education blog. With her mentoring, her own students’ blogs have had more than 600,000 unique views since they began.

Brad Montague will be delivering the Opening Keynote at the CUE 2017 Fall Conference on Friday, October 27. Montague is an award-winning writer and director and creator of Kid President, which began its life online and has grown into a New York Times bestselling book, television series, and movement for good around the world.

As this conference always sells out quickly, register soon at

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About CUE

Ed Tech Professional Development is at the core of CUE’s work. We are passionate believers in advancing student achievement through technology. By providing Ed Tech professional development to schools, districts, and local educators on the infusion of emerging technologies, we can help better prepare students for college and careers ahead. |


Eight Judaic Studies Educators Graduate and Collaborate within the Online Judaic Studies Consortium


Boston — July 11, 2017 — The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.) today announced the newest Online Teaching Methodologies (OTM) graduates for its Online Judaic Studies Consortium (OJSC). The graduates are all face-to-face Jewish day school teachers who completed the graduate-level OTM teacher training course to learn best practices for online instruction and learning. Having passed the rigorous four-week course, graduates will now collaborate with their peers to help develop and deliver high-quality online Judaic studies courses to day school students across North America.


OTM focuses on teaching strategies for building community, encouraging discussions, and providing insightful feedback in an online classroom. The graduates experience online learning in the same manner and pace as their future students, including having to work collaboratively with one another and with their course instructors.


“This has been an eye-opening experience in a number of ways,” said Rabbi Richard Schindelheim, an OTM graduate and educator from the Fuchs Mizrachi High School. “More than anything, it has helped me realize that I have so much more to learn about education in general and online education, in particular.”


The new OTM graduates and their affiliated institutions are listed below:


Rabbi Reuven Travis

Atlanta Jewish Academy


Yonatan Rosner

de Toledo High School in Los Angeles


Rabbi Nitzan Bergman

Etz Chaim: The Center for Jewish Living and Learning in Maryland


Rabbi Richard Schindelheim

Fuchs Mizrachi School


Dr. Robyn Blum

Krieger Schechter Day School in Baltimore


Rudy Stoler

Chizuk Amuno Congregation Inc., Congregation Beth Shalom and Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in Maryland


Etan Kelman

de Toledo High School in Los Angeles


Kimberly Callaway

de Toledo High School in Los Angeles


“This course has helped me realize all the parts needed to make an online course successful, said Kelman, a Jewish history teacher at de Toledo High School in Los Angeles. “The comments and discussions have been incredible and this cohort has been amazing.”


“The OJSC is honored to be a program of The Virtual High School, a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices,” said Lisa Micley, Program Director of the OJSC.  “The wisdom and expertise of VHS has led the way for us in creating our program. The VHS instructional design and delivery standards are the very model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The OJSC welcomes these new graduates into our growing network of highly-qualified educators trained to deliver Judaic studies courses using best practices in online learning.”


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 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 Associations (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, or call (978) 897-1900.


West Launches SchoolMessenger Accessibility Resource Center

to Help Schools Better Understand and Improve Website Accessibility


New partnership with Siteimprove helps to ensure SchoolMessenger Presence websites

meet accessibility standards

SAN ANTONIO, July 11, 2017 — Today at the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) 2017 National Seminar, West Corporation, a global provider of communication and network infrastructure services, announced the launch of the expandedSchoolMessenger Accessibility Resource Center, a web-based collection of materials and tools designed to help school districts improve their understanding of the issues around web accessibility, and to help them improve the accessibility of their schools’ websites.

The SchoolMessenger Accessibility Resource Center features free resources developed by West, as well as by its new partner, Siteimprove, the industry-leading provider of comprehensive web accessibility testing software and services, and from other respected providers. Items available include a website accessibility FAQ, a digital accessibility toolkit for K-12 administrators, accessibility tips for web authors, and more.

“School districts recognize that to effectively communicate with all of their audiences, as well as to meet federal regulations, their websites need to be accessible to all users, so we’ve assembled this collection of resources to help schools and districts ensure all website visitors have equal access to information and functionality,” said Robert Iskander, executive vice president and general manager of West’s Education group. “In addition, with our new Siteimprove partnership, school districts have powerful options for developing and maintaining websites that remain fully accessible.”

Along with a number of built-in accessibility features, all new SchoolMessenger Presence websites are developed using the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform, which provides clear explanations of potential issues combined with practical recommendations to work toward accessibility compliance. This helps ensure websites are designed to be inclusive before launch.

“Siteimprove has changed the way our district sees our website,” said Richard Franco, public relations director, Florence Unified School District, San Tan Valley, Arizona. “We have always looked at our website as a place to store information for parents and community members. It wasn’t until we began using Siteimprove that we realized how much we could control our content.”

To access the SchoolMessenger Accessibility Resource Center, visit

About West’s SchoolMessenger Solutions

West Corporation is the trusted provider of SchoolMessenger solutions. Thousands of schools and other educational institutions in all 50 states and Canada depend on SchoolMessenger products and services from notifications and websites to custom mobile apps and social media. School leaders have relied on the SchoolMessenger platform since 1999 to engage with their communities in multiple languages and on any device. To learn more about SchoolMessenger products, or call 888.527.5225

About Siteimprove

Siteimprove transforms the way organizations manage and deliver their digital presence. With the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform, you gain complete visibility and deep insights, empowering you and your team to act with certainty. Imagine the day where every aspect of your digital presence operates as intended: your brand is consistent, errors are a thing of the past, and website issues are always prioritized. Most importantly, certainty is the norm. With Siteimprove by their side, more than 5,000 organizations around the world outperform the status quo every day.


