Safe Schools/Healthy Students Program

The Safe Schools/Healthy Students program (SS/HS) supportsthe implementation and enhancement of integrated, comprehensive community-wideplans that create safe and drug-free schools and promote healthy childhooddevelopment.


Mr. Tu Talent Search

In the Math’scool DVDprogram, Mr. Tu is a friendly, educated robot who informs and motivatesstudents to learn mathematics. As partof this process he highlights real-world examples of math being used incareers. Now BestQuest is searching forthe next “Excellent Example” for Mr. Tu. Teachers, administrators, and students areinvited to nominate their favorite math teacher to be the next example for Mr.Tu. Mr. Tu’s Next Excellent AdventureTalent Search will allow one educator to win prizes including a classroom setof Math’scool, a chance to be featured in an upcoming BestQuest product, a Mr.Tu classroom premier party, and a professional development voucher to be usedtoward a regional NCTM conference.


PLATO Learning Products Win Five BESSIE Awards in 13th Annual ComputED Gazette Competition

MINNEAPOLIS–May 15, 2007–PLATO Learning, Inc. (NASDAQ: TUTR), a leading provider of K?adult computer-based and e-learning solutions, today announced that Straight Curve? Mathematics Series 1, Straight Curve? Mathematics Series 2, PLATO® Course: American History 2A, PLATO® Course: Biology A, and PLATO® Test Packs with Prescriptions were named ComputED Gazette BESSIE Award winners. The ComputED Gazette BESSIE Awards target innovative and content-rich programs and Web sites that provide parents and teachers with technology to foster educational excellence. Winners are selected from titles submitted by software publishers around the world.

Straight Curve Mathematics–PLATO Learning´s teacher-facilitated instructional supplement for grades K?6–received two awards, one each in the early elementary and upper elementary categories. Straight Curve Mathematics is a ground-breaking supplemental classroom tool designed to enrich on-grade-level and advanced mathematics curricula and provide deeper instructional focus on the concepts that teachers find most challenging to instruct and that students find most difficult to master.

PLATO Courses allow students to learn online anytime, anywhere while still being challenged by a rigorous, standards-driven curriculum. Self-paced, out-of-the-box, whole semester courses that include exemptive pre-tests to target learning allow students to concentrate on their skill gaps and complete course requirements quickly. Comprehensive reporting built into PLATO Courses gives teachers the information they need to ensure students have acquired knowledge and earned course credit.

PLATO Test Packs with Prescriptions on PLE? provide grade-level reading/language arts and mathematics fixed benchmark assessments for grades 2?11. PLATO Test Packs then provide personalized, prescriptive assignments to PLATO® content targeted to each student´s areas of need. State-specific Test Packs are available for more than 25 states. These are based on state content/curriculum standards and are updated as state standards change. The National Test Pack is designed using National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards.

"We are honored to receive BESSIE Awards for these products and are energized as we continue to produce more award-winning solutions that will enrich learning in the years to come," said Mike Morache, PLATO Learning President and CEO. "PLATO Learning is committed to offering top-quality curricula that helps both students and teachers in the classroom, and we are grateful to be recognized as one of the best solution providers in the industry."

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 Puerto Rico, as well as international distributors in the United Kingdom and South Africa. For more information, please visit

PLATO® and Academic Systems® are registered trademarks of PLATO Learning, Inc. Straight Curve and PLATO Learning are trademarks of PLATO Learning, Inc. PLATO, Inc. is a PLATO Learning, Inc. company. All other company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


ABC-CLIO Schools´ Databases Win Prestigious Awards

Santa Barbara, CA–May 15, 2007–ABC-CLIO Schools, the leading publisher of social studies resources for educators, announced today that its United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society database was honored with two prestigious 2007 CODiE Awards: Best Education Reference or Search Service and Best Social Studies Instruction Solution. The CODiE Awards are presented each year by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), which utilizes both journalist and peer-company reviews to identify the leaders and innovators in the software, digital content, and education technology industries. They hold the distinction of being the only peer-recognition awards program of its kind in the industry, providing a unique opportunity for companies to earn the praise of their competitors. The CODiE Awards program, now in its 21st year, remains the standard-bearer for celebrating outstanding achievement and vision in our industry.

