New Tools Empower Parents to Help Children Develop Emotional Intelligence

GreatSchools Partners with Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
to Create Social Emotional Learning Tools for Parents, Children

OAKLAND, CA — June 23, 2015 — GreatSchools, a national nonprofit that helps millions of parents guide their kids to great futures announced today in collaboration with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, the launch a new set of tools called “Emotional Smarts.” These tools will help parents help their children develop emotional intelligence, build character, and shape valuable life skills such as independence, resilience, confidence, gratitude, courage, empathy, and grit.

Research shows that students with higher levels of emotional intelligence are more engaged in the classroom, and do better academically. They are also most likely to find success later in life in the workplace and at home.

“Every year at GreatSchools, we help millions of parents who want to guide their child’s success in life,” said Bill Jackson, CEO and founder of GreatSchools. “We support parents through every stage of their child’s education — whether it’s finding the right school for their child, demystifying national education trends and policy, or surfacing new ways for parents to engage in their child’s learning. This new partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence is designed to translate cutting-edge research into practical steps that parents can take to help support their child’s social and emotional learning.”

Based on research conducted at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, home to the original scientific theory of emotional intelligence, the new content and tools that will help parents teach their children how to resolve conflicts, foster positive relationships and build emotional intelligence.

“The sustainability of a strong society requires each of us to use our emotions intelligently.  Research in the area of social emotional learning has shown us that the skills of emotional intelligence impact a person’s ability to thrive personally and academically,” said Dr. Marc Brackett, Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. “The valuable content created through this project will support families in equipping their children with the skills of emotional intelligence they need to succeed in all aspects of their lives, in and out of school.”

The end result of this collaboration is a series of social, emotional learning tools including articles, videos and features, hosted on GreatSchools.org to help parents facing challenges such as homework battles, sibling rivalry, discipline, friendships, bullying and competition.

Among the tools you will find at GreatSchools.org are:

  • Through a child’s eyes — A series of videos that help parents see issues like homework, friendships and sibling rivalry from their child’s perspective.
  • Do you feel me? —  A game that helps children understand and recognize emotions by allowing them to guess the “feeling word” they are watching in a series of videos.
  • Emotional toolbox — Videos, articles and expert advice on parenting challenges and building character in your child.
  • Yale Center For Emotional Intelligence tools — Tools to help your family resolve conflicts, foster parent relationships, and build children’s emotional intelligence.
  • Mad-Sad-Glad Libs — Explore “feeling words” in a fun way!


About GreatSchools:

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonpartisan nonprofit that helps millions of parents find great schools, support great learning, and guide their kids to great futures.

The Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, is the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of about 200,000 public and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students.  In addition, GreatSchools offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning.  Last year, GreatSchools had more than 59 million unique visitors, including more than half of all U.S. families with school-age children.  Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools partners with cities and states across the country.


About The Yale Center For Emotional Intelligence: 

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, co-founded by Dr. Marc Brackett, is home to the original scientific theory of emotional intelligence. The Center conducts research on emotions and the role of emotional intelligence in important life outcomes. The Center also develops innovative approaches to teaching emotional intelligence in school systems and other organizations, and studies the influence of emotional intelligence training on student, teacher, and leader effectiveness. RULER, the Center’s signature approach to teaching emotional intelligence has been adopted by hundreds of public and private schools across the United States, including, most recently large districts such as Bridgeport, CT and Seattle, WA. RULER has been shown to enhance teacher effectiveness, reduce problem behavior, positively shift school climate, and boost academic performance. The Center also works with Facebook on efforts related to both preventing and reducing bullying and state level departments of education and justice to promote the adoption of evidence-based approaches to social and emotional learning.

