How 3 past Hero Awards winners navigated COVID

The eSchool News K-12 Hero Awards program, sponsored by JAR Systems and SAP Concur, has returned for 2022 and recognizes the dedicated efforts of education professionals across K-12 departments, including IT, curriculum, instruction and administration.  The nomination period runs from June 27 – September 1, 2022.

“The great education beta test brought on by the pandemic has resulted in discoveries and innovations across education — from distance learning and closing the digital divide, to addressing the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools, and so much more,” said Kevin Hogan, eSN’s editor-at-large. “I’d like to encourage everyone to participate in this year’s Hero Awards, so your real-life challenges and successes can be celebrated and shared with the education community.”

As nominations come in from across the country, let’s take a look at last year’s winners and the amazing efforts they put in to keep learning accessible for students, teachers, and staff during an unprecedented global pandemic.…Read More

The critical link between scholastic esports and career pathways education

When I first approached my administration back in August 2021 about implementing a scholastic esports program at school, I had imagined facing significant opposition to the idea, and, in preparation, had rehearsed my talking points and done my research in order to be persuasive.  I was prepared to talk about the connections to STEM learning, the opportunity to engage otherwise disengaged students, the inclusive nature of gaming, the research behind gamification and game-based learning, and more. 

None of that was necessary, however, as my school principal was extremely supportive in my effort to implement scholastic esports at the school and, more importantly, to use the program to teach students transferable skills while simultaneously encouraging them to explore related career pathways.

I began my esports program with a focus on social-emotional well-being using resources from NASEF to structure initial lessons.  Before jumping into the competitive aspects of esports and gaming, we spent three weeks discussing the importance of positive mental health and the negative effects associated with some online gaming cultures.  This included discussions of toxicity and online “trash talk” of opponents, as well as the impact on one’s emotional well-being and overall confidence as a result of being repeatedly subjected to such toxicity. …Read More

The Hero Awards Program honors standout educators

eSchool Media is pleased to announce the return of the eSchool News  K-12 Hero Awards, and that the awards nomination period opens June 27, 2022.

This year’s K-12 Hero Awards Program, sponsored by JAR Systems and SAP Concur, will recognize the dedicated efforts of education professionals across K-12 departments, including IT, curriculum, instruction and administration.  The nomination period runs from June 27 – September 1, 2022.

Nominations will be judged by a panel of education experts including Laura Ascione, eSchool News editorial director, Kevin Hogan, eSchool News editor-at-large, and Eileen Belastock, CETL, Belastock Consulting. Three winners will be announced on eSchoolNews.com in early October.…Read More

School Superintendents of Alabama and Curriculum Associates Recognize Students and Educators with $12,000 in Scholarships

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., May 11, 2022—Curriculum Associates recently sponsored the 2022 School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA) scholarship program to help recognize and support students and educators throughout the state. The 12 scholarship recipients—eight high school seniors who intend to pursue a degree in education from one of Alabama’s public colleges or universities as well as four educators who plan to pursue a degree in school administration from one of the state’s public colleges or universities—will each receive $1,000.

“One of SSA’s top priorities is to promote high-quality public education throughout our state. This has become even more critical as we face a teacher shortage crisis not only in Alabama but across our nation,” said SSA Executive Director Ryan Hollingsworth. “It is our hope and belief that these scholarships will aid in the process of rebuilding our workforce by assisting these qualified students and educational leaders in achieving their career goals. These recipients have demonstrated a commitment to quality in our schools and we, alongside Curriculum Associates, are proud to be able to assist them as they pursue their degrees.”

Selected by superintendents who were chosen as district finalists for the SSA/Schneider Electric Superintendent of the Year Award, this year’s SSA Student Scholarship recipients are:…Read More

Vivi raises US$20m to further accelerate overseas expansion, sets target for 1m classrooms within five years

Vivi, a leading Australia-based visual learning, collaboration, and administration platform for education, is pleased to announce it has successfully completed a capital raise of US$20m (A$26.5m) with New York-based education investor, Quad Partners.

The investment will help Vivi further accelerate overseas expansion, particularly in the US where its team has expanded from two to 18. The funding will allow the company to introduce a series of teacher efficiency features that will further
cement Vivi as a major component of the technological infrastructure of schools and districts. With its technology in over 40,000 classrooms around the world, the investment will expedite Vivi expanding into one million learning spaces within
five years.

One of the company’s co-founders, US-based Simon Holland, led the oversubscribed raise with investors immediately buying into Vivi’s vision.…Read More

3 ways to get the most out of a digital classroom

Recent Food and Drug Administration approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds means that thousands of children who have continued to learn from home will dust off their lunch boxes and climb onto the school bus, destined for in-person instruction once again.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools indicates, students benefit from in-person learning, and face-to-face should be the primary method of instruction. Still, eLearning has earned its place in education, and smart educators welcome the addition.

Two are better than one…Read More

4 ways digital tools streamline summer program administration

Summer school is more important than ever this year as school administrators establish new learning programs to give K–12 students an opportunity to catch up on schoolwork and enrichment programs they missed during the pandemic. The federal government is also paying extra attention to summer programs, earmarking $1.2 billion in its massive relief package.

