866-377-4265

01

SEP 2016

Fall Assessment Workshops : Monday, October 31 – Friday, November 4

By: Maine Department of Education | Tags: Workshops, Assessment, MAARS

MAINE -- Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System (MAARS)

The morning session will be hosted by the Maine DOE and FocalPointK12 and focus on all of Maine’s state assessments and the new reporting portal, entitled “Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System” (MAARS). Assessments in the new reporting portal will include: MEA Mathematics & ELA/Literacy, grades 3-8 (eMPower™ME) and high school (SAT); MEA Alternate Mathematics & ELA/Literacy (MSAA) and Science (PAAP) MEA Science grades 5/8/HS; and ACCESS for ELLs.

Read more on Workshops at Maine DOE News Room

09

JUN 2016

Estimated release dates of 2015-16 assessment data

By: Maine Department of Education | Tags: Assessment , MAARS, Participation

MAINE -- The Maine Department of Education is negotiating a contract with vendor FocalPointK12 to deliver the 2015-16 assessment results via an online reporting system. The Maine Assessment and Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) is expected to be launched in the coming months and will provide both public and confidential access to data, replacing Measured Progress’ iServices portal.

To keep educators and the public informed, the Department has developed an expected timeline of release for the various assessments conducted during the 2015-16 school year. Although the timing for much of the data is later than desired, it is anticipated that the 2016-17 data will be released much earlier since Maine’s assessment and reporting systems will not undergo major changes in 2016-17.

Read more at Maine DOE News Room

06

MAY 2016

FocalPointK12 Releases Next Generation LMS with a Focus on Engagement, Relevancy, Feedback, & Visible Learning.

By: admin | Tags: LMS, Student Engagement, Visible Learning

ATLANTA -- Adding to their current suite of solutions, FocalPointK12’s Personalized Learning Platform is heavy on student engagement, communicating standards, feedback, & self-directed learning.

Leveraging the research from Professor John Hattie’s groundbreaking study, Visible Learning (2009), FocalPointK12 was deliberate in designing a Personalized Learning Platform that empowers students and teachers to engage in those activities and strategies most impactful to improving student outcomes. Students taking ownership of their learning, receiving timely formative feedback prior to summative tests (“assessment for learning, assessment of learning”), and clearly communicating learning targets are a few of the highly impactful practices that the FocalPointK12 LMS enables.

Kiran Athota, Co-founder of FocalPointK12 says, “The research is out there and our educational leaders understand what needs to be done. The Learning Management System extension to our platform engages students while providing endless opportunities for educators to reach 21st Century Learners using strategies rooted in research.”

FocalPointK12 recognizes how imperative it is to provide blended learning tools that meet the needs of “Digital Natives”. Nathan Buhl, an education consultant with FocalPointK12 says, “Students need to know where they are in the learning process, what is expected of them, and what steps are necessary to lead them towards mastery. What excites me about the FocalPointK12 LMS is that it provides opportunities for educators to provide timely feedback while consistently communicating expectations to students using technology as a medium which is something students are very comfortable using.”

The newly released FocalPointK12 Personalized Learning Platform, available to districts for the 2016-2017 school year brings comprehensive and corroborated data right into the hands of students, parents, and teachers while allowing students to quickly access relevant digital resources that align to specific areas of need. The online assessment interface focuses on the learning process as the LMS creates virtual spaces where targeted resources, study guides, discussion boards, and test preparation documents are easily accessible to students.

Additional features included in FocalPointK12’s Next Generation LMS include:

  • Teacher to student feedback at the question level
  • Goal Setting & self-reported grading
  • Performance Based Assessments/Assignments
  • Student Badging System with automated push notifications
  • Learner Profiles with analytics/insights
  • Sentiment Analysis with emoticons to track student perceptions
  • Resource Analytics with recommendations according to interests/needs
  • Administrator, Teacher, Student personalized pages with options to customize
  • Student Learning Style preferences with reporting tools for teachers

About FocalPointk12
FocalPointK12 enables a scientific approach to improving academic performance for about the cost of a Starbucks® per student per semester. Headquartered just outside of Atlanta in Norcross, Georgia, the company delivers to states and districts a next generation personalized learning platform that provides solutions across the lifecycle of instruction and learning, from analytical dashboards that inform instruction and learning; a platform to deliver standards-based resources and content to aid instruction and learning; and an assessment solution to measure instruction and learning. These solutions are totally integrated, and reach all participants in the learning cycle, including the classroom teacher, the school & district administrator, the student, and the parent.