CONTACT:

GreatSchools
Steve Padilla, Director of Communications
spadilla@greatschools.org
707-330-6559

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GreatSchools Printed School Guide Helps Indianapolis Parents Find Quality Schools

GreatSchools.org printed and online guide helps parents
find the right fit school for their child

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, June 16, 2015: Today, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and GreatSchools announces its annual distribution of the city’s school guide for the 2015-16 school year which compliments the Greatschools.org/Indianapolis website.  The printed guide and website continues to provide Indianapolis families a one stop shop to gain in-depth information such as AP offerings, before and after school care, school clubs, sports and organizations, to help with the selection of a school that will fit the needs and preferences of their children.

Mayor Ballard will be joined by GreatSchools Senior Director of Local Engagement, Jodi Goldberg and Jackie Nytes of the Indianapolis Central Library today to discuss the importance of providing school information resources for parents. Last year, over 10,000 families in Indianapolis used the printed guide to support their school selection and Indianapolis has the highest number of families using GreatSchools.org compared to all other GreatSchools partner cities. The mayor’s Office of Education Innovation collaborated with more than 180 community partners and organizations to ensure this information gets in the hands of Indianapolis residents.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Mayor Ballard and the City of Indianapolis to offer families a valuable resource to help them find schools that best fit the needs of their children,” said GreatSchools founder and CEO Bill Jackson. “GreatSchools strives to make it easier and more accessible for parents to get a great education for their child.”

The online guide at GreatSchools.org/Indianapolis offers innovative filters to help narrow down the school search for families. Parents have the ability to discover schools by searching for transportation services, programs and extracurricular activities.  The partnership with Mayor Ballard and the City of Indianapolis builds on GreatSchools’ longstanding work to help parents make well-informed decisions about their children’s education.


About GreatSchools

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonpartisan nonprofit that helps millions of parents find great schools, support great learning, and guide their kids to great futures.  The Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, is the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of about 200,000 public and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students.  In addition, GreatSchools offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning.  Last year, GreatSchools had more than 59 million unique visitors, including more than half of all U.S. families with school-age children.  Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools partners with cities and states across the country.

Media Contact:
Steve Padilla,
spadilla@greatschools.org; 707.330.6559

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Oklahoma Public School Resource Center and GreatSchools Launch New Website to Help Parents Get to Know Local Schools

New GreatSchoolsOklahomaCity.org website helps
parents find better school 
information


Oklahoma City, OK
, February 17, 2015: Today, the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center (OPSRC) and GreatSchools launches GreatSchoolsOklahomaCity.org, a new website that gives parents accessible information on schools in Oklahoma City.  This allows new residents to more easily find matches to their children’s needs and preferences and current residents to access more in-depth information about their schools.

Parents will be able to discover schools suited to their family needs by searching for academic quality, transportation services, programs, or extracurricular activities of interest.

“Oklahoma City is one of the Top 20 fastest-growing cities in the country.  This growth means there are an increasing number of families looking for information on schools that best fit their needs,” said Oklahoma City Mayor, Mick Cornett.  “The GreatSchoolsOklahomaCity.org website provides an excellent resource for new residents — and also provides an opportunity for current residents to better connect with their local schools and contribute to the conversation about what makes a great school.”

“Families need to know more about schools than just test scores and numbers,” said OPSRC Executive Director Brent Bushey.  “We’re excited to offer parents this additional tool to find the school that best meets their children’s needs and to better engage in their current school community.”

Mayor Cornett, Mr. Bushey, and Leo Olebe, Vice President at GreatSchools will join the OPSRC today to showcase the new resources that the site offers parents.  Last year, nearly 100,000 unique visitors among 33,000 households in Oklahoma City used GreatSchools to inform their choice of schools.  The new site will provide additional and specific information about schools — including reviews by other parents — and important district and community news.

“Parents need, and are looking for, information that will help them support their students and schools as best as possible,” said GreatSchools founder and CEO Bill Jackson. “GreatSchools.org helps them to set their own standards for what their child needs, and find the schools that meet them.”

In partnership with the OPSRC, the GreatSchools Oklahoma City initiative is example of GreatSchools’ work to help parents make informed decisions about their children’s education, offering not only information on schools and districts, but also parenting advice, educational activities, enrollment information, and other resources.

