Bush Institute helps districts revamp principal recruitment, training

Education Dive | January 14, 2019

Between 2014 and 2016, almost half the principals in Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS), located outside Richmond, Virginia, either retired or left the district at a time when schools were growing more diverse and student performance was starting to slip.“We had this huge group of folks retire that were pillars of the community,” Thomas Taylor, the district’s chief academic officer, said in an interview. “They were very strong principals, but in an older way of doing business. And our bench was not deep.”On top of that, CCPS was paying principals less than they could earn in surrounding districts, which limited the system’s ability to attract “top candidates,” Taylor said.

Spotlight

Distance learning has come a long way over the past 150 years. From the initial days of text based correspondence courses by mail to the immediate learning powered by the internet and online courses, distance learning is a much more interactive and engaging learning experience in 2019. The third generation of distance education, online learning, has delivered powerful learning models and frameworks, like Community of Inquiry and Adolescent Community of Engagement. These models and frameworks help educators create meaningful teacher to student interactions.

Spotlight

Distance learning has come a long way over the past 150 years. From the initial days of text based correspondence courses by mail to the immediate learning powered by the internet and online courses, distance learning is a much more interactive and engaging learning experience in 2019. The third generation of distance education, online learning, has delivered powerful learning models and frameworks, like Community of Inquiry and Adolescent Community of Engagement. These models and frameworks help educators create meaningful teacher to student interactions.

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CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Fullstack Academy Joins AWS Authorized Training Partner Program

Fullstack Academy | September 15, 2022

Fullstack Academy, a national tech education provider, announced today it has joined the Amazon Web Services Authorized Training Partner program. AWS Training Partners (ATP) are the only organizations that can deliver or offer official AWS Training through their AWS Authorized Instructors (AAI). As an ATP, Fullstack Academy will integrate AWS Training and Certification into several of its existing bootcamp programs. Starting in 2022, students enrolled in the Data Analytics Training Accelerator (DATA), a no-cost training program offered in partnership with NYC’s Tech Talent Pipeline, will receive the training needed to earn the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification. The certification validates an individual’s cloud fluency and foundational AWS knowledge, establishing credibility within their organization or qualifying for new career opportunities. Training for this certification will be rolled out to additional Fullstack Academy bootcamps later this year. The organization also plans to offer this training standalone to new students and alumni. Cloud computing skills are in high demand, with 85% of organizations reporting the need for employees with cloud expertise, according to a 2020 report from 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Adoption of cloud computing services grew 25% in 2021 alone, and we’re seeing companies using AWS to become more agile, improve scalability and innovate more quickly,For many tech professionals, cloud computing skills are essential to landing a job and advancing their career. By becoming an AWS Authorized Training Partner, Fullstack Academy is better able to support our students and alumni looking to develop the in-demand skills needed to implement cloud solutions.” Jerrad Tausz, CEO of Fullstack Academy. Before Fullstack became an ATP, its students and graduates were seeking AWS Certifications outside of the bootcamp to complement their credentials. As I was preparing for a job search in the information technology field, I wanted to set myself up for success and demonstrate my knowledge of cloud computing to potential employers,said Sean Borry, a Fullstack Academy graduate now working as a Consultant at Deloitte. The technical knowledge and professional confidence I gained as a student at Fullstack Academy, combined with becoming an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, played a huge part in me being able to secure a job in the industry. Borry graduated from the Fullstack Academy Cybersecurity Bootcamp in May 2022. “In today’s increasingly cloud-driven world, many of our students and alumni are looking to bolster their cloud expertise with AWS Certifications,” Tausz added. “We’re thrilled to incorporate the training into our offerings.” According to a 2022 report from Enterprise Strategy Group, 83% of learners reported increased job security as a result of AWS Certifications, and 74% reported higher earnings. Employers also report benefitting from AWS Certifications. Among IT leaders that employ staff with AWS certifications, 90% say productivity improved, 89% report faster troubleshooting, and 86% report improved cloud security. Professionals with cloud skills are fundamentally key to helping organizations transform their business and thrive which is why these skills are in such high demand, said Maureen Lonergan, Vice President, AWS Training and Certification. “AWS Training and Certification, along with ATPs like Fullstack Academy, aim to equip the builders of today and tomorrow with the knowledge to tap into the power of the cloud. About Fullstack Academy Fullstack Academy is a national tech education provider based in New York City. Founded in 2012, it offers web development, cybersecurity, data analytics, DevOps, and product management bootcamps. Fullstack Academy also offers the Grace Hopper Program, an immersive software engineering course for women and non-binary students, in addition to partnerships with leading universities nationwide, including Virginia Tech, Caltech CTME, and Louisiana State University. Graduates have been hired by Google, Facebook, Fortune 100 firms, and startups