To learn more about FocalPointK12, visit www.focalpointk12.com or email info@focalpointk12.com

01

APR 2016

Move over Batman and Superman! FocalPointK12 touts educators as true Super Heroes at the ASCD Annual Conference & Exhibit Show in Atlanta, GA

By: admin | Tags: ASCD, Conference, Super Heroes

ATLANTA -- FocalPointK12 brings to the ASCD Conference an “Educators are our Super Heroes” theme with fun drawings and prizes including an Apple Watch giveaway, Starbucks Cards, and mini-workshops on research-based practices for conference attendees.

So for all you Marvel comic fans heading out to see Batman and Superman in the new film out in the box office, FocalPointK12 brings some perspective to the term "Super Hero". Nathan Buhl, an education consultant with FocalPointK12 says, "By far, the teachers and administrators working in our public schools are the true heroes. In addition to the time, training, and pedagogical expertise necessary to be successful in a classroom, teachers in the 21st Century must be flexible, adaptable, patient, tenacious, compassionate, nurturing, and of course, professional—All of the time!"

Since this is the time school districts across the nation recognize teachers and administrators with teacher appreciation weeks and programs, FocalPointK12 thought that the “Educators are our Super Heroes” would be a perfect theme to be used at the ASCD Conference & Exhibit Show. The event, scheduled this weekend (April 2-4) will host thousands of administrators and teachers from across the nation with keynote speakers, workshops, and programs with a focus on research based strategies and best practices in K12 public education.

Asking the question, “What’s your Kryptonite?” (#WhatsYourKryptonite), the team at FocalPointK12 hopes to bring to the conversation the numerous barriers, challenges, and obstacles that educators face in today’s schools. Kiran Athota, president and co-founder of FocalPointK12 says, “21st Century Learning & Teaching requires courageous leadership, innovative thinking, and cutting edge technology to insure that our students are globally competitive and prepared. More than ever, our teachers and administrators need 21st Century tools and resources to support them in their work.”

FocalPointK12 enables a scientific approach to improving student performance for about the cost of a Starbucks per student per semester. The software has four solutions that work cohesively together empowering data-driven instruction, collaboration, and personalized learning. The user-friendly and intuitive interface makes it a transformational resource for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Conference attendees will be offered exclusively discounted pricing this spring and are encouraged to register for a webinar if interested.

Conference attendees are encouraged to follow @FocalPointK12 on Twitter throughout the conference for updates and prize information but to be careful—there just might be some Kryptonite hiding out around booth #1350! There will be multiple ways to earn a ticket for the Apple Watch and Starbucks Card giveaways including sending out a tweet, registering for a 30-minute webinar to learn about FocalPointK12, or attending one of our mini-workshops. Be sure to drop by the booth to learn more.

To learn more about FocalPointK12, go to www.focalpointk12.com or email info@focalpointk12.com

30

MAR 2016

FocalPointK12 acquires partnership with PLC consultant, author, Daniel R. Venables & Center of Authentic PLC

By: admin | Tags: PLC, Virtual, Communities

ATLANTA -- FocalPointK12's Communities Platform, which enables virtual teacher collaboration, professional learning, and sharing data/resources, will be utilized to support Mr. Venables' Grapple Institutes offered to districts across the nation.

FocalPointK12, an innovative educational technology company headquartered just outside of Atlanta, GA agreed to terms with Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) consultant and author, Daniel R. Venables. Mr. Venables, founding director of the Center for Authentic PLCs, offers 3-day workshops to schools and districts nationwide who are committed to using data-driven instruction and teacher collaboration to impact student achievement. Daniel's most recent publication How Teachers can Turn Data into Action (ASCD, 2014) uses a practical approach to make data actionable with easy to use templates and protocols for teachers and administrators.

Greg Newcom, Chief Executive Officer of FocalPointK12, says, "We are excited to be working with Mr. Venables, a noted PLC expert, and believe that our software empowers 21st century teaching and learning through collaborative, virtual PLCs." Nathan Buhl, an education consultant with FocalPointK12, commented on the partnership stating, "Collaboration in our schools is critical and we are glad to have a set of solutions that complement the work Mr. Venables is doing on behalf of students by improving the capacity and fidelity of the PLC framework."