Every year, over 59 million people visit GreatSchools.org to find the best possible match for their children’s needs.


About Oklahoma Public School Resource Center

The Oklahoma Public School Resource Center supports quality public education in Oklahoma by providing resources, expanding network opportunities, and advocating on behalf of public schools.  Membership in the OPSRC is open to all public schools in Oklahoma.  While all public schools are welcomed, we are particularly focused on meeting the needs of rural public schools and charter schools.  Both of these types of schools typically lack a large central/administrative office typically found in larger schools and the technical services offered by the Center are tailored to help address the administrative challenges facing such schools.

About GreatSchools

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonpartisan nonprofit that helps millions of parents find great schools, support great learning, and guide their kids to great futures.  The Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, is the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of about 200,000 public, public charter, and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students.  In addition, GreatSchools offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning.  Last year, GreatSchools had 59 million unique visitors, including more than half of all U.S. families with school-age children.  Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools has local programs and offices in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Washington, DC.

Media Contact:
Jenna Talbot, 202-479-7173
jenna@whiteboardadvisors.com


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New Videos Help Parents Understand Educational Standards

Milestones videos from GreatSchools demonstrate Common Core Standards for grades K-5 and empower parents to understand their child’s progress

OAKLAND, CA — February 4, 2015 — GreatSchools, the nation’s leading non-profit education site for parents, today introduces Milestones, an online collection of videos aimed at helping parents understand grade-level expectations in grades K-5.  Milestones show students demonstrating what success looks like in reading, writing and math, grade by grade.

“There is no better way to gauge how your children are doing in school than to actually see other children their age demonstrate critical skills,” said Bill Jackson, chief executive officer and founder of GreatSchools. “These short, accessible videos provide that necessary benchmark. They are a cornerstone of GreatSchools’ mission: to help parents get a great education for their children.”

In designing Milestones, GreatSchools worked closely with Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit founded by the lead writers of the Common Core that supports teachers in aligning their instruction to the college and career-readiness expectations of the Standards.  Each Milestones video shows real teachers working with students to demonstrate end-of-the year grade level expectations in reading, writing, and math. By seeing what success looks like at the end of the year, parents can get a good understanding of their own child’s educational development.

“National PTA is committed to educating and supporting families as states and schools adapt to Common Core Standards,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA, a launch partner for Milestones. “We are pleased to collaborate with GreatSchools and bring the Milestones videos to families nationwide to help ensure they are informed and supportive of their children with their schoolwork.”

The Milestones video collection is also a great resource for school teachers. Educators can share these free videos with parents to help them understand changing academic expectations. Each video on the site is also accompanied by relevant worksheets, booklists and other resources aimed at helping children improve or get ahead.

The development and distribution of Milestones is supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and many others.

The 120+ video collection is now available in English and Spanish on any device or platform at greatschools.org/milestones. Videos for grades 6-12 are coming soon.

About GreatSchools

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonprofit that helps millions of parents find  schools and support their children’s learning. The Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, had nearly 60 million unique visitors last year and reaches more than half of all U.S. families with school-age children every year. As the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, the site offers profiles of about 200,000 public and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students. In addition, GreatSchools offers thousands of research-based articles, videos, and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning. Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools has local programs and offices in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Washington, DC.

CONTACT:

Grayling
Natalia Garcia, Director
Natalia.garcia@grayling.com
202-739-1322

Or

GreatSchools
Steve Padilla, Director of Communications
spadilla@greatschools.org
707-330-6559

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The City of Indianapolis and GreatSchools Partner to Provide Parents with Access to Better School Information

GreatSchools.org launches new online guide to help parents find the right school for their child

greatschools_indianapolis1a

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, October 23, 2014: Today, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and GreatSchools announced the distribution of the 2014 Indianapolis school guide and Greatschools.org/Indianapolis.

