GreatSchools and Tandem Partner to Highlight Online School Calendars

San Francisco, CA, July 16, 2013 — Tandem and GreatSchools are working together to make online school calendars more accessible to families around the United States.

With support from Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium, GreatSchools and Tandem will feature free school calendar information on the GreatSchools profiles of about 40,000 K-12 schools.

 “For today’s busy parents, staying connected with their kids’ schools means juggling many other details in their lives, from dinner plans to summer camp,” said GreatSchools Founder and CEO Bill Jackson.  “GreatSchools is excited to be working with Tandem to help parents access important school calendar information, any time they need it, from their computers or smartphones.”

Adding school calendar information to GreatSchools profiles will help families keep track of important information like school start dates, holidays, enrollment timelines, and special events.  Parents can easily download the information to their own calendars.  As the nation’s leading source of school information, GreatSchools is always working to provide families with more news and insights about their schools, and to help families and schools communicate.

About GreatSchools

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonprofit that helps parents get a great education for their children. Our Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, helps families make crucial decisions about where to live and where to send their children to school. GreatSchools.org is the nation’s leading guide to PreK-12 schools, with profiles of 200,000 public and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers and students. In addition, GreatSchools.org offers thousands of articles, videos and worksheets that give parents practical ways to support their children’s learning. Last year we reached 44 million people, including half of all American families with school-age children. Headquartered in San Francisco, GreatSchools has local programs in Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Washington, DC.

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

About Tandem

Tandem is an online tool that enables schools to provide free, updated calendar information to their communities, and helps schools and communities stay connected. To set up a free school account, visit www.tandemcal.com. Follow Tandem on Twitter at @tandemcal or on Facebook at facebook.com/tandemcal.

###

GreatSchools and Zillow Help Families Find Great Neighborhoods

San Francisco, CA – July 11, 2013 – GreatSchools is pleased to announce a partnership with Zillow®, the leading real estate marketplace, to help families find a home to buy or rent at the same time that they search for a great school.

“Many families come to GreatSchools for the first time because they are preparing to move to a new neighborhood or community,” said Bill Jackson, Founder and CEO of GreatSchools. “Parents are looking for a neighborhood with great school options for their kids, and partnering with Zillow helps GreatSchools bring families more and better information about the whole neighborhood, including nearby homes.”
Visitors to the GreatSchools.org website can now access the Zillow search experience, so that families can quickly click to detailed information about homes that are available near schools that they are considering for their children. Additionally, school profiles from GreatSchools are incorporated into the Zillow website, enabling families to learn more about nearby schools while they are looking for a home. GreatSchools has arranged a variety of partnerships to provide families with rich information and insights about schools, and help parents get the best possible education for their children.

Zillow is the leading online real estate company in the U.S., with a database of more than 110 million homes. Zillow is also an ideal partner for GreatSchools because the company provides a great user experience, especially on mobile devices. Mobile usage of the GreatSchools.org website has grown rapidly, and now brings 20% of total traffic to GreatSchools.org.

About GreatSchools

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonprofit that helps parents get a great education for their children. Our Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, helps families make crucial decisions about where to live and where to send their children to school. GreatSchools.org is the nation’s leading guide to PreK-12 schools, with profiles of 200,000 public and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers and students. In addition, GreatSchools.org offers thousands of articles, videos and worksheets that give parents practical ways to support their children’s learning. Last year we reached 44 million people, including half of all American families with school-age children. Headquartered in San Francisco, GreatSchools has local programs in Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Washington, DC.

Follow GreatSchools on Twitter at @GreatSchools, on Facebook at facebook.com/greatschools or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/greatschools.
Zillow is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.

###

Gallup and GreatSchools Bring Youth Insights to School Reviews

New Survey Tracks Student Views on Hope, Engagement, Wellbeing

San Francisco, CA — June 11, 2013 — Gallup and GreatSchools are launching a new partnership to bring a crucial — and often missing — voice into national discussions about school quality and education success: the voice of America’s students.

Through this innovative partnership, Gallup will gather the perspectives of thousands of public school students in grades 5 through 12 and GreatSchools, the leading national online school guide, will share those insights on its profiles of K-12 schools. The Gallup Student Poll is a landmark new survey tracking the hope, engagement, and wellbeing of public school students across the U.S.

“Hope, engagement, and wellbeing are key factors that have been shown to drive students’ grades, achievement scores, retention, and success in future employment,” says Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education. “The Gallup Student Poll is an important way to inform discussions about education with the voices of students, who are too often not included. We’re excited about this partnership and the opportunity to bring these insights to the many families and educators who rely on GreatSchools.”