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Orenda Education Merges With Think Together to Create Scalable School Improvement Nonprofit

Think Together | September 13, 2022

Think Together, one of California's largest nonprofits serving K-12 schools today announced it has completed the merger with Orenda Education, a top school improvement and professional development consultancy. Upon the close, the combined organization will serve more than 200,000 students across the state with more than $150 million in annual revenue. Moreover, the organization will be better positioned to rapidly scale their impact. "We're thrilled to bring our two organizations together in our combined efforts to improve student success and close the achievement gap,This merger is the natural evolution of Orenda's existing relationship with Think Together and solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring that the more than 2 million California students that are performing far below grade level have the support they need during the school day and beyond to succeed academically." Think Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth Over the past seven years, Think Together and Orenda have had an affiliate agreement in place while the full acquisition builds the long-term financial and operational capacities for Orenda to continue to scale. Orenda's work focuses on transformingeducation systems, either across a school district or by cohorts of schools, providing professional development to all levels of district staff, around a specific data-driven but people-centric school improvement model. Think Together partners with over 60 school districts and charter management organizations to provide more than 900 direct-to-student academic and enrichment programs at more than 450 school sites across California, serving more than 100,000 youth. Orenda Education works behind-the-scenes with school district leaders and educators to identify inequities in schools and then transform their systems to ensure all students have access to a premium education. "Think Together has always been an incredible partner, infusing the infrastructure needed to provide an efficient model for changing the odds for kids," said Orenda Education Founder and CEO Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle. "Our two models have always complemented each other but now, we can efficiently scale our vision for all students to receive the premium education they deserve." The acquisition comes as both organizations experience tremendous growth due in large part to new and renewed state investments in education to accelerate learning recovery efforts and provide educators with needed support amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Now more than ever, teachers, school leaders and administrators need to think outside the box to address the issues impacting students including socio-economic biases, social emotional learning, and more," added Barth. "Providing these much-needed supports to educators means districts and schools can provide the skills they need to teach, lead and counsel during and following a period of great disruption during the pandemic. Recently the U.S. Department of Education reported a dramatic decline in scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) known as the nation's scorecard. Two decades of growth for American students in reading and math were wiped away by just two years of pandemic-disrupted learning, according to national test scores released last week. And, the declines were much larger for students at lower performance levels, widening already-huge learning disparities between the country's high- and low-achievers. Orenda's approach to school improvement has proven to accelerate student outcomes, such as mastery of grade-level standards (measured by math and English language SBAC scores), improved A-G class completion rates, and improved graduation rates. They also provide administrative coaching, teaching strategies, and leadership clinics. To expand these services, Orenda was recently awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and distribute their school improvement approach through an online platform that is effective and highly scalable to schools and districts in any geography, and to those who require less in-person support. Think Together adds Orenda to their growing list of services that support student education in and around the school day. Think Together's flagship afterschool programs support students in underserved communities with homework help, enrichment, social-emotional learning and physical well-being, all to enable students to strive for college or a fulfilling career. To provide high-quality programs, Think Together partners with philanthropic organizations like the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Breaking down the barriers to opportunity, equity and access in education by keeping students and their success as the centered focus is one of the most meaningful investments for our future generations" said Alyssa Santino, Program Director of the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Ensuring the educators, leaders and structures around students are supported and inspired and effectively trained with research-based, proven and engaging strategies is imperative for thriving students and communities. We are pleased to partner with Think Together and Orenda Education as they excel in this space and continue to transform the trajectory of students and the schools they attend." Barth sees the combination of direct services to students through expanded and early learning, coupled with equity-based professional development, as an effective combination to supporting student achievement alongside their school district and charter partners. Dr. Paul Gothold, Superintendent of County Office of Education in San Diego agrees. His former district, Lynwood Unified School District, realized astonishing improvements when partnering with both Think Together and Orenda, including increasing graduation rates from 56% to 90.8%, and A-G college eligible rates from 18% to 53%. Orenda provides the technical expertise for true district turn-around. The systems approach and professional development modules to build staff capacity ensures all leaders have the tools and resources to provide a premium education for all students, said Gothold. "With Think Together's financial and operational support, Orenda is well positioned to continue providing much-needed education innovation to schools throughout the state and beyond. About Think Together For over 25 years Think Together has partnered with schools and communities to pursue educational equity and excellence for all kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements, and scales academic solutions that change the odds for hundreds of thousands of California students. Think Together's program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators.

