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.
Businesswire | August 11, 2023
Research shows that safety in school science labs and classrooms is a national concern. More than half of schools have had an injury or litigation, and more than three-quarters of accidents involve students. Accelerate Learning and Science Safety Inc. have exclusively partnered to increase safety in STEM education programming nationwide.
Accelerate Learning now offers Science Safety products and services to enable districts to improve safety policies and practices, reduce risk, and support ongoing compliance requirements.
“Safety is essential for hands-on learning, and it’s an integral part of Accelerate Learning’s STEM curriculum and professional development programs,” said Kent Donges, chief revenue officer for Accelerate Learning. “Through this partnership, our team now provides districts with comprehensive, preventative safety programs to meet the most current professional standards and regulatory requirements while making their STEM programs safer and more successful for all.”
Science Safety’s scalable, cloud-based mobile apps provide exceptional compliance capabilities for Facilities-based Safety Inspections, Student Safety Acknowledgment Forms, and STEM inventory management. Online Science Safety Training gives administrators, educators, and students access to STEM safety learning Pathways and Modules that are role, grade level, and subject matter specific, and can be customized to meet the local jurisdiction’s compliance requirements. Upon completion, learners receive verifiable micro-credentials and certificates. Professional expert safety services include in-person training and inspections, workshops, safety document services, and safety inspection report validations.
“Appropriately documented safety training is an annual requirement for educators in every district. Yet, many schools lack the proper tools, training, and expertise to mitigate the risks and legal liability of delivering highly engaging science and STEM programs,” said James Palcik, CEO of Science Safety. “Science Safety is excited to join forces with Accelerate Learning to elevate safety awareness and help schools build a culture of continuous safety.”
About Accelerate Learning Inc.
Accelerate Learning provides STEM curriculum and professional development solutions that empower teachers, increase scores, and inspire students to become tomorrow’s STEM leaders. Its STEMscopes, Collaborate Science, and Math Nation curricula and resources are highly adaptable, accessible, and support instruction in any learning environment.
About Science Safety Inc.
Science Safety’s mission is to elevate STEM safety awareness in schools and create a fundamental culture of safety that can mitigate unforeseen risks and liabilities.
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.