Schoolwires Debuts Centricity™ at NECC: First and Only Strategic Solutions for Connecting K-12 Communities

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Centricity™ Combines Website Management, Community Management and Web 2.0 Collaboration/Communication Tools to Connect K-12 Communities

In the classroom, teachers have begun teaching online. They're posting math, social studies and reading assignments. They're encouraging students to create blogs and participate in surveys - expressing opinions and demonstrating comprehension.

Schoolwires Inc. , a leading national provider of strategic online communication, community management and productivity solutions, today announced its Centricity™ Strategic Solution for Connecting K-12 Communities.

"This is an era of transformative change for K-12 education," states Schoolwires CEO Ed Marflak. "It's a time when education no longer takes place solely inside the schoolhouse walls. The K-12 universe has shifted from the classroom to the connected community."

Alan November, an internationally recognized leader in education technology and author of Web Literacy for Educators, adds "…the new primary business of education may be community development".

"The natural consequence of involving the community will be that schools will need to be more connected to the community and the community to our students. In turn, our schools will become central enterprises within the community, contributing to its vitality and longevity," November states.

Yet, according to Schoolwires Director of Product Strategy Peggi Munkittrick, "Most commonly, districts have assembled a collection of communication tools over time to meet their needs. But without a strategic, unified solution, few districts offer of have the capability to offer the engaging experiences required to leverage the value of a connected community."

In response, Schoolwires has announced Centricity - the first and only Strategic Solution for Connecting K-12 Communities.

Marflak comments, "Our solution is more than an academic portal, more than a website management system, and more than a content management solution, Centricity is an all-in-one, user-centric solution that puts all the communities within a district quite literally on the same page. It enables each and all of a district's constituents to come together around success."

Centricity brings together comprehensive capabilities including the ability to more easily deploy and manage multiple custom, interactive websites; to implement advanced web 2.0/multimedia capabilities, such as blogs, social networks and user ratings; and to enable all users - from novices to power users - to utilize the functionality that meets their needs and comfort levels.

Of note, Centricity is a hosted, on-demand solution offering the very high levels of security, performance and reliability that a strategic solution requires.

"Superintendents at dozens of districts have told us that one of their primary strategic objectives is to facilitate communication around high stakes issues and among multiple constituents - from parents to principals to taxpayers," Marflak adds. "Centricity was developed with this need very much in mind."

Superintendent Dr. Stan Scheer of Murrieta Valley USD in California, a Schoolwires customer, states that "From 'No Child Left Behind' public reporting requirements….to parents expecting access to their children's test scores and progress indicators…to taxpayers demanding justification for increased spending…superintendents are being held accountable as never before."

In Scheer's view, a truly strategic solution for connecting K-12 communities must enable transparency, visibility and instant dissemination of critical information. At the same time, the solution must be easy enough for teachers to quickly adopt - and have enough functionality to build upon.

"Our teachers have been able to power up what they had been doing online because our new solution from Schoolwires is so user friendly," says Scheer. "In the classroom, teachers have begun teaching online. They're posting math, social studies and reading assignments. They're encouraging students to create blogs and participate in surveys - expressing opinions and demonstrating comprehension."

"Centricity gives district and local administrators, as well as teachers, parents and school organizations, a new ability to interact in a more robust and real-time fashion through three cornerstone capabilities," Munkittrick states.

  •     INFORM connected communities. The free-flow of information - from teacher to family, from principal to staff, from superintendent to the entire community - is at the core of success in education. Through Centricity, information flows freely, securely and immediately via the web - empowering each individual in the community and the community as a whole to contribute to and collaborate to achieve unprecedented success.
  •     ENGAGE connected communities. Higher levels of user interaction via social networks, blogs and interactive surveys are the currency of engagement and collaboration today - for educators, students and families alike. These are just some of the ways Centricity enables a deeper, richer, more constant engagement among all connected communities.
  •     ENERGIZE connected communities. When communities are connected, they are energized. Ideas flourish. Contributions compound. Major issues are addressed, and major challenges met. Best practices become even better practices and are shared widely. Every individual is involved as he or she needs and chooses. Success becomes the strategic driver and shared goal - one that is met by thriving connected and inter-connected communities.

Increasingly, educators acknowledge that the extent with which schools create communities, communicate with those communities, and foster collaboration within and among those communities has everything to do with how schools perform. By better connecting communities, Centricity is a strategic enabler of success for K-12 school districts.

Along with the launch of Centricity, the company is also introducing upgrades to its Synergy File Sharing Solution and Assist Service Request Management Solution, as well as ClubSchoolio™, an exclusive members-only online clubhouse for Schoolwires clients.

"This is an exciting time for Schoolwires," says Marflak. "Our product portfolio, our brand and our business are taking giant steps forward in direct response to the needs of the market and the strategic imperatives of superintendents and technology leaders across the country," he concludes.

NECC attendees are invited to visit Schoolwires at Booth 6026 to learn more about Schoolwires' next generation of solutions and services for connecting K-12 communities.

Schoolwires, Inc. (http://www.schoolwires.com) is a leading national provider of strategic online communication, community-management and productivity solutions that result in stronger school communities, more effective schools and greater student success. With the launch of Centricity™, Schoolwires delivers the first strategic solution for connecting K-12 communities. Centricity brings together robust and flexible website management, community management, and web 2.0/social network capabilities in a single, user-centric solution. Schoolwires also delivers Synergy™, a digital file sharing solution, Assist™, a service request solution, and Share, an online client community and support center.

Schoolwires solutions are deployed at more than 3,500 schools serving an estimated three million students, parents, teachers and administrators throughout North America. Schoolwires is ranked as the #174th fastest-growing private company in the nation and the third fastest-growing within the education sector in the coveted Inc. 500 list.

CONTACT: Eric Smith
Director of Marketing Content & Communications, Schoolwires, Inc.
Cell: (814) 359-9754, esmith @ schoolwires.com

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Eric Smith
School Wire
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