IRIS Wins ‘Educators Pick Best of STEM 2021’ Award for Earth Science

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 30, 2021) — The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) was recently named a winner in the ‘Educators Pick Best of STEM 2021’ Awards in the Earth Science category. The awards, which are a combined effort of Catapult X, the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), and MCH Strategic Data, are the only awards judged by STEM educators for STEM educators. IRIS was selected for its positive impact on student learning and STEM education in today’s schools.

IRIS entered three of its hundreds of educational resources for judging by STEM educators: the Station Monitor, an app where students can examine up-to-the-minute ground motion recorded by  local, regional, or global seismographs; the Layered Earth activity where students compare observed seismic data to predictions they make from a model to determine that the Earth must have a layered internal structure and to estimate the size of Earth’s core; and the IRIS Earthquake Browser, which lets students examine patterns of global, regional, and local seismicity by exploring millions of earthquake epicenters on an interactive map of the world.

Winners of the awards were chosen based on reviews by the educator judges, as well as by a popular vote by more than 2,500 educators. One educator judge said, “The IRIS Consortium offers comprehensive resources for Earth Science students from middle school all the way through University. It gives teachers access to seismological data students can analyze at home or in the classroom. And they are FREE!”…Read More

Positive Action, Inc. Enters Partnership to Distribute Content via PresenceLearning’s Therapy Platform

TWIN FALLS, IDAHO, November 11, 2021 – Positive Action, Inc. (“PAI”), the leading education  and technology company for evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs, has  entered a distribution partnership with PresenceLearning, Inc., the leading provider of live online therapy tools and special education related services for K-12 schools.

“PresenceLearning’s technology platform is breaking down barriers for students to access quality special education services from a live clinician,” said Alex Allred, CEO of PAI. “We are delighted to pair our SEL curriculum content with PresenceLearning’s platform in support of the mutual objective of delivering the most effective SEL learning experience to students.”

Via PresenceLearning’s platform, students log in from school or home to live teletherapy sessions with licensed clinicians. Special education related services delivered include speech language therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral and mental health therapy, and assessments. Clinicians within PresenceLearning’s network will be able to access complete digital curriculum materials from Positive Action’s SEL programs, including comprehensive education materials (most with approximately 140 lessons), student activity sheets, thumbnail graphics for posters, and other visual aids. Proven effective in multiple randomized controlled trials, the Positive Action SEL program is designed for use in all tiers of instruction and includes specialized materials designed for drug education, anti-bullying, family, and counselor objectives.…Read More

TutorMe Launches Partnership with Saint Paul Public Schools

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (November 15, 2021) TutorMe, the online tutor of the future, today announced a partnership with Saint Paul Public School District to provide more than 33,000 K-12 students with free access to TutorMe’s online, 24/7 tutoring service for the 2021-2022 school year.

With more than 15,000 tutors available anytime to help with more than 300 subjects, TutorMe provides immediate expertise whenever and wherever students need it. Whether it’s homework help or a study session, students pair up with their private tutor for a personalized 1-on-1 lesson in the advanced lesson space.

“Providing access to TutorMe supports our district-wide effort to close academic gaps exacerbated by COVID-19 and accelerate learning recovery through the 2021-2022 school year,” said Darren Ginther, the district’s director of the office of college and career readiness. “The personalized support empowers students and their families to get the help they need at anytime, anywhere, whether it be during remote learning, late-night studying after extracurriculars, or when they hit a roadblock with their homework.”  …Read More

Renaissance Announces Significant Growth Investment from Blackstone

NEW YORK, SAN FRANCISCO, WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. November 9, 2021 – Renaissance® (“Renaissance” or the “Company”), a global leader in pre-K–12 educational technology, today announced its entry into a definitive agreement for private equity funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE:BX; “Blackstone”) to make a significant equity investment in the Company alongside existing investors including Francisco Partners and TPG’s The Rise Fund. Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses, acquired the Company in 2018 and will remain a major shareholder. Blackstone’s investment will be made through its flagship private equity vehicle. 

Founded in 1986, Renaissance combines decades of experience in assessments with personalized instruction and analytics solutions delivering teachers and administrators the tools to plan, lessons to teach, and the resources to motivate students to learn. Renaissance is one of the most recognized and trusted brands in K-12 education serving more than 40% of US schools and more than 16 million students worldwide. The Company’s assessment-driven, integrated instructional ecosystem enables schools and districts to benchmark student progress; teach, plan, and respond to students’ needs in real-time with personalized instruction; and offer supplemental student literacy and math learning software solutions. 

The new investment from Blackstone will enable the Company to further accelerate organic growth initiatives and innovation across its product suite. Building on the platform’s growth under Francisco Partners, the investment will also enable the Company to continue executing on its targeted acquisition strategy following its recent acquisitions earlier this year of Lalilo, a research-based foundational literacy program; and Nearpod, a leader in teacher-facilitated instructional delivery. …Read More

3 simple—yet powerful—practices for student-centered learning

It is encouraging to observe an increasing number of educational leaders calling out the importance of student-empowered, student-owned, and student-centered learning.  A.J. Juliani, John Spencer, Katie Martin, and Alan November, to name a few, are inspiring the shift that so many educators already know needs to happen–from a mechanical, soulless approach to learning to an inspired, student-honored approach. 

Personalized learning defines a learning experience for the student and teacher that is intrinsically motivated and student empowered/owned. True personalized learning occurs when the student is a partner with the teacher, not only in student voice and choice, but a partner in content and curriculum creation as well. 

