• Featured Article

    A Primer on Social and Emotional Learning

    written November 2, 2016 by Nikki Alvarez

Latest Articles

Customer Story: Riverside-Brookfield High School

How a Chicago High School used simple strategies and community-donated incentives to decrease tardies and suspensions David Mannon, Assistant Principal at Riverside Brookfield High School, knew from a young age he wanted to get into education while working as a swim teacher at his local YMCA. Providing kids with skills that they can use in life became a passion for him, and it remains one of David’s main driving forces. After attending college to learn about educational programs, David started his career as a Special Ed teacher, worked his way up to a teacher, a coach, a Dean where he oversaw a special educational program, and now he’s in his current role at Riverside Brookfield. Part One: Reducing Tardies Riverside Brookfield is located 13...

written January 23, 2017 by Jessica Mitchell

Who’s Responsible for Closing Down the School-to-Prison Pipeline?

An in-depth look at the sweeping movement and challenges of school discipline reform. An article in The American Prospect examines the tension as the nation seeks to solve a rapidly growing problem. Society is putting a lot of pressure on schools to close the school-to-prison pipeline, and schools are pleading for the resources to do the job right. Is it wise to strip schools of all punitive authority, outlawing suspensions and expulsions? Do alternative forms of discipline really work? How do schools keep everyone safe in absence of expulsion and suspension policies? The real question: What can we realistically expect from schools in discipline reform and where do they need help? Everyone agrees. School discipline reform is critical to stunting the flow of juveniles...

written January 19, 2017 by The Hero Collective

The Case for Happier Schools

Students learn invaluable social skills in a happier, more positive school climate. In our modern world where a student could “go to school” using their laptop, there is one tremendous advantage of a brick-and-mortar campus that is not going away: the social and emotional connections made through a positive school climate. Dance your way to a more positive school climate. “Happy schools,” like Weiner Elementary School in northeast Arkansas, are the result of carefully implemented activities and policies that create a sense of community and happiness school-wide. “It’s a feeling in a building,” Hogue explains. “When you walk in here, it just feels right. It looks like a place where learning is happening.” Every morning, school begins with a dance party before school, using...

written January 18, 2017 by The Hero Collective

Hero’s Wildly Important Goal for 2017: Customer Success

2016 was a great year, but we have even higher hopes for 2017. Hero President Mark MacDonald shares his vision for the year ahead. The fire is crackling, the snow is falling, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…ok, you get the picture.  Happy New Year, and a sincere thank you to all our school partners for choosing to change the culture and climate of your schools by working with Hero. 2016 was a really great year: Our list of customers continued to grow. We are now serving schools in 43 states! We revamped our on-boarding program which will help schools start using Hero faster. We launched Hero Homeroom, a place where Hero educators can connect with one another, complete challenges, and...

written January 9, 2017 by Mark MacDonald

Trust Schools to Change Their Discipline Strategies

It’s imperative that schools try new approaches to student discipline—and to do so successfully, they need the support and trust of parents and the community. That’s exactly what this opinion piece in the Capital Gazette asks of its readers. Schools need latitude in trying new disciplinary approach. Despite the numerous schools across the country benefitting from positive and restorative disciplinary policies, each school system is taking a risk when they try to implement new school-wide behavior policies like PBIS or Restorative Justice. The obvious risk? It may not work. The reasons for a potentially failed implementation are myriad. Lack of proper funding for the new policy. Lack of proper training for the staff and educators. Lack of parental support. Lack of data-based tools to...

written December 28, 2016 by The Hero Collective

The Benefits of a Mid-Year Roll Out With Hero

Some of the most successful Hero program launches happen outside of the back-to-school season. Hero’s Director of Customer Success explains why a mid-year launch can be beneficial. In my role as Director of the Customer Success program at Hero, I have the wonderful privilege to speak with school leaders from all over the country on a daily basis. I am forever mesmerized by the passion and dedication (the cliché “blood, sweat, and tears”) K-12 Administrators pour into their jobs. It is truly an honor to be a partner in their vision for their school’s success. From the minute they first learn about Hero and the opportunities it brings to their campus, you can nearly see the wheels turning in the school leaders’ minds. Whether...

written December 21, 2016 by Andrea Wilkins

Testimonials

  • "What Hero is able to do is offer a management system to problem solve on what’s working, what’s not, and how do you go about creating new systems and processes to overcome your challenges."

    Dr. Nikolai Vitti

    Superintendant, Duval County Public Schools

  • "Hero is changing the conversation. Where a teacher might be more apt to focus on certain behaviors in their classroom, this focuses them on school-wide behaviors that we want to see."

    Terry Connor

    Principal, Samuel Wolfson High School

  • "I feel that Hero is instilling positive reinforcement with the kids... In education, we're used to the culture of reinforcing negative behaviors. Now, we're creating a positive culture where students are publicly recognized. There's a reward system. They're recognized by their peers, they're recognized by the faculty and staff, they're recognized by their principal, and it starts to spread throughout the school."

    Carlos Alvarez

    Principal, Hialeah Educational Academy

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PlascoTrac is now Hero K12

For over a decade our company has evolved and so has the world of education. EdTech companies are working with schools and districts nationwide to improve student outcomes at all levels. This evolution requires companies operating in this market to become more and more focused, nimble, and dedicated. When we launched the new Hero product in January 2014, we found the name resonated. Hero became far more than a product. Hero became what we live, every day. Our customers, partners, and everyone we’ve met along the way have responded so well to the Hero brand, it’s humbling. To support our commitment to our current and future customers, we are building a new organization to focus solely on K-12 education. Effective November 1, 2014, we are known simply as Hero K12. And we couldn’t be more excited for the future.

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