MINNEAPOLIS–September 21, 2006–PLATO Learning, Inc. (NASDAQ: TUTR), a leading provider of K-adult computer-based and e-learning solutions, today announced they were awarded a $424,810 agreement with the Sarasota County Schools to provide standards-aligned instruction and assessments for their district-wide Performance-Based Diploma Program.

The Performance-Based Diploma Program is designed to provide academic options for students who have not seen success in the traditional lecture-driven classroom. All five high schools within Sarasota County Schools will offer the program, with 80-120 students participating at each site.

“Our students are technology natives and are comfortable working on computers. Some students thrive in this alternative learning environment, where they can work at their own pace and are motivated and engaged by the technology. PLATO Learning helps us accommodate these students’ learning styles with instruction for a technology-based classroom environment. They also helped ensure the rigor of the curriculum by aligning their content to the Sarasota County curriculum standards and benchmarks,” said Peggy Wiggins, director of academic intervention rograms, Sarasota County School Board.

The Performance-Based Diploma Program includes instruction in core content areas, career and technology education, mental health support, and mentoring support. PLATO Learning will provide all resources for the instructional component, including PLATO Middle and High School instructional software, offline materials, and PLATO FCAT Exam Interventions. Certified teachers will facilitate the classes offered through the program.

“PLATO Learning was selected for this contract because it presented the most complete instructional solution,” said Wiggins. “In comparison to other learning systems, PLATO Learning was able to provide the combination of rigorous curriculum, assessment, and instructional support the Sarasota County School Board required. In addition, Booker High School piloted PLATO Instructional Solutions during second semester last year and saw significant success. We are confident we can replicate that success at all our schools by moving to a district-wide implementation.”

“We are excited Sarasota County Schools chose PLATO Learning for this initiative,” said Mike Morache, PLATO Learning President and CEO. “We have worked with many districts across the country to provide alternative learning options for students who are not succeeding in the traditional classroom. We look forward to sharing that expertise and collaborating on the Performance-Based Diploma Program, so Sarasota County students and staff can realize the academic impact of engaging, rigorous instructional technology.”

About PLATO Learning

PLATO Learning is a leading provider of computer-based and e-learning instruction for kindergarten through adult learners, offering curricula in reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, and life and job skills. The Company also offers innovative online assessment and accountability solutions and standards-based professional development services. With over 6,000 hours of objective-based, problem-solving courseware, plus assessment, alignment, and curriculum management tools, we create standards-based curricula that facilitate learning and school improvement.

PLATO Learning is a publicly held company traded as TUTR on the NASDAQ. PLATO Learning educational software, delivered via networks, CD-ROM, the Internet, and private intranets, is primarily marketed to K-12 schools and colleges. The Company also sells to job training programs, correctional institutions, military education programs, corporations, and individuals.

PLATO Learning is headquartered at 10801 Nesbitt Avenue South, Bloomington, Minnesota 55437, 952.832.1000 or 800.869.2000. The Company has offices throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as international distributors in Puerto Rico and South Africa. For more information, please visit http://www.plato.com.

PLATO® is a registered trademark of PLATO Learning, Inc. PLATO Learning is a trademark of PLATO Learning, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


About the Author:

eSchool News