Developed by a team of military historians and expert educators, United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society provides access to authoritative reference content, pertinent primary sources, and a wealth of historical insight and analysis on the important themes and consequences of all major U.S.-involved wars, from the founding of the country to the present.
"We designed United States at War to take students beyond basic names and dates to develop a deeper understanding of our nation as it relates to conflict," said Becky Snyder, President/Publisher for ABC-CLIO Schools. "Receiving these two awards solidifies how successful we´ve been in achieving that goal."

In addition, ABC-CLIO Schools´ newest subscription database, Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society, was named winner of the 2007 Best Software in High School (BESSIE) Award. The awards target innovative and content-rich programs and websites which provide parents and teachers with the technology to foster educational excellence.
Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society helps users develop a true understanding of how society shapes and is shaped by controversy by offering authoritative historical context, expert perspectives, and carefully selected primary and secondary sources on the most enduring issues of the day.

ABC-CLIO Contact
Lyn Peyok / (800) 368-6868

About ABC-CLIO Schools

ABC-CLIO Schools is an award-winning print and electronic publisher of social studies and reference products for students in grades 6?12. ABC-CLIO Schools is a division of ABC-CLIO, a premier history publisher for over 50 years. Established in 1955, ABC-CLIO is a privately held publisher with an international reputation for high quality and innovation. As an educational reference publisher, ABC-CLIO has received critical acclaim for its abstracting and indexing databases, award-winning book program, and progressive online resources.


SANS Inc. Announces New Versions of Sony Soloist? and Sony Virtuoso? Software for Enhanced Interactive Language Learning

North Branford, Connecticut SANS Inc., the developer and exclusive licensor of Sony language learning software solutions, has released Sony Soloist Software version 7.7 and Sony Virtuoso Software version 3.7. These latest versions add SANS features that further advance the scalability and flexibility of the Sony and SANS language learning technology.

"The new versions of the Sony Virtuoso and Soloist digital language learning software reinforce the SANS commitment to open dialogue with language teachers and students. This technology benefits the language learning experience by providing more opportunities to communicate and interact in real world scenarios," said Ron Remschel, SANS President.

One of the new and exciting features is Soloist phone. With Voice Over IP (VoIP) communication powered by SANSSpeak? technology, students using their Sony Soloist Digital Comparative Recorders on any networked PC can now "call or phone" each other and work in self-selected pairs. Students may also leave a phone message if the person they are trying to connect to is not available. This feature is optimal for independent study and lab assignments focused on developing listening and conversational skills. The "conversations" can be recorded with each speaker on a separate track, making it easy for a language instructor to assess each student individually at any time.

A scalable technology scheme also enables existing users of the Sony Virtuoso and Sony Soloist Software to upgrade their digital language learning technology at any time to enjoy the benefits of the added features.

To learn more about SANS Inc. and Sony Language Learning Software, contact a SANS representative at or go to


Connections Academy Named Elementary Level Provider for Missouri´s First Virtual School

Baltimore, MD, May 15, 2007– Connections Academy, a leading national provider of high quality, highly accountable virtual public schools operated in partnership with state departments of education, school districts and charter schools, has been named the elementary level provider for the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MoVIP). The State of Missouri´s Office of Administration and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced late last week that Connections Academy won the competitive bid to serve as the K-5 provider for the state´s first virtual school, which will open in 2007, and is expected to serve as many as 4,000 full- and part-time elementary and secondary students tuition-free, statewide. The Secondary (6-12) Level MoVIP award went to Northwest Missouri State University.

"We know the state of Missouri considered a number of different providers to deliver its elementary level program for its first-ever virtual school, so we are honored to have been selected," commented Barbara Dreyer, president of Connections Academy. "This year we are providing a superior educational experience to over 9,000 students, and we look forward to working with the state of Missouri to bring this same high quality virtual education to its elementary students next fall."

"The state of Missouri is pleased to make the innovative MoVIP virtual school available to Missouri families, and to ensure a high quality program by partnering with established leaders in virtual public education," said Dr. Curt Fuchs, MoVIP Director. "We are confident that by working with Connections Academy, the MoVIP K-5 program will fill an important educational need for Missouri families, meeting a wide range of students´ educational needs while
maintaining the highest academic standards."

