Riverside Insights Joins Forces with Renzulli Learning to Foster Instructional Equity through Engagement

ITASCA, Ill. – March 16, 2022 – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today announced a new partnership with Renzulli Learning, an interactive online system for whole school enrichment that provides students with personalized learning resources based on their unique interests and learning preferences. With this new partnership, educators can now readily combine the ability insights from Riverside Insight’s Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®) with Renzulli Learning’s dynamic library of resources to better differentiate instruction and engage all learners in the classroom.

Riverside’s CogAT enables educators to understand students’ potential for learning while Renzulli Learning allows them to leverage students’ interests and preferences to unlock that potential. Educators can attest that aligning instruction with student interests encourages strong levels of engagement from all learners. Paired together, CogAT and Renzulli Learning provide a powerful combination to make learning accessible and fun for every student.

“Riverside Insights’ partnership with Renzulli Learning is a first step in our commitment to support the whole child and their ‘Limitless Learning’ to reach their full potential,” said Riverside Insights’ CEO, Rajib Roy. “We know students learn best when they are invested in the content. CogAT’s unique Ability Profile™ for each student combined with Renzulli’s interactive resources will empower educators to meet every student’s needs through interest-based instruction.”…Read More

Arizona Department of Education Selects Riverside’s CogAT for Statewide Universal Screening of all Second-Grade Students for Gifted Education Services

ITASCA, Ill. – Feb. 23, 2022 – The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) selected Riverside Insight’s Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®), the most respected and widely used test of student ability, to screen Grade 2 students state-wide for gifted programs. The ADE’s assessment choice supports the Department’s vision of promoting equity for all students to help them achieve their full potential. CogAT was specifically developed to be accessible to the broadest range of students and to ensure the greatest equity with valid and reliable results for identification and placement. 

“We are excited to provide this opportunity that will help our schools more equitably identify our state’s Gifted learners,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “Universal screening removes barriers to access and is a proven strategy to help identify students that have been traditionally underrepresented in Gifted Education programs – especially students who may be culturally, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse.”

CogAT, the #1 ability test in the market, according to an EducationWeek report, is the assessment tool that most effectively addresses the challenges of equity by identifying each student’s unique learning potential and empowering educators with the insights to help them achieve it. With demonstrated effectiveness with special populations, CogAT is uniquely positioned to meet the ADE’s requirements, supporting all learners including students with a disability or students acquiring the English language. CogAT is standardized with a representative sample of students from across the nation to provide both national and local norms, and it offers age-based Standard Age Scores (SAS) for the most fair comparisons of young students at different development and maturation levels.…Read More

How coding shapes students’ future success

With unpredictability fast becoming our daily bread, what can be more important than preparing the next generations for future challenges? Every parent wants to secure the best foundation for their children, be it for primary school education, academia, work, or life in general. 

In this sense, research has shown us how coding can be relevant across school subjects and academic disciplines. Now it’s time to talk about the other advantages it brings, including the cognitive effects of coding on children’s brains.

This is how coding shapes the future prospects of children.…Read More

How positive psychology reduces stress and boosts reading comprehension

Learning to read is a higher brain function. Reading comprehension activates the cerebral cortex of a child’s brain. This part of the brain is important for complex cognitive tasks, but it’s also the part of the brain that’s the most sensitive to the harmful effects of stress.

Because stress impairs both learning and memory, teachers can improve reading comprehension and enhance classroom learning by reducing student stress through positive psychology.

The psychology of happiness and learning…Read More

High Prevalence of Mental Health Risk Amid COVID Pandemic Taking a Serious Toll on U.S. Students’ Cognition

Neuroscientific research conducted by Total Brain and the Center for Adolescent Research and Education shows students’  focus, planning, memory and resilience scores fall well below standard average

The COVID pandemic is having a dramatic impact on U.S. students’ mental health which, in turn, is affecting precious cognitive capacities like memory, focus and planning.  According to a neuroscientific study conducted by Total Brain and the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE):

  • 48% of high school and college students are at risk of general anxiety
  • 45% are at risk of social anxiety
  • 39% are at risk of PTSD
  • Risk of common mental health conditions is 19% to 41% higher for females than males

Deteriorating mental health is usually linked with a decline in cognitive capacities. Expressed in percentile ranking, the standard average for any capacity is the 50th percentile ranking. However, the average percentile rank for students in this study fell well below the standard average:…Read More

Riverside Insights Launches New CogAT® Interactive Dashboard to Champion Educational Equity

Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments, has launched a new dashboard reporting tool designed to make it easier for educators to take advantage of the insights provided by the market-leading Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®) to promote educational equity. Championing an equitable education strategy demands balancing the needs and abilities of diverse students across varying local contexts. Navigating this complex spectrum requires the right data and tools to help educators develop a nuanced perspective of student potential.

The new CogAT dashboard provides educators with a tool specifically designed to support equitable program placement and instructional strategies that encourage student growth. The reporting format eliminates many manual steps in data analysis, empowering educators to quickly visualize the full set of ability insights from the school district, to the classroom, to the individual student. 

“With the new CogAT dashboard, educators can drill down into insights about each student without manual data analysis, thereby maximizing equitable identification for specific programs and services while minimizing the time and resources to assess each student’s cognitive abilities,” said Dr. Joni M. Lakin, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama and co-author of CogAT Form 8. “This new dashboard will speed decision making and give educators the insights they need to provide an equitable education for all students – especially in under-represented populations like those in lower socio-economic environments, students of color, and English language learners.”…Read More

15 skills students need for success — and how to teach them

21st century skills. Social and emotional learning skills. “Soft” skills. Whatever you choose to call them, there is a set of skills that are essential for success in school, work, and life — and yet teaching and assessing these skills in a formal, structured way can be challenging.

According to a report from McKinsey & Co., the global workforce will undergo a dramatic shift as a result of automation. The need for basic cognitive skills will decline by 15 percent over the course of this decade, while skills that can’t easily be replaced by computers —social and emotional skills such as leadership and empathy, and higher cognitive skills such as creativity and critical thinking — will be in high demand.

Related content: How gamification can improve schoolwide behavior…Read More

How should we define SEL in schools?

We are often asked for the definition of social-emotional learning (SEL). One common and useful SEL definition is the process of learning to integrate thinking, feeling, and behaving in order to become aware of the self and of others, make responsible decisions, and manage behaviors.

2 SEL models

There are two SEL models or frameworks emerging as the consensus view.

1. CASEL
The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) developed an SEL model that promotes the inter-relationships between classrooms, schools, families, and communities.…Read More

Beware of ransomware: Here’s how to protect your district

A new, disturbing pattern has cropped back up that is reminiscent of some nasty behavior from the early days of Internet nefarious exploits: targeting schools and students and the innocent. Ransomware attacks have been making headlines in recent months—particularly as a threat to K-12. Both Roseburg (OR )Public Schools and Leominster (MA) Public Schools were two of the latest victims of cyber-abuse.

A history of hacking
21 years ago, I got a call at my first internet security startup company (Signal 9 Solutions, later acquired by McAfee) asking for help; a woman’s son had cognitive challenges and disabilities, and she thought he was the victim of hacking. She had seen a news piece about cyberhacking, and she thought this might be a case.

At the time, we focused on enterprise sales and cryptographic solutions, but we had accidentally invented the personal firewall for telecommuting, put a beta version of this new standalone personal firewall on our website, and started a forum talking about it.…Read More