Frontline Education has Acquired Forecast5 Analytics

Frontline Education, a leading provider of school administration software and services purpose-built for K-12, today announced that it has acquired Forecast5 Analytics from Riverwood Capital. Forecast5 offers a suite of decision support software that provides financial forecasting, benchmarking, student performance dashboards and geovisual analytics to empower school administrators to make more informed financial, academic and strategic decisions. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to welcome the Forecast5 team to Frontline Education. Forecast5’s decision support capabilities are a natural extension of our solutions and further our commitment to innovation, supporting the growth of district staff and optimizing the management of their processes,” said Mark Gruzin, CEO of Frontline Education. “In the current climate, budgetary, financial management and planning considerations have become more complex. Together, our organizations will provide more advanced solutions and resources to address those needs for school districts.”

The acquisition expands the reach and impact of Forecast5’s data analytics and decision support capabilities by introducing the company’s solutions and expertise to thousands of Frontline Education clients across the country. Frontline’s Student Information System (SIS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) clients will have opportunities to take advantage of Forecast5’s decision support capabilities. Forecast5 clients will benefit from Frontline Education’s expansive data set as well as the company’s broad portfolio of school administration software and services for human capital management, business operations and student management. Frontline will continue to support Forecast5’s unique expertise, client success and advisor model, as well as their extensive partnerships to provide best practice guidance and resources to clients.…Read More

Digital signage offers teachers the tools they need to succeed

Many of us can recall scratchy, static-muddled murmurs of elementary and high school administrators making announcements over the public address system, accepting such antiquated technologies as the norm.

Fortunately, a better way has emerged. Today, educators can install screens in classrooms that easily and effectively serve many purposes over the breadth of a typical school day, including pushing out important messages and reminders.

A public address system gives a school principal or someone else in the building one shot each morning to reach yawning youngsters with key information. A screen in each classroom changes the dynamic from easily tuned-out audio to hard-to-miss visual messaging that can run for as long as necessary. That messaging can also be scheduled and targeted by location and serve many needs, limited only by imagination.…Read More

New Data from Rave Mobile Safety Shows Schools’ Top Safety Concerns About Returning to the Classroom

Rave Mobile Safety (Rave), the critical communication and collaboration platform customers count on when it matters most, today announced a new survey report that reveals the top safety concerns that school administrators, teachers and staff have about returning to the classroom, as well as the steps they are taking to create a safe environment. Chief among those concerns are the mental and physical health of both teachers and students and enforcing social distancing practices. The report also addresses what learning will look like once everyone does return to classrooms and managing a hybrid learning environment.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Social distancing and mental/physical health of school staff are the top health and safety concerns for the new year as the coronavirus evolves. Social distancing is a top concern for those returning to school (77%), followed closely by teacher/staff physical health (70%) and mental health (69%), as well as student mental health (69%) and physical health (67%). To address these concerns, schools will be putting up signage promoting social distancing (74%) and issuing daily temperature checks (69%) and wellness checks (57%).
  • State and local governments will be the major influencers about when schools reopen and teachers and students return to the classroom — and many are starting early. While parent preference (43%) and a belief in the importance of in-person learning (50%) are factors in the decision whether to return to the classroom or not, most school leaders report that state (81%) and local (57%) governments are major influencers in that decision. Additionally, 44% report that their school districts are going back before September, compared to 6% considering a December or later return to in-person learning.
  • Hybrid learning is the most likely class model for students and teachers this year, meaning that schools also need to overcome distance learning challenges.As circumstances force schools to consider alternate learning models, a hybrid approach of in-person and remote learning is the most popular solution (75%). For that model to be successful, schools need to consider the challenges that emerged from classes held remotely this spring, chief among them being students lacking internet access and low student and parent engagement.

“This year, ‘school safety’ has taken on an entirely new level of meaning, from meeting CDC standards to caring for the mental health of those in the building,” said Todd Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Rave Mobile Safety. “Clear communication about safety standards and compliance with everyone involved in that effort, from teachers and administrators to parents and students, has never been more critical. We are proud to support schools in these efforts through tools that enable daily wellness checks and frequent communication with all stakeholders, which help promote health and safety and create a sense of consistency during a disruptive, stressful time.”…Read More

5 tips for new, easy and affordable school edtech upgrades

Waiting on a slow computer to load or update wastes valuable time and can detract from lessons and class time. However, shrinking budgets make it hard for schools to offer reliable computers and technology to students and teachers. Many school administrators think buying new devices is the only way to provide computers that will help students and teachers succeed. Rather than allocating budget toward expensive new computers, schools can easily improve system performance, save money and extend the life of existing systems.

The importance of memory and storage is often unknown until something goes wrong with a computer. Upgrading a computer’s memory or storage can help students and teachers be more productive, use classroom apps, and find new ways to engage via technology.

Here are 5 things you can do with upgraded systems that you may not have been able to do before:…Read More

N.J. experiments with new engagement platform

New engagement platform uses web and mobile-based technology to help students and their parents navigate K-12 challenges

Evolution Labs and The New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), the state’s professional association of school leaders, have partnered to further develop and make available to NJASA members the company’s web- and mobile-based student and parent success platform, Suite360.

Suite360 leverages new media engagement features with critical content to help students and parents navigate a range of issues, from bullying and cyber-bullying to mental health and wellness, to academic pressures. Under the partnership, NJASA will provide guidance to help shape the platform to meet the specific needs of its member districts.

Dr. Richard G. Bozza, Executive Director of the NJASA will formally announce the partnership and program at the upcoming Techspo 2016 conference in Atlantic City, January 28-29.…Read More

5 qualities of a tech-savvy administrator

Tech-proficient administrators advocate for and model tech use

tech-administratorSchool and district administrators know that in order to be effective, they have to model the behavior and practices they wish to see–and technology use is no different. eSchool News is a huge supporter of tech-savvy administrators–just check out our annual Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards Program.

While we can’t list all of the qualities that help make an administrator tech-savvy, we’ve selected a few that go a long way.

These are just a few of the many qualities a successful and tech-savvy administrator must have. What are your thoughts? Leave them below in the comments section.…Read More

Three ways administrators stay connected

Ed-tech administrators offer advice to help others stay connected to best practices

admin-connectedWhile educational technology use should be modeled and celebrated throughout the year, Connected Educator Month highlights some of the nation’s best ed-tech practices.

In an effort to put into practice some of the valuable advice and tips shared during the most recent Connected Educator Month, we’re sharing some of the strategies school administrators said they use to stay connected and collaborate.

Ed-tech leaders gathered for a Connected Educator Month webinar to explore what it means to be a connected administrator; how connected administrators empower teachers, students, and parents; and how a few simple actions can lead to a more connected and positive school culture.…Read More

Tips on preparing school data for the unexpected

Data backup is a crucial step in IT preparedness.

While student safety remains schools’ top priority during threats of natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes, school administrators and IT leaders must also ensure that they take measures to protect valuable student and school data.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, knocking out power and, along with it, school districts’ access to technology and data centers. Devastating tornadoes, including the 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla., and the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., rocked school communities.

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) launched its IT Crisis Preparedness Leadership initiative in 2008 after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and other catastrophic events. The initiative gives school administrators and technology leaders free resources to help school systems plan for and respond to the next crisis, focusing on the role of technology leaders, identifying best practices, and devising strategies for shutdown and startup processes.…Read More