Alabama Expands Use of LETRS Professional Learning Course Statewide

BOSTON (Aug. 16, 2021) – Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, announced today that all schools throughout Alabama can now boost literacy instruction via LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning. This professional learning experience provides the knowledge and tools for successfully applying the science of reading in classrooms. The Alabama State Department of Education funding is to support kindergarten through third grade teachers, in addition to Pre-K, administrators, and other support positions that impact K-3 literacy in the state. Educators can earn continuing education units (CEUs) or professional learning units (PLUs).

“This implementation shows Alabama’s commitment to supporting all teachers of foundational literacy,” said Lexia Learning and Voyager Sopris Learning President, Nick Gaehde. “Our LETRS professional learning program has more than a decade of demonstrated success in schools and districts across the United States, and it’s been proving itself in Alabama cohorts over the last few years.”

The Alabama State Department of Education adopted use of LETRS as part of the Alabama Literacy Act, which in addition to providing foundational literacy support, also provides intensive support for the state’s lowest performing elementary schools. Even before the act was signed into law, Alabama was piloting the program with a small cohort during 2018. At that time, 109 participants completed the LETRS for Early Childhood Educators course, and 97.2% showed growth in knowledge. Approximately 200 elementary educators participated in the LETRS Third Edition course during this pilot.…Read More

Adventure 2 Learning Acquires Mission Move, An Activity-based Education Provider

Mission Move’s standards-based video program utilizes kinesthetic movement to make math, language arts, and nutrition fun for elementary-aged students.

New York, NY – Adventure 2 Learning, a leading video-based education platform, announces the acquisition of Mission Move to expand its offering of fun, interactive programs to help educators and parents make learning exciting.

Mission Move was developed by educational experts to utilize kinesthetic teaching and amplify learning for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Mission Move incorporates movement with lessons in math, English language arts (ELA), and nutrition to make learning fun and engaging for kids. Mission Move won the 2016 Wisconsin Innovation Award following the initial success of its program in schools throughout the state. An independent research study across 3 school districts that was subsequently published in the Journal of Childhood Obesity found that Mission Move not only increased students’ general physical activity and desire to learn, but also resulted in an 18% increase in math scores and 8% reduction in behavior-related incidents across the districts. …Read More

Hand2Mind Delivers Custom, Screen-Free Solutions to Los Angeles Unified School District to Support At-Home Learning

Hand2mind, a family-owned educational resource company, is delivering custom solutions to help solve the complex challenges faced by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), including a lack of essential learning supplies for Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to grade 6 teachers and students in areas with at-risk populations. hand2mind’s customized assortments will help provide LAUSD with the tools needed to engage students with equitable, screen-free education opportunities despite the remote learning environment.

hand2mind personalized grade-level math and literacy lessons, activities and materials for TK to grade 6 students to meet the district’s specific needs. LAUSD is the nation’s second-largest K–12 district with more than 650,000 students enrolled in over 900 schools and 249 public charter schools. With the student population predominantly Latino (73.4%)—up to 161,484 students are considered English language learners—hand2mind was able to develop and supply additional support materials for teachers and parents. Instructional videos in English and Spanish were developed to explain how to use the manipulatives featured in the kits and how best to facilitate parent engagement while their kids are learning remotely. In addition, hand2mind partnered with LAUSD to provide on-demand training opportunities for 14,000 teachers.

“Delivering resources and curriculum to students across the Los Angeles Unified School District was imperative for student success, and these hand2mind kits are the perfect tools to address students’ needs during the pandemic,” said Sari Winick, SVP of Marketing at hand2mind. “Our mission is to support teachers, inspire students, engage parents, and champion learning by doing, and that’s exactly what we’ve been able to achieve with this partnership. Most importantly, we couldn’t be happier for the students and their families.”…Read More

SplashLearn Raises $18 Million in Series C Funding Round From Owl Ventures & Accel

SplashLearn, the US-headquartered learning company began 2021 on a high note raising $18 million in Series C funding round led by Owl Ventures. San Francisco based Owl Ventures is the largest edtech sector-focused venture capital firm in the world. Accel, who earlier invested $7 million in Series B, also participated in this round.

SplashLearn was incorporated in 2010. The bulk of the business comes from the United States and currently, students in one in every three schools in the country use SplashLearn. SplashLearn is a game-based learning program that intelligently adapts to each child’s learning ability and helps them master skills at their own pace. Its curriculum covers pre-kindergarten through grade 5 for math and reading. With a strong focus on engagement and efficacy, it has over 4,000+ curriculum-aligned games and activities, designed to create an exciting learning experience for kids.

With the onset of Covid-19, SplashLearn saw a surge of almost 3x in adoption, as more students turned online and families began seeking educational support. In 2020, more than 10 million new users joined the SplashLearn program. The demand came in not only from the US but also the UK, Australia, and Canada. In the latter half of 2020, SplashLearn expanded its offering beyond the math program to include reading and also launched a personalized tutoring product, owing to growing demand from parents and teachers.…Read More

5 cybersecurity life skills to teach all year

If a student from your school had someone knock on their front door, ask for personal information and offer to give them a treat in exchange for that information, what would happen? It depends on the child, but what you know for certain is that your district or school has been teaching stranger danger since that child was in kindergarten, so the odds are good that the interaction would raise a red flag for the student.