FocalPointK12 enables a scientific approach to improving school district performance by 1) organizing district's technology providing dynamic data dashboards to all stakeholders, 2) enabling individualized learning and differentiated instruction with a digital resource library and an assessment interface, and 3) creating and supporting virtual collaborative spaces called Communities for staff development and teacher collaboration.

Using the Communities Platform, administrators and teachers are given the autonomy to create customized virtual collaboration spaces that support learning & teaching. Job embedded professional learning is enabled as teachers share best practices, create common assessments, analyze student data, and plan for instruction, all while leveraging the training modules, discussion boards, polling, and document sharing capabilities.

For the start of the 2016-2017 school year, FocalPointK12 will be offering districts opportunities to access digital resources and content from Venables while also providing virtual coaching/consultation using the Communities Platform. A variety of price offerings, bundled discounts, and pilots are available to districts and schools interested in using the software and Venables services.

To learn more about FocalPointK12, go to www.focalpointk12.com or email info@focalpointk12.com

To learn more about Daniel R. Venables and Authentic PLCs, LLC, go to www.authenticplcs.com

17

NOV 2015

FocalPointK12 delivers PARCC reporting to Rhode Island Department of Education

By: admin | Tags: PARCC, Assessment, Reporting

ATLANTA -- FocalPointK12 IIS platform delivers PARCC reporting to Rhode Island Department of Education.

The Instructional Improvement System (IIS) platform delivers a series of interactive, drillable dashboard reports that provide historical and operational perspectives of district, school, classroom, and student information. The dashboards provide dynamic, color-coded visualizations to enable quick identification of problem areas, and provide "quick-click" drilling to view more detailed, actionable information. The dashboards are role-based, and provide secure access to only the information that the user has "an educational need to know."

"This joint effort between FocalPointK12 and the Rhode Island Department of Education has put FocalPointK12 squarely in the forefront of the PARCC reporting landscape, making us the leading provider of reporting solutions for states' PARCC data," said Kiran Athota, co-founder and president at FocalPointK12, Inc. “Our continued commitment to partnering with the Rhode Island Department of Education has helped us refine our visualizations to create elegantly simple user experiences that make complex data intuitive and actionable."

"FocalPointK12 delivered an outstanding solution to our needs for PARCC reporting." said Michael Ferry, Director, Data Analysis and Research, Rhode Island Department of Education. "With FocalPointK12, you just imagine the possibilities."
Rhode Island Public Reporting link: https://iss.ride.ri.gov/AssessmentResults

FocalPointK12 offers disruptive innovative software for the K-12 market, focused on analytical dashboards that inform instruction and learning; a collaborative and adaptive social learning platform to deliver standards-based resources and content to aid instruction and learning; and an assessment solution to measure instruction and learning. These solutions are fully integrated, and reach all participants in the learning community, including the classroom teacher, the school and district administrator, the student, and the parent.

The FocalPointK12 Lens™ platform – provides 'the lens to teaching and learning'™ – delivering a scientific approach to improve school district academic performance by enabling individual learning plans for every student.

Details on the Lens platform can be found by visiting:

http://www.focalpointk12.com/products#platform1

Contact

Kiran Athota

Email: info@focalpointk12.com

14

APR 2015

FocalPointK12 offers Free Practice Tests for Schools

By: admin | Tags: Assessment, Tests, Performance

ATLANTA -- FocalPointK12 is offering K12 schools and districts the opportunity to try the Next Generation Assessment software (AssessCloudTM) for the rest of 2015 fiscal year at no cost.

The free practice program includes AssessCloudTM software to practice for End of Year Tests in classrooms, or kick-start a new practice program. Unlike other practice programs, FocalPointK12 will include unlimited usage software licenses as well on-demand cloud hosting. With the on-demand hosting, schools can be up and running with an assessment system in a matter of minutes. The provisioning of users occurs through a simple one-time token-based invitation process.

"Schools and districts are often hesitant to try an assessment system due to the perceived expense and an expectation that assessment software is difficult to manage and operate,” said FocalPointK12 President Kiran Athota. “FocalPointK12 is offering this free practice program as a way to help ease them into the platform at no cost and no risk."