“The Gallup-GreatSchools partnership will help families, educators, and others better understand key factors that help students succeed, using insights from kids themselves,” says Bill Jackson, founder and CEO of GreatSchools. “Hope, engagement, and wellbeing connect to the future success of our kids, and also provide insights about school environments, which will help families consider whether a school is a good fit.”

In 2012, 1,700 public schools participated, enabling their students to take the free Gallup Student Poll. Beginning in fall 2013, the highest-scoring schools that take the Gallup Student Poll will receive a “Gallup Kids Approved” badge on their GreatSchools profiles.

Over a 10-year period, the Gallup Student Poll will use anonymous student surveys to measure:

  • Hope — fuels problem solving and persistence, and helps students channel ideas and energy into producing positive outcomes.
  • Engagement — includes factors like feeling welcomed, encouraged, and recognized for working hard.
  • Wellbeing — measures how students are doing in multiple aspects of their lives, including their health, energy level and enjoyment.

About Gallup

Gallup experts work with leaders in education to hire and develop talented educators, identify the strengths of each student, and create engaging learning environments — fostering long-term student success in the classroom and in future careers. The best educators know that for students to achieve meaningful, lasting success in the classroom and beyond, they must be emotionally engaged in the educational experience. This means educators must focus on students’ hope, engagement, and wellbeing — the predictors Gallup has discovered matter the most. Measuring and moving the needle on these outcomes transforms educational institutions into places where students — and educators — thrive.

For more information, visit education.gallup.com, follow @GallupEducation, or contact Education@gallup.com.

About GreatSchools

Founded in 1998, GreatSchools is a national nonprofit that helps parents get a great education for their children. Our Webby award-winning website, GreatSchools.org, helps families make crucial decisions about where to live and where to send their children to school. GreatSchools.org is the nation’s leading guide to preK-12 schools, with profiles of 200,000 public and private schools and more than one million ratings and reviews by parents, teachers, and students. In addition, GreatSchools.org offers thousands of articles, videos, and worksheets that give parents practical ways to support their children’s learning. Last year we reached 44 million people, including half of all U.S. families with school-age children. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, GreatSchools has local chapters in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Washington, DC.

Follow @GreatSchools, like GreatSchools on Facebook at facebook.com/greatschools, or see what GreatSchools has to share on Pinterest at pinterest.com/greatschools.

###

GreatSchools Milwaukee Offers Free Resources to 17,000 Families Choosing Schools, Joined by Mayor and Governor at School Choice Event

Group co-hosts National School Choice Week event on January 30th, kicking off the most important open application period in the school selection season.

Milwaukee, WI – January 28, 2013 – GreatSchools Milwaukee will co-host a special National School Choice Week event on January 30th from 8:30-10:00 a.m. at the Grain Exchange. More than 350 students, parents, teachers, community members, and elected officials are expected to attend. The January 30th Milwaukee stop will bring together an unprecedented bipartisan coalition of educators and education reformers with representatives from all school sectors – private, public and charter. Governor Scott Walker, Mayor Tom Barrett and others are scheduled to speak and students from eight local schools will perform. Now in its third year, National School Choice Week is Jan. 27- Feb. 2 and boasts 3,500 local events spanning all 50 states.

The Milwaukee chapter of GreatSchools, a national nonprofit that promotes parental engagement in education, offers free resources to local families choosing a K-12 school. Interested families can call the organization’s bilingual hotline at 414-748-1211 or visit their website at www.greatschools.org/milwaukee for the most up-to- date information about the city’s more than 300 public, private and charter schools. The GreatSchools.org website includes profiles of every elementary, middle and high school in the city, performance ratings for all schools—public and private—interactive maps, school visit checklists and more. Parents can even read reviews of schools posted by real parents, students, and teachers to get the inside scoop. The site is mobile-friendly, so it works on either a computer or a smartphone.
Continue reading “GreatSchools Milwaukee Offers Free Resources to 17,000 Families Choosing Schools, Joined by Mayor and Governor at School Choice Event”

Evolution of the GreatSchools Rating

Since its inception back in 2006, the GreatSchools Rating has helped millions of parents evaluate their neighborhood schools, make clear and simple comparisons, and find a great school for their child. In a world of dizzying education data, the GreatSchools Rating offers an easy-to-understand measure of overall test score performance. The value of the rating is its simplicity and scale; the 1-to-10 rating is straightforward, while maintaining methodological integrity and scalability.

However, we know that parents care about more than test scores alone, so we’ve begun to test ways to include multiple measures of school quality in the GreatSchools Rating. Just as a doctor wouldn’t give a patient a clean bill of health based on blood pressure alone, it is important to evaluate various factors of a school’s overall performance. Here are a few concepts we’re beginning to test with an eye toward scaling the innovations that look most promising:
Continue reading “Evolution of the GreatSchools Rating”