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

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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.

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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

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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.

GreatSchoolsDetroit.org Helps Detroit Parents with Better School Information

New Partnership Combines Local and National Resources

DETROIT (Mar. 25, 2014) — Navigating the education landscape in Detroit is a complex endeavor as parents and caregivers have hundreds of school options to consider in trying to find the best fit for their child’s education needs. GreatSchoolsDetroit.org, produced by Excellent Schools Detroit in partnership with GreatSchools, gives Detroit families the tools they need to make a quality school choice.

“The GreatSchoolsDetroit.org website is a collaboration of Excellent Schools Detroit’s localized Scorecard data and GreatSchools national ratings,” said Dan Varner, chief executive officer, Excellent Schools Detroit. “Not only will parents have the apples-to-apples comparison across a multitude of measures in our Scorecard, but they’ll also see how the local schools rate on a national scale through GreatSchools’ score.”

When visiting GreatSchoolsDetroit.org, users can view in-depth school profiles, read and write reviews of schools, compare schools across a multitude of measures and criteria and find schools near their community. The innovative site contains data from hundreds of Detroit schools, ranging from early childhood learning centers to public, public charter, and private elementary and high schools.

“Excellent Schools Detroit’s in-depth knowledge of and data on Detroit education environments and their deep connections with schools, community groups and parent organizations provides the localized insights that parents need,” said Bill Jackson, chief executive officer, GreatSchools. “Excellent Schools Detroit is the ideal partner for GreatSchools, because both organizations are committed to bringing parents the robust information they need to make great school choices.”

Excellent Schools Detroit re-launched its Scorecard in August 2013 with in-depth, side-by-side comparison of Detroit schools along a multitude of measures, including academic performance, academic progress and school climate. The organization recommends parents and students select schools graded C+ or better because these schools will generally prepare students for success in college, career and community.

In 2013, GreatSchools began building partnerships with local community organizations and city groups to bring the best school information and tools to families. These partnerships combine the local knowledge and relationships of community partners with the national media and technology platform of GreatSchools. GreatSchools Detroit is the first new partnership to launch.

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About Excellent Schools Detroit
Excellent Schools Detroit was formed in 2010 by a coalition of philanthropic, education, community and civic leaders with an important mission: an excellent education for every Detroit child, from cradle to career, by 2020. To that end, Excellent Schools Detroit produces an annual Scorecard, which grades schools across a multitude of excellence measures, to help Detroit parents and community make an informed school choice. The organization convenes individuals and organizations across multiple sectors as the Detroit community collectively works to achieve excellence in 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, 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.

Indianapolis and GreatSchools Partner to Help Parents Understand School Options

Partnership Includes Pilot Program to Focus on Finding Quality PreK

Oakland, CA, February 27, 2014 — GreatSchools and the City of Indianapolis are working together to help Indianapolis parents understand their full range of options when choosing preK-12 schools for their families. The partnership will include a new pilot program to expand information about preK and help families find high-quality programs.

The GreatSchools Indianapolis partnership helps parents by combining the local insights and information of the city with the technology, data, and reach of GreatSchools, the nation’s leading source of independent school information for parents. The new partnership will expand on work GreatSchools has been doing in Indianapolis since 2011, including:

  • A new community-focused website, greatschools.org/Indianapolis, with in-depth profiles of more than 600 preK-12 schools — public, public charter, and private — as well as articles and information to help parents navigate the school application process and to support learning at home.
  • The print GreatSchools Indianapolis School Chooser, which is especially valuable for families who have less internet access. Nearly 15,000 copies of the School Chooser  were distributed last year.
  • On-the-ground efforts to bring information and coaching to families through community events and collaborations with local partners.
  • A new pilot program to help families understand the importance of high-quality preK and preschool — and then find quality programs in their community.

“We are excited to partner with GreatSchools to provide these valuable services to the parents and families of Indianapolis,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “These tools will aid parents in selecting the best school for their students and will also bring them easy-to-access information about early childhood education options.”

“Working with local partners has helped GreatSchools bring Indianapolis parents the most current and relevant information about their school options,” said GreatSchools CEO and Founder Bill Jackson. “We’re extremely pleased to partner with the City of Indianapolis to expand this important work and reach many more families, including families with children in the crucial early learning years.”

Every community is unique and has different school options. Families looking for great schools need the most relevant and current local school information. Recognizing this need, GreatSchools launched the new GreatSchools Local  program to partner with city agencies, community groups, and local education leaders to deliver the best local school information to families. GreatSchools Local  builds on the organization’s experience working in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Washington, DC. Several new GreatSchools Local partnerships will launch later this year.

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. Our 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.

Follow GreatSchools on Twitter at @GreatSchools, on Facebook at facebook.com/greatschools, and on Pinterest at pinterest.com/greatschools.

Parents in Four States Get Better School Information from GreatSchools

January 7, 2014, San Francisco — GreatSchools has added significant new data about student progress and success to help parents in Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Ohio find higher-performing K-12 schools that are a great fit for their children.

In addition to results from standardized tests, GreatSchools Ratings for schools in the four states now include measurements of:
• whether or not students are making academic progress over time
• high school graduation rates
• college readiness

“We know parents want more detailed information about schools and incorporating new data into the GreatSchools Rating is a big step forward,” says GreatSchools Founder and CEO Bill Jackson. “We’re always working to help parents get better information so they can make the best school decisions for their families.”

Last year, GreatSchools reached more than 50 million people, 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). School profiles on GreatSchools also provide reviews by parents, teachers, and students, and advice for parents about visiting schools and gathering information as part of their school selection process.

In addition to these four states, the new data is also included in GreatSchools Ratings for schools in Indiana, Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee, where GreatSchools pilot tested the additional data in 2012. In other states, the GreatSchools Rating continues to be based on results from standardized tests, but the organization will incorporate new school data as more states make the information available.

Incorporating new data is one of several ways GreatSchools is working to bring parents better school information and insight. The GreatSchools Local program, for example, establishes 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 offered at the school.

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 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. Headquartered in San Francisco, GreatSchools has local offices and programs in Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee.

Research on Parents and School Information

How Do Parents Research and Choose Schools? — GreatSchools 2013

How Americans Assess School Quality — Jon Valant Stanford 2013

Effects of Providing Info to School-Choosing Families — Stanford 2012

The Presentation of School Information — Peter Bergman Columbia 2013

How Parents Research Schools — Qualitative Study Rockman et al 2012

From time to time we do research to see what strategies are most helpful to parents and to make improvements. In some cases, we work with outside parties (e.g., university researchers) to implement this research and analyze data. We don’t share your identifiable information with outside researchers unless it was provided by you in a user survey or already publicly available.

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