FocalPointK12 offers disruptive innovative software for K-12 focused on providing Next Generation Learning. The FocalPointK12 platform provides an Assessment Solution (AssessCloudTM) and Resource Library (ContentCloudTM) platforms that are easy-to-use and are shockingly affordable. FocalPointK12 software comes with easy connectors to load and enable schools and districts with their resources and assessment items. The software also is pre-configured with more than 100,000+ high quality resources and assessment items that are aligned to standards from several top content providers, and has a fully functioning adaptive engine, which provides the best learning outcome. The platform can be accessed anywhere anytime on any device, and requires little-to-no training – a feature that is essential for student users.

FocalPointK12’s open architecture platforms – scalable to hundreds of students per server – makes it the SAAS platform of choice for small to large school and district configurations.

Details on the Pilot Program can be found by visiting: http://www.focalpointk12.net/practice or by calling FocalPointK12 at 866.377.4265

Free Practice Test link:

http://web.backpack.education/slostudentpractice

Contact

Kiran Athota

Email: info@focalpointk12.com

11

JUN 2014

Rhode Island Department of Education rollouts Instructional Support System for all districts

By: admin | Tags: IIS, Dashboard, Instructional

ATLANTA -- FocalPointK12 delivers Instructional Improvement Platform to Rhode Island Department of Education.

The Instructional Improvement System (IIS) platform delivers a series of interactive, drillable dashboard reports that provide historical and operational perspectives of district, school, classroom, and student information. The dashboards provide dynamic, color-coded visualizations to enable quick identification of problem areas, and provide "quick-click" drilling to view more detailed, actionable information. The dashboards are role-based, and provide secure access to only the information that the user has "an educational need to know."

FocalPointK12 assisted Rhode Island Department Education (RIDE) with the integration and implementation of a number of components of the Georgia SLDS solution. These components aligned incredibly well with RIDE's requirements for its Instructional Support System (ISS). RIDE met the goals and objectives of the Race to the Top grant and realized substantial savings by utilizing Georgia’s "nationally envied longitudinal-data system". FocalPointK12's team, who were the architects of the Georgia "tunnel" and SLDS solution, performed the installation, configuration and the deployment of the software, which was provided by the Georgia Department of Education to RIDE.

"FocalPointK12 partnership with Rhode Island Department of Education helped to build the next version of the IIS platform that is based on more open standards and web 2.0 architecture which can be packaged and delivered easily to other state agencies" said Gregory Newcom, co-founder and CEO at FocalPointK12, Inc. "The Federal Department of Education has given states over $600 million towards the development of statewide longitudinal data systems. The purpose of this was to help states build systems that would enable districts, schools, educators, and other stakeholders to make better data-informed decisions to improve student learning and outcomes. Many states are using the money provided by the federal government to build or buy longitudinal data systems, but many times teachers and school administrators are still left walking to the file room to dig through piles of paper to find data on their students. By leveraging a solution already built and successfully deployed by a state to more than 120,000 educators. This solution has been packaged, provided to another state, integrated and deployed in about 90 days! Now another state’s teachers and administrators are excited about the wealth of information at their fingertips and have the ability to make better data-informed decisions to help their students. Now another state has a sustainable solution, at a fraction of the cost and time."

"This is an awesome tool for educators and I am sure they will appreciate what we have provided for them" said Michael Ferry, Director, Data Analysis and Research, Rhode Island Department of Education. It has been a pleasure working with FocalPointK12 team members who worked very hard and meticulously put the system up for us. The training link for the Instructional Support System can be found at https://isstest.ride.ri.gov/

FocalPointK12 delivers to states and districts an integrated Instructional Improvement System that provides solutions across the lifecycle of instruction and learning, from analytical dashboards that inform instruction and learning; a platform to deliver standards-based resources and content to aid instruction and learning; and an assessment solution to measure instruction and learning. These solutions are totally integrated, and reach all participants in the learning cycle, including the classroom teacher, the school & district administrator, the student, and the parent.

Details on the Instructinal Improvement platform can be found by visiting:

http://www.focalpointk12.com/solutions

Contact

Gregory Newcom

Email: info@focalpointk12.com