Businesswire | August 08, 2023
PowerSchool the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, today announced it is joining the K-12 Education Technology Secure by Design Pledge, a voluntary pledge for K-12 education technology software manufacturers, developed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the U.S. Department of Education. PowerSchool also announced new commitments to further secure the education technology ecosystem by offering free and subsidized security-as-a-service resources to all U.S. schools and districts.
“Our primary mission is to personalize education for every student and that journey starts with our responsibility to protect and safeguard the over 45 million students we serve today in the U.S.,” said Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool. “That is why we have made significant investments in cybersecurity and successfully defend our districts against over 1 billion cyber-attacks each year. We are honored to sign this pledge and even provide additional free and subsidized security-as-a-service trainings, tools, and resources to support and enable all U.S. school districts to fight against cybersecurity threats.”
As part of First Lady Jill Biden’s Back to School Safely: Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools event on August 7th, 2023, PowerSchool CEO Hardeep Gulati will highlight PowerSchool’s cybersecurity leadership and initiatives including cloud infrastructure security, cyber defense, and governance risk and compliance, that secure over 80% of the school districts across all U.S. states, including 90 of the top 100 districts by student population.
“Let’s face it: in today’s digital age, our students and their teachers will increasingly use technology in the classroom. Schools have access to more devices and connectivity than ever before, and this technology in education has incredible potential to help students better connect with their learning and achieve, and teachers better engage with their students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “But to make the most of these benefits, we must effectively manage the risks.
Just as we expect everyone in a school system to plan and prepare for physical risks, we must now also ensure everyone helps plan and prepare for digital risks in our schools and classrooms. The Department of Education has listened to the field about the importance of K-12 cybersecurity, and today we are coming together to recognize this and indicate our next steps.”
PowerSchool already adheres to several commitments outlined in the pledge, including offering single sign-on for free to customers, providing audit logs to any customer upon request, maintaining a published vulnerability disclosure policy administered by an independent third party, and embracing vulnerability transparency by openly engaging with customers on vulnerabilities, threats, and risks the company identifies.
PowerSchool is also taking additional steps to provide industry-leading cybersecurity support to educational institutions. This includes offering free and subsidized security-as-a-service resources, including on-demand webinars, toolkits, and trainings to U.S. schools and districts, as well as offerings from partners including Abnormal Security, Amazon Web Services, and KnowBe4. These resources will be available to any U.S. school or district, regardless of their customer status.
“Keeping our students and our schools safe from cyberattacks comes down to equipping schools with three things – knowledge, resources, and people,” said Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies. “This week, the White House worked to do just that – mobilizing funding, cybersecurity fact guides tailored for schools, and cybersecurity teams to visit schools and help them fight ransomware. We appreciate the innovative and meaningful private sector commitments in this ransomware fight, as we work together to keep kids cyber-safe online and in schools.”
PowerSchool’s significant investment in advanced security technologies, including static and dynamic code scanning, best-of-breed Web Application Firewalls, and more than 30 annual penetration tests, reinforces its unwavering commitment to providing unparalleled protection and trust to districts and schools. As a signatory of the Student Privacy Pledge 2020, PowerSchool adheres to all applicable state, province, and federal regulations and goes beyond those by independently verifying its security management system annually to third-party audited, internationally recognized standards for security management systems, achieving the ISO:27001 certification and SOC2 Type 2 – the gold standard data security certification for business service providers. PowerSchool is also partnered with the Consortium for School Networking (COSN) on their recently rolled-out K-12 Community Vendor Assessment Tool (K-12CVAT) and is an active partner of 1EdTech, focusing on industry standards, interoperability, and data privacy and security best practices. PowerSchool products have been vetted and certified as TrustEd Apps by 1Edtech, based on the organization's rigorous data and privacy rubric.
PowerSchool is the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America. Its mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential, in their way. PowerSchool connects students, teachers, administrators, and parents, with the shared goal of improving student outcomes. From the office to the classroom to the home, it helps schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, registration, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments, and analytics in one unified platform. PowerSchool supports over 50 million students globally and more than 15,000 customers, including more than 90 of the top 100 districts by student enrollment in the United States, and sells solutions in more than 90 countries.
Entrepreneurs and Leaders
Businesswire | June 30, 2023
Amplify, a publisher of next-generation curriculum and assessment programs, announced today that the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has determined that Amplify CKLA meets the requirements of the Virginia Literacy Act (VLA). This approval will encourage schools across Virginia to implement evidence-based literacy instruction in K–3 classrooms.