Connections Academy has been operating its high-tech, high-touch public "schools without walls" since 2002. As of Fall 2007, it will serve students in 12 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as Missouri.

The Connections Academy program combines state-certified teachers, a Missouri standards-aligned curriculum, unique technology tools, and community experiences to create an individualized alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom. All MoVIP elementary level students can choose up to six courses from the nationally-certified Connections Academy curriculum that combines high-quality textbooks from leading publishers with cutting-edge technology-based resources and hands-on materials. Students work closely with their parents, or other "learning coaches" and a licensed Missouri teacher using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs. Teachers conference with students and their parents biweekly, and students also participate in field trips and other in-person activities facilitated by a community coordinator.

The MoVIP elementary level program is expected to serve a wide range of Missouri students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom; students who would benefit from more individualized instruction; or who require a flexible school schedule.

To register students for either the elementary or secondary MoVIP program, parents should go to If enrollment requests exceed its funded student slots, the state will conduct a lottery to select students. After the lottery, the program will be open to those who pay tuition, or who live in districts that will pay it.
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About Connections Academy
Connections Academy (CA) is a leading national provider of high quality, highly accountable K-12 virtual public schools operated in partnership with state departments of education, school districts, and charter schools. Connections Academy schools deliver top-quality, personalized education for students that combines certified teachers; a proven, print-rich curriculum; technology tools; and community experiences to create a supportive and successful environment for children who need an individualized approach to education. In CA´s unique Personalized Performance Learning? approach, students use daily lesson plans and curriculum materials provided by CA. Teachers develop a Personalized Learning Plan for each
student, whose progress is tracked through a proprietary, web-based Learning Management System. Connections Academy will serve over 9,000 students during 2006-2007 in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin through its high-tech, high-touch public "schools without walls." For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit


Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control Training Course Released by Sideris Courseware

BOSTON, May 15, 2007 — Sideris Courseware has released new training materials for Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control technology produced by Oracle Corporation. The new courseware kit includes an 800-page student guide with hands-on exercises, an instructor guide with lesson plans and instructional delivery notes, a blending-learning online assessment test and an e-Book classroom presentation tool.

This new course template will also be used by Sideris in its upcoming courseware library for the Oracle 11g database and fusion middleware technologies.

The growth of servers and software deployments installed throughout an enterprise presents a tremendous challenge in administration and cost-of-ownership. This new course provides the skills and knowledge transfer for administrators to perform change management, configuration management, service level management and other enterprise-scale administration tasks using the Oracle Grid Control framework.

Mr. Timothy Sideris, Vice-president of Sideris Courseware, commented that "the amount of technology and functionality available from IT vendors now is now so vast and complex, the biggest challenge for organizations is managing all that technology. Advanced technology training is now more important than ever in recovering value from IT investments."

Mr. Sideris commented further that "the explosive growth in grid computing, open source software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications has increased the need for enterprise administration tools like Oracle Grid Control 10g."

The Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control course provides
for real-world implementation of theoretical IT management concepts such as that outlined by the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL(R)) framework. The course teaches step-by-step how the Oracle Grid Control may be used to administer Oracle software products, such as the Oracle database, Oracle Application Server, Oracle Applications 11i and 12, and emerging Oracle Fusion middleware. It also contains plug-ins which bring into the Grid Control framework other technologies including the IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server databases, middleware technologies such as Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), Microsoft Active Directory, IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic and open source JBoss, along with such specialized technologies as EMC Celerra Server, Microsoft Operations Manager, and Remedy Helpdesk.

About Sideris Courseware Corporation

Since 1991, Sideris Courseware has been a global independent supplier of IT courseware and training products, including e-Learning and blended-learning materials. It is headquartered in Boston, USA with agents in London, Australia and Latin America. Training course materials and instructor training guides available for Microsoft(R) Vista, Office 2007 and .NET technologies, CompTIA A+, Network+, and IC3 and ICDL certification. Further information available online at or their offices located at 246 Walnut Street, Suite 203, Newton, MA 02460 USA.


Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Math 3.0

REDMOND, Wash. — May 15, 2007 — According to an independent survey commissioned by Microsoft Corp., 77 percent of teachers and 73 percent of parents claim math and science are the most difficult homework subjects for students, yet only 36 percent of parents feel capable to help their children. While parents and teachers struggle to find the time or knowledge to provide their kids with adequate assistance in math and science, students can grow frustrated by the lack of resources and the amount time it may take to find relevant guidance in these difficult subjects. To address these issues, Microsoft has developed a low-cost, comprehensive resource for middle school, high school and entry-level college students.

Today Microsoft releases Microsoft® Math 3.0, a new software solution designed to help students complete their math and science homework more quickly and easily while teaching important fundamental concepts. Microsoft Math 3.0 features an extensive collection of capabilities to help students tackle complicated problems in pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, physics and chemistry, and puts them all in one convenient place on the home PC. Similar to a hired tutor, Microsoft Math 3.0 is designed to help deepen students´ overall understanding of these subjects by invoking a full-featured graphing calculator and step-by-step instructions on how to solve difficult problems.

"Students often become annoyed when they can´t finish their math homework quickly and waste time searching for help," said Dave Brooks, Education Products Group product manager at Microsoft. "Microsoft Math helps reduce that frustration by providing a one-stop shop for help with math and science."

"When solving a quadratic equation, Microsoft Math doesn´t just churn and spit out one of the solutions," said Jonathan Briggs, a high school math teacher at East Side Preparatory School in Kirkland, Wash. "Instead, it shows you both solutions and how to obtain them using square completion or the quadratic equation."
Microsoft Math can also be leveraged by instructors as an exciting visual component to their curriculum, helping keep students more engaged and interactive throughout the lesson.
"Microsoft Math provides a space for nurturing student learning in mathematics with dynamic visualizations. The program provides essential ingredients for classroom environments designed to challenge all students to engage in visual thinking," said Margaret L. Neiss, professor for mathematics education at Oregon State University.
Microsoft Math offers a variety of tools that address a wide range of tasks in math and science:

A full-featured Graphing Calculator with extensive graphing and equation-solving capabilities expands students´ understanding of complex mathematics.

Using step-by-step math solutions, students are guided through problems in subjects ranging from pre-algebra to calculus, helping them solve equations more efficiently.

The Formulas and Equations Library contains more than 100 common math equations and formulas that enable students to identify and easily apply the right equation to solve math and science problems.

The Triangle Solver explores triangles and teaches students the relationship between different components used to calculate sides, angles and values and solve formulas.

The Unit Conversion Tool allows students to quickly and easily convert units of measure, including length, area, volume, weight, temperature, pressure, energy, power, velocity and time.

The new Ink Handwriting Support works with Tablet and Ultra-Mobile PCs, allowing students to write out a problem by hand and acquire assistance from Microsoft Math.

Microsoft Math is scheduled to be available for download in early May 2007 for an estimated retail price of $19.95* (U.S.). Microsoft Math is also available in a variety of Microsoft Academic Volume Licensing programs for educational institutions. Full information about special pricing and licensing for educational institutions, educators and students is available at
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.


Samsung´s New 22-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor Makes Optimal Use of Microsoft Unified Communications Solutions

IRVINE, Calif., May 15, 2007 – Samsung Electronics America, Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of professional LCD and PDP display products, today announced its new SyncMaster 225UW widescreen LCD monitor, which takes advantage of Microsoft unified communications solutions to streamline communication functions into a single platform.
The 22-inch widescreen LCD monitor offers end users a simplified experience designed to drive workplace productivity, increase security and reduce costs. The widescreen monitor, which features a high-gloss shiny black bezel and a stylish square-based stand, also includes a set of touch-sensitive buttons, enhancing overall ease-of-use and adding an ultra-modern feel.
Audio and video conferencing using the SyncMaster 225UW are easy and intuitive. With Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, users can communicate with colleagues around the world without needing to pick up a phone, put on a headset or lean into a microphone-the experience is just as natural as if the other party were sitting across your desk. The monitor is an ideal choice for true-to-life web conferencing, which can reduce long-distance phone costs and the need for frequent business travel.

The communications experience is high quality, as the monitor is equipped with a built-in 2.0M pixel high-resolution webcam, dual-array microphone and speakers. The monitor fully supports the wideband audio codecs, covering the full natural voice spectrum, resulting in exceptionally clear voice conversations. Furthermore, Office Communications Server 2007 enables users to conduct voice conversations with high clarity, so users may never again need to ask, "Could you say that again?"

