Cicero School District 99 Adopts Lexia LETRS Professional Learning Programs

BOSTON (June 29, 2022) – Cicero School District 99 in Illinois has adopted Lexia LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning programs for its teachers and administrators. Offered by Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, LETRS provides educators with the deep knowledge required to be literacy and language experts in the science of reading.

Developed by Dr. Louisa Moats and leaders in the field of literacy, the LETRS Suite provides practical support with tools that are available 24/7—online and in print. It also offers professional learning sessions led by national LETRS experts. These sessions provide classroom application examples of the learning and refine and extend participants’ understanding of the content.

Cicero SD 99 began rolling out LETRS in the second part of 2021. The district implemented two professional learning programs:…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

Parallel Learning Expands Executive Team With New Esteemed Digital Health and Education Talent to Further Scale and Accelerate Growth

NEW YORK, NY (FEBRUARY 4, 2022) – Parallel Learning (Parallel), the digital health platform that provides a new way to test, diagnose, and empower students with learning and thinking differences, announced today two new key hires to its growing executive team, in addition to plans to expand its services into Illinois, Texas and Florida next month. Susan Liu joins as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Robert Stager joins as Director of Partnerships, with both executives bringing extensive knowledge to the digital health and education space. The recent hires will support Parallel’s continued growth plans, fueling its mission to support and advocate for children with learning or thinking differences.

Prior to Parallel, Liu was VP of Clinical Operations at Cerebral Inc., a fast-growing online mental health company, where she led the clinical operations and customer service function through the company’s rapid growth from pre-Series A to a multibillion valuation Series C. As an experienced start-up operator with a background in public health and a passion for building teams from the ground-up, Liu scaled the operations to serve over 200,000 patients in less than two years and grew the clinical network from less than 100 to more than 2,000 nationwide in less than one and a half years. In her role as COO at Parallel, Liu will focus on building the systems and processes for scale and growth, in go-to-market operations as well as clinical and care operations.

“I’m thrilled to join the Parallel team and to dedicate my focus to empowering young students—especially during this dire time of need as the U.S. faces a massive education crisis,” said Susan Liu, Chief Operating Officer at Parallel Learning. “As a proud immigrant and a product of the public school system myself, I am passionate about increasing access to care and opportunity for kids of all ages. I look forward to bringing my expertise to this role to help us continue to grow and achieve our goals, and I could not be more excited to be part of this dynamic team.”…Read More

Flinn Scientific’s New PAVO Platform Provides Comprehensive Instructional Solution to District-Level Science Programs

Batavia, Illinois, December 21, 2021 — To support school district science programs in delivering comprehensive content and customizable labs across science subject areas, Flinn Scientific recently launched the PAVO platform. This all-in-one solution for middle school, high school, and advanced science levels helps educators support digital and hands-on learning, facilitate inquiry-based exploration, and differentiate instruction using labs, embedded safety resources, test prep, formative and summative assessments, and multi-level reporting tools.  

“We wanted to figure out a way to bring all of the rich resources Flinn has under one umbrella to make it easy for educators to offer dynamic, hands-on learning in science classrooms. The PAVO platform brings an unparalleled depth and breadth to science instruction, while focusing on inquiry, investigation, and exploration,” said Michael Lavelle, CEO of Flinn Scientific. “In one platform, PAVO provides all of our digital resources and labs, accessible by grade or subject area, to help educators deeper engage students in hands-on and digital learning.” 

All of PAVO’s content is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards to ensure students are practicing and mastering key concepts in the major science areas, including chemistry, biology, environmental science, physics, physical science, life science, Earth and space science, and STEM. The content includes more than 7,000 customizable lessons, labs, assessments, and safety courses and certifications, as well as 3,200-plus instructional videos, lab videos, and augmented and virtual reality simulations that bring science to life for students.…Read More

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program Selects ParentSquare as a Vendor Partner for School-Home Communications

Santa Barbara, CA — Dec. 15, 2021— ParentSquare, the award-winning unified school-home communications platform for K-12 education, has been named a vendor partner by the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP).

The ILTPP is a statewide cooperative created by Illinois’ Learning Technology Center (LTC), Regional Offices of Education (ROE), and Intermediate Service Centers (ISC) in 1998. Its goal is to provide a voluntary purchasing program that combines the purchasing power of Illinois school districts and other eligible educational entities to offer competitive pricing on technology products and services.

Approved vendors undergo a rigorous evaluation before obtaining ILTPP’s approval for partnership. The program researches the reliability of each vendor by contacting three educational facilities that have purchased their products within the last year. In addition, an advisory committee consisting of LTC, ROE, and ISC directors and Illinois State Board of Education officials assesses the vendors’ pricing and products.…Read More

CASEL mourns the loss of Dr. Roger P. Weissberg, Board Vice Chair and Chief Knowledge Officer

CHICAGO – It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Roger P. Weissberg, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Board Vice Chair and Chief Knowledge Officer.