Amplify CKLA is used by more than 2.7 million students in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The program sequences deep content knowledge with research-based foundational skills, including phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing skills. The curriculum is based on research and evidence-based practices that are proven to be effective in teaching literacy skills to young readers.
With the goal of improving early literacy outcomes, the VLA mandates that school districts in Virginia implement evidence-based literacy instruction and intervention in K–3 classrooms. When it goes into effect in the 2024-25 school year, it will directly benefit the state’s one in three K–2 students who read below benchmark.
“Amplify is honored that our program is being offered to Virginia’s educators as they help their students to become stronger readers,” said Melissa Ulan, senior vice president of literacy products at Amplify. “Built on the science of reading, Amplify CKLA enables educators to bring proven insights and practices into their classrooms.”
Virginia’s steps towards implementing evidence-based literacy instruction are important for ensuring that every child in the state learns to read.
A pioneer in K–12 education since 2000, Amplify is leading the way in next-generation curriculum and assessment. Our captivating core and supplemental programs in literacy, math, and science engage all students in rigorous learning and inspire them to think deeply, creatively, and for themselves. Our formative assessment products turn data into practical instructional support to help all students build a strong foundation in early reading and math. All of our programs provide teachers with powerful tools that help them understand and respond to the needs of every student. Today, Amplify reaches more than 10 million students in all 50 states.
PR Newswire | August 29, 2023
Teaching Strategies, the country's leading developer of early childhood education solutions, has unveiled a first-of-its-kind curriculum tailored specifically to California's expanding universal transitional kindergarten program (TK). The program aims to build a bridge from preschool to kindergarten for close to 3 million children under the age of 5.
The new curriculum, which was built in close partnership with California educators, builds on the company's widely-recognized Creative Curriculum® but is aligned to California's early learning guidelines. The Creative Curriculum® for Transitional Kindergarten: California is paired with observational assessments that measure how well children are mastering academic and social skills, professional development for educators, and tools to keep families engaged in their child's learning–all in one, easy-to-use digital platform.
"With 90% of brain development occurring before kindergarten, TK is a critical stepping stone for many children. California is leading the way to ensure all learners have an age and developmentally appropriate learning environment, and we're proud to be helping more schools deliver on that vision," said Breeyn Mack, a former preschool teacher and Senior Vice President of Education at Teaching Strategies. "Building on our 45 year legacy of translating play-based learning research into practice, we've designed a comprehensive ecosystem of solutions— including curriculum, assessment, family engagement, and professional development—to help California educators meet each child's unique needs and prepare them with the skills needed for kindergarten."
California began expanding its free, optional, universal TK program last year by extending its cutoff date for eligibility. The state will continue to extend the date range until all 4-year-old children are eligible statewide.
The Creative Curriculum® for Transitional Kindergarten: California prepares children for kindergarten by balancing direct instruction with project-based learning that is critical to whole-child development. It provides progressions of learning and development that span the entirety of early childhood in order to individualize learning for each child, and it focuses time each day on building foundational reading, mathematics, and STEM skills.
In addition, the curriculum includes guidance and support tools for teachers to access in real time, including a suite of videos that model for teachers how to teach activities in their classrooms. It also connects families to their child's learning seamlessly through automated playlists of activities directly tied to daily classroom instruction.
Oakland Unified School District is among the growing number of school districts that have invested in the new curriculum for the 2023-2024 school year. Educators in Oakland also provided valuable feedback on the curriculum as it was being created.
"Transitional kindergarten is this magical time for children, so selecting a curriculum was important for our team," said Dr. Bernadette Pilar Zermeño, a PreK/TK English Language Learner and Multilingual Achievement specialist for the Oakland Unified School District. "We created a very detailed rubric for evaluating a TK curriculum, and we decided it should be whole-child focused, honor the needs of teachers, engage their families, and provide equitable and inclusive experiences for both children and families. After evaluating four different early childhood curriculums, we selected The Creative Curriculum®."
About Teaching Strategies
Driven by research that shows a child's first eight years form a critical foundation for success in school and in life, Teaching Strategies has been an advocate for the early education community for over 40 years. Today, Teaching Strategies connects teachers, children and families to inspired teaching and learning experiences, informative data, stronger family partnerships, and professional learning through the leading early learning platform and resources. Its products, including the most widely-used curriculum and assessment solutions The Creative Curriculum® and GOLD®, are found in over 250,000 classrooms and more than 80 countries around the world and reach over 4 million children each year.