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    Hero 2016 Back to School Product Update

    written September 6, 2016 by Bryan Landaburu

Latest Articles

Giving Students a Second Chance

It wasn’t that long ago that Miami-Dade County Public Schools announced their radical step to eliminate out-of-school suspensions. Since then, they’ve been making headlines and changing the lives of students. Sarasota, Florida’s Herald Tribune has been investigating the ways school districts in Florida are approaching student discipline. Policies vary widely across the state. The difference in approach couldn’t be more drastic. Some districts have extraordinarily high expulsion rates for everything from disrupting class to setting fires on campus to others. Others, like Miami-Dade County Public Schools are standing out for their bold stance to eliminate out-of-school suspensions. There are no easy answers or shortcuts to creating a positive school climate. On the one hand, research shows that students who had been suspended or expelled...

written September 14, 2016 by The Hero Collective

How Much are School Suspensions Costing Us?

It’s easy to see how school suspensions have a detrimental impact on student morale and overall academic achievement, but what about the financial cost? According to a recent study released by the UCLA Civil Rights Project, out of school suspensions are exacting a steep financial toll on both individual students and society at large… to the tune of billions of dollars per year. $35 billion nationwide, to be exact. The report relies heavily on data from the Educational Longitudinal Survey of 2002 and the economic analysis of Clive Belfield, an economist at Queens College. The 2002 survey found that sophomore students suspended in the 2001–2002 school year were 12 percent more likely to drop out of high school than students who were not suspended....

written September 13, 2016 by The Hero Collective

Hero 2016 Back to School Product Update

Hero Back To School Product Update The students are back in the hallways. Schools are busy putting new systems and processes into practice. Summer is coming to a close and back-to-school is in full swing across our great nation. This time of year we get to reunite and hear feedback from Hero Champions and Users as we help them get Hero ready to start the year. Their voice resonates with us. To support our customers, and to manage our exponential growth, we are excited to announce the latest Hero Product Updates. Setup Simplification We built a scheduler tool that automatically archives prior year behavior data in Hero. This keeps each school’s behavior rules in tact, but creates a blank slate of student data to...

written September 6, 2016 by Bryan Landaburu

Restorative Justice in the Real World

Best practices from a New Orleans school district that improved their outcomes through Restorative Justice. At Hero, we love hearing about school districts (like the one covered in this US News & World Report article) that are changing their school climate by revamping their disciplinary policies. School culture and student behavior some of the most challenging aspects of education. But we know with the right approach—and the right tools—school systems can begin to turn the tide. Sci Academy, one of three schools in the Collegiate Academy public charter school network, is situated in New Orleans East District. The impoverished area was hit hard in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina and has never fully recovered. The trauma many of the students experienced has held them back...

written August 8, 2016 by The Hero Collective

The Only Ones Who Can Destroy the School-to-Prison Pipeline

The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the link between school disciplinary policies and the growing number of juveniles in the criminal justice system. Essentially, the math goes like this: The more kids kicked out of school for misbehaviors and infractions = more kids ending up in prison or detention centers. As Dr. Stephen Green put it in his op-ed to Atlanta’s Channel 11, “…dismissing a young person for bad behavior in school often simply pushes that bad behavior out into the world.” He continues by saying, “We believe we should make every possible effort to keep more of our young men where they belong – in the classroom. For many, that’s the most structured, safest place to help them gain the social skills they need...

written August 2, 2016 by The Hero Collective

Should Schools Test Soft Skills?

The importance of soft skills is becoming a universally accepted idea. But is there a reliable way to test those skills? A relatively new trend among some schools embracing social-emotional learning programs is testing students for soft skills like “growth mindset,” “self-efficacy,” “self-management,” and “social awareness.” This trend in social-emotional testing is partly inspired by the noted success of an analysis in 2011 of 213 schools which found that using school-wide social emotional learning (SEL) programs improved academic scores by 11 percent. While no one would argue with the findings of the meta-analysis, or the need for students to learn critical life skills, it is debatable whether a school can or even should test such skills. As shown in this New York Times article,...

written July 11, 2016 by The Hero Collective

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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