The website provides a one stop shop for parents to gain better information to help with the selection of a school that will fit the needs and preferences of their children. New to the site is an addition of innovative filters that help narrow down the search. Parents can now discover schools by searching for transportation services, programs and extracurricular activities.

“Indy has a diverse selection when it comes to quality schools, and the new guide released by GreatSchools highlights all that our education system has to offer” said Mayor Ballard. “Families are already seeking out information for the next school year. The guide will help parents make well-informed decisions about where to send their children, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to attend the school that best meets their needs.”

Mayor Ballard and GreatSchools Vice President Candice Santomauro will join Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Ferebee and Jackie Nytes of the Indianapolis Central Library today to talk about the new resources for parents. Last year, over 10,000 families in Indianapolis used the printed guide to support their school selection and more than 125,000 people looked for information about Indianapolis schools on GreatSchools.org.

“The website and printed school guide empowers parents to know more about a school than just test scores and numbers. Every student has different needs of their school, and parents are looking for information that helps them find the best fit,” said GreatSchools founder and CEO Bill Jackson. “It is our mission help parents get a great education for their child, and GreatSchools.org will help parents make informed decisions.”

Under the leadership of Mayor Ballard, the GreatSchools Indianapolis initiative builds on GreatSchools’ longstanding work to help parents make well-informed decisions about their children’s education. Every year, over 55 million people visit GreatSchoools.org to search for a school, get parenting advice on a range of topics, and find new activities and resources to help make their children’s education great.

greatschools_indianapolis2

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About GreatSchools

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonpartisan nonprofit that helps millions of parents find great schools, support great learning, and guide their kids to great futures. The Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, is the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of about 200,000 public, public charter, and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students. In addition, GreatSchools offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning. Last year, GreatSchools had 52 million unique visitors, including more than half of all U.S. families with school-age children. Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools has local programs and offices in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Washington, DC.

GreatSchools Cohosts Google+ Hangout: “Bullyproofing Your Child in School and Online”

Part of online series Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting

In the fourth of our series, Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting, two experts share their secrets for banishing bullying: helping parents know how to protect their kids whether in school or online.

We’ve all heard the stories on the media and sometimes over the kitchen table. But what’s a parent supposed to do about this “national epidemic” that strikes so close to home?

In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, GreatSchools and Social Moms have invited two of the country’s most informed experts to help parents understand what they can really do to prevent (and stop) bullying in their own child’s life.

Join Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones, and Maurice Elias, author of Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, in conversation with GreatSchools Executive Editor Carol Lloyd to explore the myths, tips, and best practices around bullying that every parent should know.

Join us on Wednesday, October 29 — and jump in with your questions — for a discussion on how to bullyproof your child.

Join us! Who, when, where details…

Featuring

Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones

Maurice Elias, author of Emotionally Intelligent Parenting

Moderated by Carol Lloyd, Executive Editor at GreatSchools

Wednesday, October 29, 11:00-11:30 AM PST (2:00-2:30 pm EST)

RSVP to: http://bit.ly/BESRSVP

Join our #emotionalsmarts live chat on Twitter.

How does our Google+ Hangout work?

Just sign up via http://bit.ly/BESRSVP and add your questions, then log on at 11 am PST Wednesday, October 29th to participate. In this unique forum, you’re invited to join the video conversation by contributing advance and real-time questions and comments via the Google+ Hangout page or via Twitter using the hashtag #emotionalsmarts. If you can’t make the live event, no problem, you can watch it later on GreatSchools or SocialMoms.

About our Emotional Smarts series

GreatSchools, SocialMoms, and social emotional learning consultant Jessica Berlinski created the Emotional Smarts series of Google+ Hangouts to bring together some of the most insightful voices in parenting, education, and other fields to talk about developing emotional intelligence in our kids — and ourselves. Our past hangouts have included a chat about dealing with anger in the family with America’s Supernanny Deborah Tillman and Marc Brackett from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, a discussion of the benefits of letting kids fail with former NBA star Adonal Foyle and NBC parenting expert Michele Borba, and inspirational ideas for a happy school year with family happiness gurus and authors Christine Carter and Bruce Feiler. For each hangout, we pair experts with divergent views to explore a common parenting theme and offer practical wisdom and tactical advice.