Florida Department of Education Approves Renaissance Star Early Literacy as State’s Kindergarten Readiness Screener

Renaissance and the Florida Department of Education collaborate to support kindergarten success

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (July 11, 2017) – Renaissance®, the leader in Pre-K–12 learning analytics, has announced that its Renaissance Star Early Literacy® assessment solution has been approved as the Florida Department of Education’s (DOE) Kindergarten Readiness Screener. The Florida DOE will begin using Star Early Literacy at the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year.

The Florida DOE approves assessment solutions though a rigorous approval process. These reviews include thorough examinations by instructional, technology, and assessment experts from multiple divisions within the Florida DOE, such as the Division of Technology and Innovation and the Office of Early Learning.

To read the full release, please click here.


Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 Provides Blind and Low-Vision Students with More Independence during Science Labs


Independence Science integrates text-to-speech assistive technology with Vernier Software & Technology’s data-collection interface


LAFAYETTE, Ind., July 10, 2017 — Independence Science recently launched the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 to help blind and low-vision students independently complete data-collection investigations during STEM labs. By integrating text-to-speech assistive technology with Vernier Software & Technology’s LabQuest 2 hardware device, the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 speaks real-time data results to students.


“For blind and low-vision students, hearing something in a multi-module fashion enhances the learning process,” said Ron Supalo, chief operations officer of Independence Science. “The Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 is a valuable assistive technology that allows students to independently conduct their own science experiments and hear the results, eliminating the need for a sighted assistant.”


Students can use the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 to collect data from more than 70 Vernier sensors. In addition to speaking the data-collection results, as well as displaying the results on the screen, the device can vocalize to students more than 20 characteristics of each element on the Periodic Table of Elements. The Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 additionally features faster computing, wireless data sharing, and five built-in sensors (GPS, 3-axis accelerometer, ambient temperature, light, and microphone) making it easy and intuitive for students to collect, analyze, and share data from experiments.


Each Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2 is sold as a kit that includes a Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2, a USB keyboard, and three Vernier sensors (the Vernier Stainless Steel Temperature Probe, Differential Voltage Probe, and Current Probe).


To learn more about the Sci-Voice Talking LabQuest 2, visit


About Independence Science

Independence Science is an assistive technology company that specializes in providing tools to help students with disabilities have equal access and opportunities to perform independently in STEM fields without a sighted assistant. Consultants at Independence Science are making their expertise available to help school districts, colleges, universities, and state rehabilitation agencies across the country meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and help students in science programs. For more information, visit


Georgia Girls STEM Collaborative Gains Boxlight as its Convening Agency


Boxlight commits its resources to supporting institutions and professionals working to increase girls’ participation in STEM classes and careers

Lawrenceville, GA – July 10, 2017 – According to research by STEMconnnector and the National Science Board, women make up only 28 percent of the science and engineering workforce despite the fact that female and male K-12 students perform equally well on mathematics and science standardized tests. To help ensure that girls and women have the confidence and opportunity to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers as they desire, Boxlight has signed on to be the convening agency for the Georgia Girls STEM Collaborative formed under the auspices of the National Girls Collaborative Project.


The Georgia Girls STEM Collaborative is a statewide network of professionals, researchers and practitioners focused on expanding and strengthening STEM-related career opportunities for girls. Boxlight will be responsible for encouraging collaboration and improving inter-program communication among these various organizations and individuals, helping them come together to share best practices, develop new collaborations and share resources. Collaborative partners include schools, informal educators, programs that offer expanded learning opportunities, and businesses and industries that are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue classes and careers in STEM.


“The vision of the National Girls Collaborative Project is to bring together organizations that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers, and we are extremely excited to be supporting that vision here in Georgia,” said Sunshine Nance, Boxlight’s VP of Marketing. “Our goal is to strengthen the capacity and increase the continuation of girl-serving STEM programs as well as create a wider audience for gender-related STEM issues. This is something that deeply matters to us because the successful career transition of students and the economic future of Georgia are tied to increased participation of all students in careers that rely on STEM skills and competencies.”


This is not the first such initiative for Boxlight or Nance. The company is also working with the STEM Atlanta Women group, a nonprofit founded and run by STEM advocate Maxine Cain for the purpose of helping underrepresented and underserved women and girls to take advantage of global STEM opportunities and acquire skills needed to compete and succeed in the 21st century.


About the National Girls Collaborative Project

The National Girls Collaborative Project maximizes access to shared resources and disseminates research-based promising practices that advance the work of existing and evolving girl-serving projects. The goals are to:

  • Strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, and products.
  • Increase the effectiveness of collaboratives by providing professional development focused on sustainability, organizational effectiveness, and shared leadership to more effectively deliver services to girl-serving STEM organizations.
  • Maximize K-12 school counselors’ access to and use of relevant, high-quality resources that increase awareness of barriers to girls’ interest and engagement in STEM.


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