The necessity for students to have a student-centered learning experience at school directly addresses three specific areas of educational need:…Read More

Scholastic And The Council Of The Great City Schools Announce The Inaugural Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award

New York, NY – November 3, 2021 – Today, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, in collaboration with the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), a coalition of 75 of the nation’s largest urban public school systems, has announced the School District of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, PA as the inaugural winner of the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award. Named in honor of the late Scholastic Chairman and CEO, Richard (Dick) Robinson, this annual award recognizes a CGCS member school district for demonstrated progress in advancing reading achievement.  

“During his near five decades leading Scholastic, Dick Robinson was a true champion of children’s literacy and education,” said Rose Else-Mitchell, President, Scholastic Education Solutions. “He believed that the core to the work we do is reaching the hearts of children to help them discover the stories, people, and worlds that can spark confidence and curiosity, while giving them the skills and tools necessary to navigate the 21st century. We’re honored to introduce this new award in partnership with the Council of the Great City Schools to recognize Dick’s lasting legacy, and to expand opportunities for students through access to high-quality, engaging print and digital resources.” 

According to findings from the Scholastic Teacher & Principal School Report, educators overwhelmingly agree (99%) that reading books for fun supports students’ academic success. As the Richard M. Robinson Literacy Champion Award-winner, the School District of Philadelphia has selected its own General George G. Meade School to receive the grand prize, which is designed to help increase book access and create a lasting culture of literacy. The school will receive: …Read More

KidWind Supports New Children’s Book Featuring Women in Energy

(Saint Paul, Minn.) November 8, 2021 – Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the authors of the upcoming book Everyday Superheroes: Women in Energy have partnered with several energy companies. EDP Renewables North America, Enel North America, Orsted, and Pattern Energy are sponsoring copies of the book to be distributed via KidWind’s network of schools and through other national science initiatives for children.   

Everyday Superheroes is a nonfiction book series written by Erin Twamley and Joshua Sneideman focusing on the importance of multicultural representation of women in STEM. The second illustrated book in this series introduces elementary students to 26 energy careers and shows how heroes around the world are powering our planet from the national labs to large renewable energy farms.

“I have known Erin and Joshua for years, we recently reconnected at the 2021 Renewable Energy Education Summit (REES) we organized last winter, said Michael Arquin, founder of KidWind. “One of the major outcomes of REES was the need to broaden and diversify the renewable energy education workforce. With that in mind, I am thrilled to support these two authors as they work to get the book into the hands of as many students as possible.”…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ Complete i-Ready® Classroom Mathematics Program for K–8 Now Rated as Tier 1 by the Louisiana Department of Education

NORTH BILLERICA, MA, November 8, 2021—Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Classroom Mathematics program for Grades 6–8 recently received a Tier 1 rating by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). With the prior Tier 1 rating of i-Ready Classroom Mathematics for Grades K–5, the complete program for Grades K–8 has now received the highest rating from the Department. Louisiana educators can use i-Ready Classroom Mathematics, which “exemplifies quality” and “meets all non-negotiable criteria and scored the best possible on all indicators of superior quality” according to the LDOE, to deliver discourse-based instruction that empowers students to think mathematically and discuss mathematical ideas.

“A Tier 1 rating from the LDOE is the real benchmark when it comes to choosing comprehensive and quality instructional programs to meet the needs of students,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Whether addressing unfinished learning, accelerating student outcomes, or supporting in-person or distance instruction and tutoring, i-Ready Classroom Mathematics provides a research-based solution that is a valuable resource for all K–8 math educators in the state.”

The LDOE’s comprehensive, educator-led online reviews of instructional materials are designed to help support school districts across the state in making their own local, high-quality purchasing decisions. The tiered reviews describe the instructional materials’ degree of alignment with state content standards that enables each local school system to determine if the use of the materials is appropriate to meet the educational needs of their students. Ratings are based on elements such as the focus, coherence, rigor, alignment, and quality of the materials.…Read More

Inaugural Catalyze Challenge Winners To Transform Journey From Classroom To Career

SAN FRANCISCO, NOVEMBER 4, 2021 – In an effort to level the playing field for all students and catapult young people into meaningful careers, the Catalyze Challenge, co-sponsored by American Student Assistance, Arnold Ventures, Charter School Growth Fund and the Walton Family Foundation has awarded over $4M to accelerate bold career-connected learning solutions aimed at helping students better access economic opportunity after leaving school.  

Fifteen winners — community organizations, entrepreneurs, and cross-sector partnerships from across the country — will pilot, launch and scale solutions designed for the leaders of tomorrow’s workforce. 

“Being a thriving, productive and joyful member of society means having the agency to meaningfully shape one’s own future and the future of our communities. There’s never been a more opportune moment to equip young people with the skills and mindsets to drive change for themselves and our country,” said Romy Drucker, Education Program Interim Director at the Walton Family Foundation.…Read More

Mississippi Department of Education Approves Curriculum Associates’ Programs as Evidence-Based Academic Interventions

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., August 3, 2021—The Mississippi Department of Education’s (MDE) Office of Student Intervention Services recently named a number of Curriculum Associates’ programs as approved academic interventions. Through this approval, which is valid until November 2025, schools across the state can confidently use i-Ready Assessment and Personalized Instruction, Ready Mississippi Reading and Mathematics, Teacher Toolbox for Ready Writing, and Phonics for Reading to support the academic needs of Tier II and Tier III students in Grades K–8.

“Addressing unfinished learning, especially for those students who need extra support, will be a top priority for all educators this coming school year,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “The recent approval from MDE reinforces the power of our evidence-based programs in supporting educators with this task of driving meaningful instruction, which will be key as they work to accelerate learning.”

The Office of Intervention Services supports educators and parents who are working with struggling learners, including English Learners. As part of the Office’s review of academic interventions, all approved programs had to be evidence based as well as demonstrate face-to-face, virtual, or hybrid learning components that help improve students’ deficit areas.…Read More