Why is it, then, that students are posting videos and photos on TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat without any concern that their school name or home address is displayed prominently in the background?

Related content: 10 cybersecurity must-dos…Read More

Rosetta Stone Announces Winners of the Emergent Bilingual Educators of the Year Award Program

Rosetta Stone Inc. announced the 10 winners in its first Emergent Bilingual Educators of the Year award program. A total of $20,000 in grant donations and $75,000 in subscriptions to the Rosetta Stone® English for Education language learning program were awarded to teachers of English learners (EL).

Victor Machado, an ESL teacher at East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey, won the $10,000 grand prize, along with a schoolwide semester’s subscription to Rosetta Stone English. The two runners-up are Timothy McGrath and Virginia Valdez. McGrath is a K-5 ELL teacher at West View Elementary School, a small inner-city school in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Valdez is a kindergarten teacher at Minnie Mars Jamieson Elementary at Chicago Public Schools. Each won $5,000 grants as well as the schoolwide semester’s subscription to Rosetta Stone English.

Machado was nominated by the Bilingual Department Chairperson Brian Donovan who submitted an essay describing how Machado helps his students. Donovan wrote of Machado: “He is able to synthesize all the tools required to educate a student and turn his class into a fun engaging ESL lab, where technology is used to leverage student achievement and where students take ownership of their education.”…Read More

The Character Tree Expands its Offering to Kindergarten

The Character Tree, an online resource that teaches character development though engaging videos and downloadable activities, has expanded to offer videos and content specifically for kindergarten-aged students. The videos are short and feature puppet characters sure to appeal to the youngest learners while they teach lessons on classroom citizenship such as hand-raising, full-body listening and other skills that are important for children who are just starting school.

A 2020/21 subscription to The Character Tree includes 36 episodes, 18 original songs, 36 sets of parent’s guides and 36 sets of useful supplemental resources. The videos are appropriate for use in classrooms, especially in live virtual classrooms, child care centers and for parents at home. To sign up, visit: https://charactertree.com/subscriptions/.

“Our first set of videos this year focused on students in grades 1 and 2 and we had such an amazing response that we are expanding to kindergarten,” said Bill Apperson, chairman of Apperson which created The Character Tree. “These lessons will help young students make that tough transition to school and teach positive character traits that will serve them well into the future.”…Read More

Klassroom, the first parent-teacher communication app designed specifically for elementary schools

Klassroom, the Paris-based company that reinvents parent-teacher communication in pre-kindergarten and all elementary school grades, just raised a $3 million seed round led by Bpifrance and several angel investors including Jerome Lecat, CEO at Scality, and Andy Myers, President at Waterford.org and former executive at Renaissance Learning.

This funding will enable Klassroom to accelerate growth in countries outside of France, including in the U.S. where more than 700 educators started using the app during the last school year without any significant investment in that market. Klassroom is already the leading app of its type in France with nearly one million users. Klassroom’s user community doubled in just under two months during school closures and the COVID-19 crisis.

Klassroom: an inclusive, engaging foundation for parent-teacher communication that enables deeper involvement in the school life of children…Read More

When the digital divide is made worse by a pandemic

The digital divide is proving one of the most pervasive and stubborn challenges in U.S. education, and its effects can follow students from kindergarten through college. As if that’s not bad enough, the COVID-19 crisis, which forced students across the globe to learn at home while schools closed physical operations, made inequities even more apparent.

Students in schools all over the U.S. struggled to find existing or reliable internet connections, many didn’t have access to appropriate devices to complete online assignments, others waited for weeks until schools managed to organize device-lending programs, while still others had to share devices with siblings and, sometimes, parents who also had to work from home.

Related content: Family tech nights can narrow the digital divide…Read More

District wide campus communications suites

Murrieta Valley Unified School District educates 23,400 students from transitional kindergarten through high school at 20 campuses. MVUSD executed a major 18-month renovation of campuses across the district including the installation of AV systems built around Extron’s WallVault Digital System in 1,100 classrooms, multipurpose rooms, libraries, and meeting rooms.

During the renovation project, the district began evaluating Extron’s GlobalViewer Campus Communications Suite – GVCCS – with intentions to modernize campus public address, bell, and intercom systems as a complete solution for unifying all campus audio systems under an easy-to-use interface using the existing network.

Jonathan Pratt, the Senior Systems Engineer for MVUSD, observes that GVCCS is yielding multiple advantages that may prove critical in a changing learning environment: “From an Operations standpoint, we are convinced that GVCCS is the way to go. But the technical case for GVCCS actually takes a back seat to its value-added. The ability for school sites to create and control their own schedules and audio content is a game-changer. Putting this kind of technology into the hands of school administrators allows creativity to flourish.”…Read More