About the participants:

Emily Bazelon is a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School, and a former senior editor at Slate. Her groundbreaking investigative journalism (and knack for storytelling), coupled with her extensive legal knowledge, make her one of the leading authorities on the shifting landscape of bullying in the cyber age: What constitutes bullying? What can parents, teachers, and educators do about it? What role can personality traits — such as grit, character, and empathy — play in overcoming childhood trauma and finding social success? Her 2010 Slate coverage of the suicide of Phoebe Prince, a Massachusetts high school student whose suicide was linked to bullying, was a finalist for the 2011 Online Journalism Award from the Gannett Foundation and the 2011 Michael Kelley Award for “the fearless pursuit and expression of truth.” She has spoken to audiences from the Aspen Ideas Festival to the Texas Bar Association to TEDxWomen. She is a frequent guest on The Colbert Report. She has also appeared on TodayPBS NewshourMorning JoeFresh Air, and All Things Considered. Her writing has appeared in The AtlanticO: The Oprah MagazineThe Washington Post, and Mother Jones. Her book, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, has won widespread acclaim since its release in 2013 and was featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review.

Maurice Elias, Ph.D., has been with the psychology department at Rutgers for more than 25 years in many capacities. His research focuses primarily on clinical, school, and community psychology, particularly in the area of children, adolescents, and families; design and evaluation of preventive interventions; social, cognitive, and behavioral competence; and emotional intelligence. Dr. Elias’ multiple distinguished roles include director of the Rutgers Social and Emotional Learning Laboratory and director of Rutgers Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships Program. Dr. Elias has co-authored several books. His latest books include Emotionally Intelligent Parenting: How to Raise a Self-Disciplined, Responsible, Socially Skilled Child; Community psychology: Linking individuals and communitiesBullying, victimization, and peer harassment: A handbook of prevention and interventionUrban dreams: Stories of hope, resilience, and character.

Carol Lloyd, Executive Editor at GreatSchools, is an award-winning writer and editor whose work on education and family life has been published in New York Times Magazine, Salon, EdWeek, and other national outlets, as well as being featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, KQED’s Forum, and NBC’s Class Action.

GreatSchools is a digital media nonprofit that helps millions of parents get a great education for their children, support their children’s learning, and find great schools. Every year, GreatSchools reaches more than half of all American families with school-age children, providing school information, educational activities, articles, and videos.

SocialMoms is a digital media company with one of the world’s largest networks of women influencers — comprised of more than 45,000 bloggers, sites, and social media personalities with a combined social reach of more than 200 million. Founded in 2008 by Megan Calhoun, the company creates high-impact, custom media campaigns that shape perceptions and drive action.

Jessica Berlinski serves as Chief Impact Officer of Adaptive Health Systems (AHS), a new double bottom line company focused on scaling Dept. of Education and National Institute of Health funded evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) games to K-12 schools nationally. As co-founder of If You Can, she supported Electronic Arts’ founder in launching the first consumer video game designed to build emotional intelligence. Berlinski speaks on scaling SEL through technology at education and social change conferences nationally and her work on SEL has been featured on NPR and in Forbes. She has a decade of experience leading organizations dedicated to supporting the “whole child” through academics and SEL.

GreatSchools Cohosts Google+ Hangout on “Back to Happy”

Part of online series Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting

Google_Hangout_Dedicated_Blog

In the third installment of our online series, Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting, two experts share their secrets for banishing back-to-school blues — and setting your family up for a happy school year.

Ah, the joys of summer: staying up late, sleeping in, staring at screens, eating sugar — and more sugar. After 12 weeks of so much free time, summer can feel like a long weekend gone bad.