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

Interplay Learning Announces the Release of New Online Workplace Safety Training

INTERPLAY LEARNING | August 29, 2022

Workplace safety is a top priority for companies across the globe. To help businesses keep their employees safe, Interplay Learning is releasing new workplace safety training for the essential skilled trades.This on-demand training includes new courses on Bloodborne Pathogens Awareness, Heat Stress Recognition and Prevention, Hazard Communications, Electrically Safe to Work Procedures, Hot Work, and more. With Interplay's affordable safety training courses, companies can quickly equip their teams with the knowledge and skills to perform work safely and minimize risk.Interplay's Safety catalog will include more than 30 hours of workplace safety training featuring short, entertaining videos that can be accessed on demand from a phone, tablet, or desktop computer. The catalog also features a hands-on, 3D simulation course teaching the tasks and requirements of establishing safe work conditions when working with electricity. Companies using Interplay can quickly deliver consistent training to their entire team and allow workers to train in their downtime. Interplay also makes it easy for companies to track compliance and comprehension using course assignments, built-in quizzes, and progress tracking. With these new offerings, Interplay now offers one-stop-shopping for both safety training and award-winning, hands-on skilled trades training. Employees can quickly gain the knowledge to work safely while also taking advantage of a full online catalog of hands-on technical training for HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Multi-Family, Facilities Maintenance, and Solar. Using short video courses, immersive 3D simulations, VR, knowledge checks, and coaching, Interplay can rapidly train and upskill workers for increased productivity. "Interplay gives companies the best of both worlds by offering safety and technical training in one affordable online training solution, "We are excited to help companies build a culture of safety, reduce incidents, and keep workers healthy while also giving them a pathway to develop the technical skills of their entire team." Doug Donovan, CEO of Interplay Learning. Interplay's safety training will help prepare workers to identify and avoid potential hazards, equipping them with the skills to handle situations effectively and giving employers increased confidence that their workforce is ready to take on jobs safely and effectively. Interplay Learning, a global provider of scalable, highly effective hands-on digital learning simulations for the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, solar and facilities maintenance industries, is building better training, better careers and better lives for its customers and their employees. Interplay Learning's digital experiential learning platform, SkillMill, conveniently turns any space into a training lab with short video courses, 3D simulations, knowledge checks, and other advanced features that prepare users to be job-ready in weeks, not years. About Interplay Learning Since 2016, Austin-based Interplay Learning has been building better training, better careers and better lives for its customers and their employees. Its award-winning online and VR training for the essential skilled trades, including HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Solar, Multi-Family Maintenance and Facilities Maintenance workforces, is scalable and more effective than traditional training methods. By leveraging immersive learning technology, Interplay's customers are able to train and practice hands-on learning from a desktop, phone, tablet or in virtual reality. The result is a highly trained employee who is job-ready in weeks, not years. Its digital learning platform, SkillMill, conveniently turns any space into a training lab with its short video courses, 3D simulations, knowledge checks, coaching and connectivity. Recent accolades include recognition by Fast Company's World Changing Ideas Awards in the Education, General Excellence and On the Rise categories. Welcome to the next generation of the skilled labor workforce.

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