Dr. Weissberg was a leading voice and foremost expert on social and emotional learning (SEL), and his seminal research helped to establish a substantial evidence base for SEL and to transform how school districts and state departments approached education. He was a co-founder of CASEL, where he spent the past 25 years guiding the organization and contributing to the growth of the SEL field. Dr. Weissberg was also Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he was named the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning Research in 2011. 

“Roger made incalculable contributions to the science, practice, and policy of education in the United States and around the world,” said CASEL co-founder and board chair Timothy Shriver. “SEL has brought empathy, compassion, and strength to the lives of millions of children and adults, and no one did more to open their hearts and ours too than Roger. Future generations will long be indebted to him and those of us lucky enough to know and work with him will cherish his memory, his kindness, his endless commitment, and his life changing friendship.”…Read More

USF and BloomBoard Announce New Partnership to Address Pandemic Recovery while Offering Teachers Graduate-level Credit via Micro-Credentials

JOILET, Ill. (August 4, 2021)- Today, the University of St. Francis and BloomBoard announced a partnership to help Illinois schools and districts support teachers this fall following significant disruptions to learning over the past two years. Illinois teachers will be able to get a headstart on their graduate degrees from the university while honing their skills in critical areas such as student well-being and academic recovery. These courses also qualify for federal stimulus funding, enabling school districts to pay for the training, as they seek to leverage remaining resources before expiration.

This partnership allows teachers to develop skills through an on-the-job, learning-and-proving-by-doing process that is directly relevant to their classroom practice. Micro-credential-based programs are a flexible alternative to earning traditional graduate course credit towards a master’s degree. They provide an innovative approach to professional learning while promoting educators’ professional and compensation advancement opportunities. 

“Micro-credentials are an attractive option for teachers who want to develop evidence-based practices that are directly related to student learning, and build the practical skills that are needed in Illinois schools right now,” said Dr. John Gambro, Dean of the College of Education at the University of St. Francis. “This partnership with BloomBoard is a big step forward in our continual effort to meet the needs of educators in innovative ways. It’s truly a win-win for advancing K-12 education.”…Read More

The Council of State Science Supervisors and Flinn Scientific Collaborate to Support Safe Practices in Science Classrooms

Batavia, Illinois, June 23, 2021 — The Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS) and Flinn Scientific, a flagship provider of science lab materials and safety and STEM solutions for the K-16 education market, collaborated to support science safety by updating three safety manuals – Elementary Science Safety K-8; Elementary STEM & Tool Safety K-8; and High School Science Safety. These resourcesare available online and as free digital downloads.

“Lab safety is of paramount importance. Whether students are making sense of phenomena or designing solutions in a classroom, laboratory, or in the community, educators need to be proactive in ensuring everyone’s safety,” said Michael Heinz, President of CSSS. “With the input and expertise of Flinn Scientific and its safety professionals, updated safety manuals offer insights that instructional leaders and educators can use to be proactive in thinking about, and planning for, safe investigations and solving design challenges.”

The manuals provide easily accessible, concise safety guidance on topics such as safe operating procedures, accident prevention, chemical waste management, and personal protective equipment.…Read More

Flinn Scientific Updates Science2Go to Further Engage High School Students in Science Exploration

New videos, labs, assessments, and more to support biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics teaching and learning

Batavia, Illinois, June 14, 2021 — Flinn Scientific, a flagship provider of science lab materials and safety and STEM solutions for the K-16 education market, is enhancing its award-winning Science2Go to further support high school biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics teaching and learning. Available for the 2021-22 school year, these updates include a number of new videos, labs, assessments, and more to provide a robust and engaging experience for students in any learning environment.

“This past school year, Science2Go has provided a safe and engaging way to teach students across a range of science disciplines, regardless if they were in-person, remote, or hybrid,” said Mike Lavelle, CEO of Flinn Scientific. “Now, with these new Back-To-School updates, high school teachers will have even more ways – and resources available to them – to deliver targeted content and enriching labs that immerse students in science learning.”…Read More

CASEL Board Member Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl Starts as NoVo Endowed Chair of SEL at UIC

CASEL Board of Directors Member Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl has begun her tenure as the next NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair of Social and Emotional Learning in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The position was created in 2011 to support ongoing social and emotional learning (SEL) research at the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with support from the Novo Foundation. As the new NoVo Chair of SEL, Dr. Schonert-Reichl will take over for CASEL Co-founder and Chief Knowledge Officer Dr. Roger Weissberg, who held the post since its creation.

Known as a world-renowned expert in SEL, Dr. Schonert-Reichl was a Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, and Special Education in the Faculty of Education at University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1991 to 2020. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2021 Janusz Korczak Medal for Children’s Rights Advocacy, and has been invited to participate in several dialogues with the Dalai Lama on the themes of cultivating compassion and educating the heart.

“It is truly such an honor for me to take on this new role as the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in SEL, and to join such an amazing group of faculty and students at UIC — a world-class university,” Dr. Schonert-Reichl said. “And, it is particularly meaningful to me to be returning to Chicago, where my interest and passion for SEL all began as a teacher. Indeed, it was during my years as a new teacher that my students taught me that the best learning happens when explicit attention is given to creating educational contexts that support and promote their social and emotional competence and well-being.”…Read More