Digital Health Platform Parallel Learning Announces $20M in Series A Funding to Further Expand and Serve Students with Learning and Thinking Differences

NEW YORK, NY (MAY 26, 2022 ) – Parallel Learning (Parallel)—the digital health platform that provides a new way to test, diagnose, and empower students with learning and thinking differences—today announced $20M in Series A funding and an expansion to its suite of teletherapy services. This round was led by Tiger Global with additional participation from Obvious Ventures, Barry Sternlich’s JAWS and existing investor, Vine Ventures. This news comes only five months after Parallel’s official launch alongside $2.8M in previous financing, bringing the company’s total capital raised to $22.8M. The new funds will be used to accelerate Parallel’s national expansion to deliver an end-to-end suite of psychoeducational services for students. Parallel’s services go beyond initial psychological evaluations to offer ongoing support to students including skill-based tutoring, executive function coaching, and as of today, behavioral therapy as well as speech and language therapy. Services are available directly to families as well as to school districts as part of the company’s enterprise offering.

With Parallel, services begin within days, instead of the typical wait of months, and cost a fraction of the price of traditional services. Parallel offers specialized care at a quicker, more convenient and affordable rate compared to traditional care options. The company employs licensed psychologists, learning specialists, behavioral health therapists and speech therapists in each state and matches students with providers based on their referral concern and desired services. Following the initial consultation, a student will be matched with a care team specifically assigned to ensure the student receives all recommended services.

“Our mission is to work hand-in-hand with school districts and families to deliver the highest quality developmental services to students across the nation,” said Diana Heldfond, Founder and CEO of Parallel Learning. “With 20 percent of children challenged by learning and thinking differences, we’re committed to offering lasting, effective and affordable solutions to help those students succeed in and out of the classroom.”…Read More

How to make the most of your COVID relief funds

School district leaders across the country are cautiously optimistic about post-pandemic teaching and learning–and they’re also tracking what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade their technology infrastructure and classrooms with next-gen solutions like interactive displays, laptops, and more.

In 2020 and 2021, Congress passed three COVID relief packages that added up to over $190 billion for public and private schools. Billions more are slated to arrive shortly.

The potential for this funding is great. How to effectively secure and implement it can be daunting. Join eSchool News and a panel of the country’s most insightful analysts as they discuss the state-of-play of federal and state edtech funding programs and what districts can do to take advantage.…Read More

It’s time to invest in tech equity in education

Today’s education doesn’t need to be limited to the walls of a classroom. It shouldn’t rely on home internet access, a community hotspot or a ride to the library. It shouldn’t be exclusive to kids who attend schools stocked with new textbooks and state-of-the-art laboratories.

Rather, U.S. students are entering a time where equity in education has the potential to be closer than ever before. Technology brings the opportunity for students to access the same plethora of information, regardless of location or status.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a trend toward one-to-one devices for students nationwide. Districts that had yet to assign devices to each student rushed to make that happen when remote learning began. Emergency funding helped fill in the gaps for districts that needed a jump-start to make big technology purchases.…Read More

How to fund your CTE program

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs provide students with relevant tools and skills that set them up for success in life and their careers, including those not typically part of traditional academic programs.

These programs offer something unique and, in many cases, tap into a student’s personal interests – even as they still provide a valuable education experience. CTE programs have countless benefits to students, and funding to implement, sustain, or grow your existing CTE programs is crucial. While there are many free resources available, having the funds to purchase basic equipment or upgrade to premium services can make a huge difference.

So where do you start when looking to fund your CTE program? The most significant source of United States government funds for CTE comes from The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, also known as “Perkins V” or “Perkins CTE grants.” It’s a grant, meaning you don’t have to pay it back, but the application process is competitive, and you’ll need to satisfy requirements as part of the grant.…Read More

Can web filtering really harm the kids?

Web filtering is undoubtedly an essential when it comes to school cybersecurity. However, when the service is not set up correctly or a number of blocked categories is way too high, it starts to annoy both staff, and kids. Let’s see how to use web filtering to stay safe out there on the internet and make full use out of it.

Starting with the basics, it makes sense to remind ourselves what CIPA is. The Children’s Internet Protection Act, signed into law in 2000, is a document that regulates the exposure of inappropriate content to children. To be precise, the content that shall be filtered or blocked is divided into 3 groups: obscenity, child pornography & content harmful to minors. To receive funding, an educational institution must follow the guidelines of the act. The easiest way to comply with it is to purchase a web filtering solution. Needless to say, K-12 schools must be CIPA compliant to use E-Rate discounts, but those schools and libraries that do not receive the fundings do not have this obligation.

Web filtering solutions work on a DNS level, blocking all unwanted websites: both malicious ones with viruses lurking around, and all kinds of explicit content. In a nutshell, the DNS system matches IP addresses and the names of the websites working as a phonebook of the Internet. DNS filtering, however, also categorizes the website to see if it belongs to any restricted groups. This part is usually customizable: you choose which type of sites you want gone (or vice versa – you create an Allow list, which contains only the resources you want your students, staff & guests to see, and everything else is blocked), and leave it be.…Read More

Fill personnel gaps with federal grants

Hiring additional reading and math coaches, counselors, school psychologists, and other support staff is a key strategy for meeting students’ academic and social-emotional learning needs.

When school systems use federal funding for personnel expenses, they must have a plan in place for tracking and reporting the time and effort that employees spend on grant-funded activities to protect current and future student support funding.

Join eSchool News and a panel of experts, including Kecia Ray, Ed.D, and Janet Hagood of Jefferson County Schools, to learn best practices and key strategies for completing this process successfully in your own district.…Read More

How Mississippi is prioritizing student learning and safety

COVID has undeniably changed education, and as schools, districts, and states move forward with educating students in a new reality, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is focusing on student learning and student safety.

MDE is investing up to $49 million of its American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds in four new services to support student safety and learning statewide.

“These student and school support services will help all district and school leaders manage the challenges of the pandemic and help students accelerate their learning,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Along with a system to make schools safer, we are offering districts services that will give students access to high-quality content, college and career planning tools, and live tutors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”…Read More

Catapult Learning Selected By Illinois State Board Of Education To Deliver High-Impact Tutoring For Recognized Nonpublic K-12 Schools

April 21, 2022, CHICAGO – Catapult Learning, a provider of intervention programs for students and professional development solutions for teachers in both public and nonpublic K-12 schools, today announced its selection by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to provide high impact tutoring services for recognized nonpublic schools to assist students who are low-income or were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move by ISBE will have a profound and positive impact by providing at least 5,000 students at recognized nonpublic schools access to tutoring services, including those schools not eligible for EANS funding. The program is fully funded by ISBE through federal pandemic relief funding, and there is no charge to schools or families.

Through the partnership, K-12 nonpublic schools recognized by the Illinois Board of Education can request tutoring services for math and English language arts (ELA) which will help close the learning gap, bringing students closer to grade-level proficiency, and make up for lost learning time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.…Read More

Follow the money! Use COVID relief funds to your advantage

School district leaders across the country are cautiously optimistic about post-pandemic teaching and learning–and they’re also tracking what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to upgrade their technology infrastructure and classrooms with next-gen solutions like interactive displays, laptops, and more.

In 2020 and 2021, Congress passed three COVID relief packages that added up to over $190 billion for public and private schools. Billions more are slated to arrive shortly.

The potential for this funding is great. How to effectively secure and implement it can be daunting. Join eSchool News and a panel of the country’s most insightful analysts as they discuss the state-of-play of federal and state edtech funding programs and what districts can do to take advantage.…Read More