Three Big Announcements From LearnSprout
Since we launched LearnSprout Dashboard just nine months ago, we have analyzed data for more than 2,000 schools in 47 states and 9 countries making LearnSprout one of the fastest growing companies in K-12 education. This amazing growth has been possible thanks to an extremely simple setup and powerful analytics to help fight chronic absenteeism and identify historical trends. Today, I am incredibly excited to share three huge updates that will dramatically increase LearnSprout’s impact:
College Readiness Dashboard
Over the past year, we have been working closely with our customers, developing a solution that will help schools deliver on the promise of public education during a time of shrinking budgets and dwindling resources. What we’ve come up with is a tool that will transform how high school counselors monitor college readiness for their students.
According to the American Counseling Association, the national average of students to counselors is nearly twice the recommended rate with each counselor seeing 471 students on average during the 2010-2011 school year. In California, it’s 1:1016. With such high ratios, most counselors are primarily concerned with making sure their students are on track to graduate. As a result, there is usually little time to actively monitor college readiness on a regular basis.
Today, most student information systems offer only a single-student view of student progress with no ability to ascertain how a student body is progressing as a whole. This requires counselors to examine each student, one at a time to identify the group in need of additional support. Furthermore, these systems tend to focus on graduation progress and do not include dedicated tools for monitoring college readiness.
With our new college readiness dashboard, counselors will have access to a live overview showing the total number of students in each grade level that are on-track, borderline or off-track for college. By leveraging a direct connection with a school or district’s SIS, LearnSprout is able to combine GPA, course completion and test scores to present a high-level view of a high school student body’s progress. Counselors can then drill down into a segment to work with individual students and log interventions. But this isn’t a one-size fits all solution… Each state university system typically maintains its own set of subject area requirements, test score thresholds and has a unique GPA calculation. To meet these unique needs, LearnSprout is preconfigured, eliminating setup and making it possible to track students based on the unique requirements of each state.
This birds-eye view hasn’t been possible and until now, counselors have had a tough time keeping a handle on their massive case-loads. The best part? This powerful new tool is free, just like the rest of LearnSprout and is available today! It’s our hope that with the college readiness dashboard, counselors will have more time to work with students, nudging them onto the college track and improving their long-term chances for success.
Infinite Campus Integration
Today I’m also excited to announce that we have completed our integration with Infinite Campus. This opens the door to more than 500 Infinite Campus schools who have already registered for LearnSprout since we first went live last summer and expands LearnSprout’s potential reach to nearly 20 million students. Infinite Campus users who are accustomed to viewing raw, abstract data using IC’s ad-hoc reporting tool will appreciate LearnSprout’s free dashboard with easy to understand reports and a simple 5-minute setup.
Finally, I’m thrilled to finally let the cat out of the bag and announce that LearnSprout has secured $4.2 million in Series A funding from our friends at Formation 8, Samsung Ventures and former Blackboard president, Justin Tan. This strong showing of support actually came through last August, but we wanted to wait on delivering the news until our new college readiness dashboard was ready to ship. Over the past few months we have grown our team and expanded our reach across the country, attending conferences and meeting with customers. With the investment we are now in a position to focus our efforts around improving LearnSprout by adding even more features and polishing the user experience. As I’ve said before, with the data we are able to help educators access, there’s no shortage of cool things we can build and we can’t wait to get some of these ideas out the door and into the hands of our customers!