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.
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, ONLINE EDUCATION
Ellucian | September 28, 2022
Ellucian, the leading higher education technology solutions provider, today announced a new partnership with higher education specialist consultancy, DVE Solutions, to resell Ellucian Quercus, a cloud-based Student Information System (SIS). The strategic partnership combines leading-edge technology with outstanding implementation expertise, enabling Australian higher education institutions to deliver on their digital transformations and drive tangible growth in a rapidly transforming sector.The newly signed deal positions DVE as the go-to-market partner for Quercus in the Asia-Pacific region, taking full advantage of DVE's reputation for delivering exceptional outcomes for educational institutions. With this agreement, Ellucian expands its already impressive partner ecosystem – the largest of its kind – which provides customers with access to digital expertise, solution providers and specialised systems.
"In Australia, 198,000 (13%) of students drop out before completing their chosen course each year. Given this, student retention and engagement are top priorities for higher education, and our Quercus platform is designed to support student success along the entire spectrum of the student journey,With DVE helping us drive adoption of Quercus, we're aiming to expand digital opportunities for higher education institutions that will directly impact student outcomes."
Keith Hawkes, Vice President, Australia for Ellucian
DVE Solutions CEO, Jo Schneider, added, "We continually hear the challenges around collecting and using student information, providing seamless process for students and staff, and meeting government statutory reporting requirements. The partnership with Ellucian will allow us to deliver end-to-end solutions that ensure efficiency and compliance.Designed especially for higher education, Quercus enables institutions to efficiently manage records, streamline staff efforts and deliver a convenient, connected student experience. The cloud-based student information system features a modern architecture, enabling institutions to adapt seamlessly as functional and technical needs change, offering easy integrations with non-Ellucian solutions as well.
Ellucian is the market leader charting the digital future of higher education with a portfolio of cloud-ready technology solutions and services. From student recruitment to workforce analytics; from fundraising opportunities to alumni engagement; Ellucian's comprehensive suite of data-rich tools gives colleges and universities the information they need to lead with confidence. Working with a community of more than 2,700 customers in over 50 countries, Ellucian keeps innovating as higher education keeps evolving. Drawing on its comprehensive higher education business acumen and suite of services, Ellucian guides its customers through manageable, sustainable digital transformation—so that every type of institution and student can thrive in today's fast-changing landscape. To find out what's next in higher education solutions and services, visit Ellucian at www.ellucian.com.
About DVE Solutions
DVE Solutions drives powerful change in educational institutions with a holistic approach that considers People, Process, Structure and Technology. DVE's team of specialists in system implementation, technology and change ensure that every project is undertaken with the right people doing the right work.
EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, ONLINE EDUCATION
YuJa | September 19, 2022
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s Asia School of Business has selected ed-tech leader YuJa Inc. to provide a video and media creation, storage, management and distribution solution campuswide. The Video Platform will help the institution, which was founded by MIT Sloan and Bank Negara Malaysia, meet its mission of developing transformative and principled leaders as a premier school of management in Asia.In addition to a video and content distribution management platform, the institution was seeking a solution that would work with its existing third-party classroom hardware and technology and that would enable automatic content ingestion.
“YuJa pairs well with video content capture and management streaming media processors, which enables institutions to quickly and easily publish recordings for students, automate workflows, schedule recordings and live stream events,We’re excited to work with ASB to help create and deliver their unique ‘Action Learning’ curriculum to supplement experiential and hands-on learning.”
Nathan Arora, Chief Business Officer at YuJa, Inc.
The institution migrated from a competitor product to benefit from YuJa’s robust, easy-to-use and all-in-one platform with tools for lecture capture, in-video quizzing, captioning, live streaming, and more.
ABOUT ASIA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
The Asia School of Business (ASB) is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Established in 2015 by Bank Negara Malaysia in collaboration with MIT Sloan, ASB is committed to developing transformative and principled leaders who will create a positive impact in the emerging world and beyond.
ABOUT YUJA, INC.
YuJa is a leader in ed-tech solutions. Our platforms provide organizations of all sizes with the tools to educate, engage, inspire and collaborate. We serve learning enterprises within all sectors, including higher-ed, K-12, government, healthcare, non-profit and corporate.