There’s good reason so many of us reach our wits’ end by the time school rolls around again. Sure, we all need a break from work and school, but experts say unlimited leisure time doesn’t make people happy. Setting goals, having structure, and working hard — these unlikely tasks actually instill a true sense of happiness.

With this in mind, for back-to-school season we’re taking our cue from two happiness experts (both parents) on how to approach the school year with a renewed sense of purpose, a reduced level of stress, and an abundance of joy.

Please join us for Back to Happy — our third Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting Google+ Hangout featuring two of the nation’s most seasoned happiness pros. They’ve delved into the research and discovered how to get organized for a more streamlined, less stress-filled school year. We are proud to host Christine Carter, sociologist and author of Raising Happiness, and Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families.

Carter and Feiler have made it their mission to unlock the secrets of happy families. They’ve been in the trenches, navigated their own parenting adventures, and taken their personal experiences and professional findings to make raising children a more satisfying, less stressful journey.

Join us on Wednesday, August 27 — and jump in with your questions — for a discussion on how to make the shift from back-to-school dread to a back-to-happy outlook.

Join us! Who, when, where details…

Featuring
Christine Carter, author of Raising Happiness
Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families
Moderated by Carol Lloyd, Executive Editor at GreatSchools

Wednesday, August 27, 11 am PST (2pm EST)

RSVP to: http://bit.ly/back2happy
Join our #emotionalsmarts live chat on Twitter.

How does our Google+ Hangout work?

Just sign up via http://bit.ly/back2happy and add your questions, then log on at 11 am PST Wednesday, August 27th to participate. In this unique forum, you’re invited to join the video conversation by contributing advance and real-time questions and comments via the Google+ Hangout page or via Twitter using the hashtag #emotionalsmarts. If you can’t make the live event, no problem, you can watch it later on GreatSchools or SocialMoms.

About our Emotional Smarts series

GreatSchools, SocialMoms, and social emotional learning consultant Jessica Berlinski created the Emotional Smarts series of Google+ Hangouts that bring together some of the most insightful voices in parenting, education, and other fields to talk about developing emotional intelligence in our kids — and ourselves.

Our past hangouts have included a chat about dealing with anger in the family with America’s Supernanny Deborah Tillman and Marc Brackett from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and a discussion of the benefits of letting kids fail with former NBA star Adonal Foyle and NBC parenting expert Michele Borba. For each hangout, we pair experts with divergent views to explore a common parenting theme and offer practical wisdom and tactical advice.

About the participants:

Christine Carter, PhD is a sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She is the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents and The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Work and Home (January 2015). A sought-after motivational speaker on happiness, Carter draws on psychology, sociology, and neuroscience — and uses her own chaotic and often very funny real-world adventures — to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts in action. A popular blogger, speaker, and parent coach who offers online classes, she has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Dr. Oz Show. She lives with her husband and four kids near San Francisco.

Bruce Feiler is the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including The Council of Dads and Walking the Bible. For his most recent bestseller — The Secrets of Happy Families:  Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More — he goes on a three-year journey to find the smartest ideas, cutting-edge research, and novel solutions to make his family happier. He is also the writer and host of the PBS series Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler; he writes for numerous publications, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. Feiler is the father of identical twin daughters.

Carol Lloyd, Executive Editor at GreatSchools, is an award-winning writer and editor whose work on education and family life has been published in New York Times Magazine, Salon, and other national outlets, as well as being featured on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, KQED’s Forum, and NBC’s Class Action.

GreatSchools is a digital media nonprofit that helps millions of parents get a great education for their children, support their children’s learning, and find great schools. Every year, GreatSchools reaches more than half of all American families with school-age children, providing school information, educational activities, articles, and videos.

SocialMoms is a digital media company with one of the world’s largest networks of women influencers — comprised of more than 45,000 bloggers, sites, and social media personalities with a combined social reach of more than 200 million. Founded in 2008 by Megan Calhoun, the company creates high-impact, custom media campaigns that shape perceptions and drive action.