By the end of the 2020–2021 academic year, most U.S. schools were open, but administrators are still taking precautions to mitigate potential virus outbreaks among staff and students. This will be the norm for the foreseeable future since vaccines are widely available for staff and older children but haven’t yet been approved for younger kids.

Last year, teachers and school administrators adopted digital tools in greater numbers than ever before. Companies offering tools like online forms saw a spike in demand, and they are now seeing it rise again as schools organize summer learning programs.…Read More

Rhode Island schools gain new tool for meeting Biden administration’s goals for social emotional learning


Conscious Discipline, a 25-year leader in the field of social-emotional learning (SEL), and Sargent
Rehabilitation Center’s Regional Resource Center have entered a partnership that will unite schools,
parents, and community SEL services state-wide.

The partnership between Conscious Discipline and Sargent will provide the state’s schools with access to a single, evidence-based approach to SEL for education programs from birth through adulthood. The
penetration of SEL into Rhode Island schools meets many Biden Administration priorities for education,
which include providing increased services during the early childhood years, equity in education,
increased mental health services, community school outreach, and investing in “resources for our
schools so students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults.”
www.joebiden.com/education/

The partnership, launching March 10, 2021, is the culmination of four years in which thousands of
Rhode Island educators and students experienced improvement in discipline, school climate, academic
achievement and sense of belonging after training in Conscious Discipline with key Sargent staff. These
improvements will expand in both depth and breadth under the partnership as school administrators
and educators state-wide receive classroom coaching, exclusive content, professional development
workshops, and priority status for attending Conscious Discipline’s public events. An immersive weeklong Summer Institute (August) and a 2-day Building Trauma-Sensitive Classrooms and Schools
workshop (October) are among the public events scheduled in Rhode Island with Dr. Becky Bailey, the
founder and originator of Conscious Discipline.

Conscious Discipline is a brain-based, trauma-informed, adult-first methodology that integrates SEL,
school culture and discipline in order to create collaborative, equitable learning communities that
support all members in reaching their highest potential. In 2020, the Collaborative for Academic, Social,
and Emotional Learning (CASEL) named Conscious Discipline a “SELect Program,” its highest designation for effective, evidence-based SEL. www.ConsciousDiscipline.com


Sargent Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit organization offering educational consulting,
neurorehabilitation, day school programs, diagnostic services and restorative justice practices
throughout Rhode Island and surrounding Massachusetts and Connecticut. www.sargentcenter.org

Regarding this collaboration, Dr. Bailey said, “There is nothing more inspiring than partnership.
Conscious Discipline and Sargent Rehabilitation Center’s Regional Resource Center are united in helping all educators and families build the social-emotional skillsets and inner resources needed to manage their external experiences.”

For more information, contact Amanda Weinstein at press@consciousdiscipline.com.…Read More

Mark Friedman Joins Frontline Education as Chief Marketing Officer

Frontline Education™, a leading provider of school administration software purpose-built for K-12, today announced that Mark Friedman has joined the company as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Friedman will lead Frontline Education’s go-to-market strategy, business development and client communications programs, bringing 25 years of sales, marketing and business development experience to the company.

“The chief marketing officer is critical to the future success of Frontline Education as we continue to scale the company, growing our portfolio and our brand,” said Mark Gruzin, CEO of Frontline Education. “We are excited for Mark Friedman to bring his broad expertise and client-centric approach to Frontline, enhancing ur go-to-market initiatives with a proactive strategy that provides tangible value to our clients.”

Prior to joining Frontline Education, Friedman served as SVP, Global Customer Success for Genesys, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for SoundBite Communications, President & CEO of Peppercoin and VP of Global Marketing for Lucent/Kenan Systems. In these various positions and throughout his career, Friedman has explored the organic integrations between marketing, customer success, and other customer-facing functions.…Read More

Lockstep Technology Group Partners with Impero Software to Support Students’ Tech

Managed solutions provider Lockstep Technology Group and student safety leader Impero have partnered to offer Impero’s solutions to Lockstep’s partner schools, including tools to support student safety, classroom management, network administration, and web filtering, and to better support students’ technology use.

The partnership expands Impero’s footprint in the south-eastern United States and helps Lockstep provide its school customers with innovative solutions to support hybrid learning. Lockstep was particularly drawn to Impero because of its focus on supporting student wellbeing and mental health – something that has become a priority in Lockstep’s work with K-12 schools. Lockstep was also attracted to Impero’s tools that help districts protect their networks from vulnerabilities such as ransomware attacks.

The partnership comes at a time when many school districts across the country continue to offer distance or hybrid learning during the coronavirus pandemic and need technology partners that can support them in all aspects of this work. Lockstep helps schools plan, develop and implement technology programs, including helping them shift to distance learning and expand 1:1 initiatives. Impero supports hybrid and remote learning by helping teachers and administrators manage student devices and track student safety concerns in a central record. Its web filter blocks inappropriate or malicious online content and IT teams can use Impero to manage and patch Chromebooks remotely – which is an especially attractive feature for many schools.…Read More