VHS Learning’s New Flexible Courses Expand Student Options for Online Course Enrollment

Boston – May 12, 2022 – Scheduling flexibility is frequently cited by students and teachers as a major benefit of working with VHS Learning’s asynchronous online courses. Starting in August, students will be able to take advantage of an even more flexibly paced course format.

The new Flexible course model will be available for 16 courses beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year:

  • Algebra 1 Flexible
  • AP® Calculus AB Flexible
  • AP® Calculus BC Flexible
  • AP® Computer Science Principles Flexible
  • AP® Environmental Science Flexible
  • AP® Macroeconomics Flexible
  • AP® Microeconomics Flexible
  • AP® Music Theory Flexible
  • AP® Physics 1 Flexible
  • AP® Spanish Language and Culture Flexible
  • AP® Statistics Flexible
  • AP® United States Government Flexible
  • AP® United States History Flexible
  • English 9 Flexible
  • English 11 Flexible
  • Spanish 1 Flexible

Each Flexible course is self-paced, and teacher led. Courses begin on the first of every month from August through February (August through December for AP® courses). The courses will end at the completion of the school year, so later enrollees will progress through course material at a faster pace.…Read More

Poptential™ Free Curriculum Brings History Alive for Independence Day

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — (May 6, 2022) — Poptential™, a family of free social studies course packages that pair pop culture media with engaging digital storytelling, provides teachers and students media-rich lessons on the American Revolution and Declaration of Independence, celebrated July 4. Click to tweet.

“While the Declaration of Independence was adopted 246 years ago, the heroes guiding the birth of our nation are brought to life in popular culture, which appeals to today’s digitally-savvy learner, and can make teaching more effective and relevant,” said Fred Fransen, CEO of Certell, Inc., the maker of Poptential.

Poptential courses, used by more than 30,000 teachers in 50 states, include everything instructors need to teach a subject, digitally accessible in one place, including lessons, ebooks, bell ringers, quizzes, and tests, as well as pop culture media to make lessons interesting and relatable to students. Curriculum packages are standards-based and developed by social studies teachers.…Read More

How stressed teachers can find time to reset

A teacher’s work is never done. Seriously, it’s amazing how much responsibility educators manage to shoulder throughout the week. From planning and delivering lessons, to grading, to attending professional development and networking with concerned parents, it’s no surprise a lot of teachers are feeling stretched thin.

It also doesn’t help that our culture pressures people to sacrifice well-being in the name of success. The message we frequently hear is, “If you’re not seeing the results, you’re not working hard enough!

In reality, teachers who don’t take time to rest and reenergize are usually less productive than ones who do. Think of it like the woodcutter who always takes an hour to sharpen his axe. Without that time of rest and preparation, he’d be trying to split wood with a dulled, useless blade. The same holds true for teachers. …Read More

A 4-step approach to leveraging technology in instruction

The adoption and assortment of technology in K-12 classrooms has soared over the past decade, posing challenges for schools tasked with deciding which technologies to introduce into their classrooms. Too often, these conversations around leveraging technology in instruction revolve around the what and how of physical tools — what to acquire and how to use it. However, we need to first start with the why of technology to truly address learning outcomes for all students.

Technology needs to be evaluated and chosen for its ability to engage students in meaningful and productive ways within a culture of accelerated learning. Students who are proficient with digital literacy skills and practices will have the advantage of being flexible and adaptive critical thinkers who can engage with new technology in meaningful and productive ways in every content area.

4 Steps to Integrating Technology with Purpose…Read More

Discovery Education and TrueSport Partner to Present a Unique, Virtual Town Hall Exploring the Life Skills Students Need for Success Beyond Sports

Silver Spring, MD (Thursday, January 27, 2022) — TrueSport – the outreach education arm of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) dedicated to transforming the culture of youth sport – and Discovery Education today announce a partnership providing powerful educational tools to equip students with resources that help build life skills and core values for success on and off the field of play. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. 

The partnership has produced The Mindset of a TrueSport Champion Town Hall, which premieres February 1 at 1 PM ET in time for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. In an engaging 24-minute video, students meet with Olympic, Paralympic, and Team USA athletes to explore how the values of sportsmanship, character building & life skills, and clean & healthy performance drive their success in both athletics and life. Included in the Town Hall are Team USA weightlifter Abby Raymond, wheelchair basketball Paralympian and three-time medalist Trey Jenifer, and Olympic boxing silver medalist Richard Torrez, Jr. Learn more about The Mindset of a TrueSport Champion Town Hall here.  

“The lessons and values learned through sport prepare young people to be more successful now, and in the future. The Mindset of a TrueSport Champion Town Hall is designed to inspire students, educators, coaches, and families to reflect on their choices and core values so that youth sport is about more than just winning,” said Dr. Jennifer Royer, the Senior Director of TrueSport and Awareness at USADA. “With Discovery Education as a partner, we are thrilled to take our mission of transforming the culture of youth sport through education even further.”  …Read More

PresenceLearning Expands Leadership Team

NEW YORK, August 17, 2021 – PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services and behavioral and mental health services for K-12 schools nationwide, has made two key additions to the leadership team. The company has hired Louisa Balach as President, Therapy Essentials Platform, and has promoted Shanelle Reese to become the company’s first Chief People Officer.