"The SyncMaster 225UW monitor offers the best of both worlds – simplified and more secure communication packaged in a sleek and modern design," said Andrew Weis, senior product marketing manager, display products, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. "Thanks to the SyncMaster 225UW monitor, users can now stay connected via several options and still enjoy access to premium performance, value and style."

"A growing body of customers rely on Microsoft unified communications solutions to simplify and streamline their communication needs," added Chris Cullin, director of Technical Product Management for the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft Corp. "Samsung´s SyncMaster 225UW monitor is adding significant value to PC-based communications as it helps create efficient, high-quality collaboration experiences for our enterprise customers."

With a high resolution of 1680 x 1050, coupled with a wide 16:10 aspect ratio, the SyncMaster 225UW monitor offers superior image quality and enhanced productivity for a range of professional applications. Featuring a 5 ms GTG response time, a 700:1 contrast ratio and 300cd/m2 brightness, the model is equipped to produce crisp, true-to-life images, while the wide 160/160 viewing angle further enhances the overall viewing experience. The monitor also incorporates a 2 port USB hub and dual inputs (DVI-D & Analog).

Like all Samsung displays, the SyncMaster 225UW monitor is backed by a three-year limited warranty on labor and parts, including the backlight, as well as toll-free technical support for the life of the display.

About Samsung Electronics America Information Technology Division
Samsung´s Information Technology Division (ITD) markets a complete line of award-winning LCD Monitor products, including professional large format LCD and Plasma displays. ITD also markets an award-winning line of color and monochrome laser printers and multifunction devices, video security systems and the family of Samsung Q1 Ultra-Mobile Personal Computers (UMPC). Samsung ITD is committed to supporting the needs of its channel partners in the professional, commercial, corporate, and SOHO markets. Based in Irvine, California, ITD is a division of Samsung Electronics America (SEA), a U.S. subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd. (SEC). The SEA organization oversees the North American operations of Samsung including Samsung Telecommunications America, LP, Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Mexico, Inc. Please visit for more information or call 1-800-SAMSUNG for more information.

About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2005 parent company sales of US$56.7 billion and net income of US$7.5 billion. Employing approximately 128,000 people in over 90 offices in 51 countries, the company consists of five main business units: Digital Appliance Business, Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business and Telecommunication Network Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones, and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit


Solution Tree Reissues Two Popular Classroom Management Resources

Bloomington, Ind.–May 14, 2007–Solution Tree, an educational publishing and services company, is reissuing two popular books by world-renowned classroom management expert Allen N. Mendler, Ph.D. What Do I Do When ??: How to Achieve Discipline With Dignity in the Classroom is scheduled for release May 15. Just In Time: Powerful Strategies to Promote Positive Behavior will be released later this month with the new title, More What Do I Do When ?? The reissued resources will feature improved cover and interior design.

Well-known by educators for providing positive principles and unconventional discipline strategies, these books move beyond the practice of classroom management to explore what motivates misbehavior. Mendler´s down-to-earth approach offers educators accessible discipline methods and unique approaches to difficult situations. He also shares strategies for dealing with power struggles, working with parents, and making a positive impact on school-wide discipline.

In 2006, Solution Tree released a professional development video series created by Mendler and his colleague, Richard L. Curwin. The Four Keys to Effective Classroom and Behavior Management explores skill areas essential to long-term behavior change rather than quick fixes. This principle of sustained behavioral improvement is core to the Discipline With Dignity philosophy developed by Mendler and Curwin.

Currently implemented in 12 countries, Discipline With Dignity empowers educators with positive behavior management strategies that preserve the dignity of students and teachers. The philosophy is supported by solid principles that provide educators with the foundation they need to implement effective discipline practices.

About Solution Tree

For nearly 20 years, Solution Tree resources have helped K?12 teachers and administrators create safe and caring schools and communities in which all children succeed. We strive to be the premier provider of books, videos, multimedia resources, and professional development opportunities designed to help educators throughout the United States and Canada realize continuous school improvement and connect with youth at risk. The current needs of educational professionals guide our efforts to advance the work of our authors, while integrity and superior service remain cornerstone principles.