Jessica Berlinski works with educational organizations to build awareness and scale impact in social emotional learning (SEL). As co-founder of If You Can, she supported Electronic Arts’ founder in launching the first consumer video game designed to build emotional intelligence. She has a decade of experience leading organizations dedicated to supporting the “whole child” through academics and SEL.

GreatSchools Upgrades School Scorecards for New Jersey Parents

July 28, 2014, Oakland, CA — GreatSchools.org has added significant new data about student progress and success to help parents in New Jersey find higher-performing K-12 schools that are a great fit for their children. In addition to results from state standardized tests, GreatSchools Ratings for schools in New Jersey now include measurements of:
• whether or not students are making academic progress over time,
• high school graduation rates, and
• college readiness, including SAT performance and participation.

“Test scores are valuable, but they’re only the beginning for parents who are looking at schools,” says GreatSchools Founder and CEO Bill Jackson. “Parents want more detailed school information, and the new data included in the GreatSchools Rating makes it a more balanced scorecard. More information will help parents find a great school that is a great fit for their families.”

Last year, GreatSchools reached more than 52 million unique visitors, including more than half of U.S. families with school-aged children. The GreatSchools Rating helps parents compare the academic performance of all public and public charter schools (and private schools where data is available). GreatSchools also provides qualitative insights from people who know a school best – through community reviews by parents, teachers, and students, and official school profiles from principals.

New Jersey is the latest state where the new data are included in the GreatSchools Ratings. In recent months, GreatSchools has added the new data for schools in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio, as well as Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee. The enhanced GreatSchools Rating now covers more than 16% of public and public charter schools nationwide. In other states, the GreatSchools Rating continues to be based on results from standardized tests, and new school data will be added as more states make the information available.

Incorporating new data is one of several ways GreatSchools is working to bring rich school information and insights to parents. GreatSchools Local, for example, builds partnerships with city and state organizations to provide the most relevant and current local school information. GreatSchools also works with school leaders to highlight important aspects of a school, such as school climate and special programs.

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonprofit that helps millions of parents find great schools, support great learning, and guide their kids to great futures. Our Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, is the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of 200,000 public, public charter and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students. In addition, GreatSchools offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning. Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools has local offices and programs in Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee.

GreatSchools Cohosts Hangout on “Letting Kids Fail & Grow”

Part of online series Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting

GreatSchools, SocialMoms, and social emotional gaming company If You Can will cohost “Letting Kids Fail & Grow” — an online parenting conversation with former NBA star and education advocate Adonal Foyle and Today Show parenting expert Michele Borba. The Google+ Hangout on Wednesday, June 4 at 2 pm EST (11 am PST) will be a wide-ranging discussion about teaching kids resilience in the face of obstacles. This is part of a new Emotional Smarts: Conversations on Parenting Google+ Hangout series.

The speakers will use their divergent life experiences and expertise to offer ideas and tips on dealing with one of the most misunderstood areas of parenting: the balance between supporting a child’s self-esteem and letting them experience (and grow from) failure. GreatSchools Executive Editor Carol Lloyd will moderate and explore questions like:

  • When is it okay to let kids fail, and when is it better to protect them?
  • How do you teach kids to learn from their failures — and turn them into successes?

The Google+ Hangout is free and open to the public. Parents and others can sign up and suggest questions, then log on at 2:00 pm EST (11:00 am PST) on June 4 to join the discussion. Participants may contribute questions and comments in advance or live via the Google+ Hangout page or on Twitter by using the hashtag #emotionalsmarts. Anyone who misses the live chat can also watch the entire conversation later.

About the participants:

Adonal Foyle is a retired professional basketball player who founded Kerosene Lamp Foundation and Democracy Matters. He is the author of a children’s book, Too-Tall Foyle Finds His Game (the first in a series based on his rise to success) and the forthcoming book, Why Players Go Broke. Foyle grew up in the tiny nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. His quest for a college education ultimately led him to the U.S. — an inspirational story of ambition, hard work, and a little bit of luck. Despite being recruited by top basketball colleges, Foyle made the unorthodox decision to attend Colgate University to focus on his education. He graduated magna cum laude from Colgate and has a Masters in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.

Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an educator and author recognized for her solution-based strategies to strengthen children’s behavior and character, build strong families, and reduce peer cruelty. A sought-after motivational speaker, she has presented workshops and keynote addresses throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific and has served as a consultant to hundreds of schools and corporations including work on U.S. Army bases in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Her proposal: “Ending School Violence and Bullying” (SB1667) was signed into California law in 2002.

Carol Lloyd, Executive Editor at GreatSchools, is an award-winning writer and editor whose work on education and family life has been widely published, including in The New York Times Magazine and “This American Life” as well as being featured on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation”, KQED’s “Forum” and NBC’s Class Action, among others.

About the Emotional Smarts series

GreatSchools, SocialMoms, and If You Can created the Emotional Smarts Google+ Hangout series to bring insightful voices in parenting, education, and other relevant fields together to talk about developing emotional intelligence in our kids — and ourselves.

In the first Emotional Smarts hangout, ivory tower met reality TV when Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, spoke with TV’s America’s Supernanny Deborah Tillman. Over the next few months, the Emotional Smarts series will pair experts with divergent views to explore parenting themes and offer practical wisdom and tactical advice.

GreatSchools is a digital media nonprofit that helps millions of parents get a great education for their children, support their children’s learning, and find great schools. Every year, GreatSchools reaches more than half of all American families with school-age children, bringing them school information, educational activities, articles, and videos.

SocialMoms is a digital media company with one of the world’s largest networks of women influencers — comprised of more than 45,000 bloggers, sites, and social media personalities with a combined social reach of more than 200 million. Founded in 2008 by Megan Calhoun, the company creates high-impact, custom media campaigns that shape perceptions and drive action.

If You Can is a new gaming company founded by Trip Hawkins, Jessica Berlinski, Stewart Bonn, and Ben Geliher. The company is dedicated to supporting and empowering children and parents to value and understand themselves and others. Its first game IF…, a social-emotional learning game for children, is now available in the Apple App Store.

GreatSchools Wins 2014 MAGGIE Award for Best Web Article

Oakland, CA, May 20, 2014 — GreatSchools.org won a 2014 MAGGIE Award for Bipolar at 5? a mother’s story about learning her young daughter’s diagnosis of early onset bipolar disorder and the challenges their family faced together. The article won for best web, e-newsletter or digital edition article in the trade and consumer category.

Bipolar at 5? is part of a three-part series that includes two videos. In Sadie’s Story, the daughter, now 11 years old, tells her own story;  Raising Sadie features interviews with both the mother and Sadie’s psychologist. (Please note: Sadie’s name was changed to protect her identity.)

“We’re honored to receive a MAGGIE Award for this piece. We’re encouraged by the response; it’s one of our most popular articles,” said GreatSchools Executive Editor Carol Lloyd. “GreatSchools is committed to sharing real stories of parents, children, and schools. Our parenting dilemmas articles, like this one, offer insight and inspiration to help parents make the best decisions when they face tough choices for their kids.”

The MAGGIEs are awarded by the Western Publishing Association, which honors excellence and writing in consumer and trade magazines and websites published in the western states. Bipolar at 5? is featured on GreatSchools.org and was distributed through the e-newsletter, which provides parents with articles, videos, worksheets, and school information that help parents stay connected to their children and schools. In a recent survey, 86% of e-newsletter subscribers said they were extremely satisfied with GreatSchools.org.

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonprofit that helps millions of parents find great schools and guide their kids to great futures. Our award-winning website offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets to help parents support their children’s learning. GreatSchools.org is also the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of about 200,000 public, public charter, and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students. Headquartered in Oakland, California, GreatSchools has local offices and programs in Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Washington, D.C.

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