The creation of the Chief People Officer role signifies the importance of people at the center of the company’s culture and strategy. With the rapid growth of the business in FY21 came significant growth in employee teams to support and ensure great service to schools and students. In this role Reese will lead all employee-focused aspects of the organization, including employee experience, talent acquisition, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, learning and development, and internal communications. In her previous role as Vice President of People, Reese led PresenceLearning’s organization-wide commitment to diverse hiring practices, driving significant strides in representation across all teams, with 74% of PL employees female and 36% non-white. Additionally the company has added employee programming including company-wide unconscious bias training, COVID-related programming and broader resources to support employees.

The creation of the role of President, Therapy Essentials Platform marks an exciting step in the development of the company’s software as a service therapy platform offering. The offering has experienced rapid growth as school districts turn to Therapy Essentials to expand the capacity of their special education teams to serve their students remotely, and to provide clinicians with flexible ways to innovate and grow their practices. With the recent launch of Therapy Essentials for Individual and Group Practices, even more clinicians will be able to access the PresenceLearning platform. Under Balach’s leadership, the company will continue to innovate its therapy platform with a mission to provide the ultimate suite of online tools to support the work of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, mental health professionals and other clinicians.…Read More

5 ways IT leaders can inspire digital transformation post-pandemic

The past year propelled IT teams and leadership into the spotlight with never-before-seen digital transformation and multi-year technology plans executed practically overnight. After a year of awe-inspiring progress, Hillsborough County Public Schools CTO Jeremy Bunkley believes K-12 IT leaders need to keep the momentum going to ensure the year’s gains translate to long lasting technology and culture transformation.

A veteran IT leader and change agent, Bunkley embraced the pandemic’s challenges as a catalyst for district transformation. After building a collaborative ecosystem of partners, he executed some of the largest technology projects in the district’s history in a span of only 11 months, including migrating to a new, more effective email client, increasing technology staff through additional federal funding opportunities, creating the blueprint for a dark fiber WAN, and overhauling the district’s Wi-Fi network to a cloud solution.

Additionally, Bunkley worked directly with an OEM–a move rarely leveraged in K-12–to design custom Windows laptops tailored to the needs of district students and the technology environment, enabling HCPS to roll out 190,000 devices with a focus on 1:1 in grades second through twelfth while saving the district $5.6M. Future projects on the horizon include building a private LTE network and integrating application usage data analytics.…Read More

3 ways to prioritize teacher PD as schools reopen

As schools make plans to reopen, it would be easy for school and district leaders to put teacher PD on the backburner. There are, after all, a lot of competing priorities – from managing first-days-of-school schedules to navigating new cleaning protocols to building culture and community.

High-quality PD is still critical to teachers’ success, and now is not the time to scale back, especially given the ongoing challenges teachers are facing this school year. Creating time and space for professional learning will help teachers recharge their batteries.

Below are three ways to help efficiently and effectively prioritize teacher PD for the remainder of this year and beyond.…Read More

VHS Learning Partners with Continental Han Feng Network Technology to Develop Chinese Language Program

Nonprofit VHS Learning is partnering with Continental Han Feng Network Technology (CHF) to develop a full Chinese language high school program. Chinese 1 through AP® Chinese Language and Culture courses will be added to the more than 250 online courses currently offered by VHS Learning. CHF and VHS Learning are working collaboratively to develop Chinese 1 and Chinese 2 courses during the first year of this multi-year partnership and VHS Learning is training qualified teachers in preparation for releasing both courses in September 2021.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer a full Chinese language program to VHS Learning students,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “We know there is a huge demand for Chinese language instruction, but not all high schools have the staff or resources to offer these courses. I anticipate a significant demand for these courses and am thankful for the support and partnership of CHF as we bring these courses to life for high school students everywhere.”

To develop the program, VHS Learning is working with a stellar team of subject matter experts. The team will take state of the art content and create engaging learning experiences, fully aligned to ACTFL World Language standards, and delivered through VHS Learning’s unique, asynchronous model.…Read More

The Making of the Modern Librarian: The Value of School Libraries

A virtual reality field trip. A lesson on how to create a podcast. A tutorial on how to create a paper circuit board that uses LED lights. For a new generation of educators, these pursuits have something in common: They’re all appropriate learning exercises that can take place in the school library. Makerspaces, or library media centers that encourage collaboration and support student invention, are on the rise across the United States.

This has always been the case, but in a prevailing learning culture that promotes outside-the-box problem solving, these activities are growing more common in the 21st-century school library. At the intersection of analog and digital learning opportunities, the value of school libraries has increased at all levels of education. And at the helm of these spaces, school librarians must negotiate how best to support students with library resources, adapt to new technological advancements in education and pass on the fundamental tenets of digital and information literacy to students.

As the U.S. public education system has evolved throughout its history, school libraries have also developed with a consistent central goal: to give students the best opportunity to succeed academically.…Read More