• Featured Article

    A Primer on Social and Emotional Learning

    written November 2, 2016 by Nikki Alvarez

Latest Articles

Zero Tolerance: a Thing of the Past?

Developments in New York City schools are giving us hope that Zero Tolerance policies are starting to become a thing of the past. Last year, The New York Times presented a short documentary by Retro Report covering the history of the zero tolerance policy and some of the central figures behind it. The video features news footage from the 80’s and 90’s when public schools were reeling from gang-related violence. These images, along with the recollections revealed in the interviews with several educators and policymakers, remind us how a severe policy like zero tolerance could become a reality. Zero Tolerance came about because educators, policymakers, and parents all across the nation were scared and feeling vulnerable. Former attorney general when zero tolerance was first...

written March 23, 2017 by The Hero Collective

Less Stress Leads to a More Positive School Climate

Is stress management part of your curriculum? If you are looking to improve campus climate and student achievement, it should be. When looking to transform school culture, it’s natural to focus on the tactical methods of improving behavior, rather than addressing the root cause of many negative behaviors—stress. Terry B. Grier, Former Superintendent of Houston Independent School District, thinks this should change, and suggests a holistic approach is the true path of student achievement and campus transformation. Our school campuses can be one of the most stress-inducing environments in the community for teachers, parents, and students. Terry Grier agreees, and poignantly describes the moment he first realized just how stressed out his district was. “You can spot burnout in the eyes of teachers who...

written March 21, 2017 by The Hero Collective

Customer Story – Cleveland School of the Arts

How one school decreased tardies, detentions—and paperwork Cleveland School of the Arts is a high school surrounded by prestigious big brothers—Case Western University, Cleveland Institute of Art, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. The curriculum at CSA is heavily focused on the arts—as the name would imply—and students earn their right to attend by applying and auditioning. They (rightfully) boast a 98% graduation rate, of which 100% get accepted into notable post-secondary schools like Julliard where they receive ~$3.5 million in scholarships. Renee DiBiasio, Assistant Head of School at CSA, is no stranger to the arts—she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance. But her trajectory brought her into education because she wanted to have an impact on students’ lives. “The students are my inspiration....

written March 13, 2017 by Jessica Mitchell

Customer Story – McLane Middle School

How one school structures their positive behavior program and student incentives. Donna Berghauser knew that she wanted to become an educator from a young age. She was fortunate enough to have inspirational teachers in Elementary school who influenced her to become an educator and positively impact students just like her teachers did for her. As the school psychologist at McLane Middle School in Brandon, Florida, the students and her colleagues are her main source of inspiration. She loves that McLane has a great group of educators who like to think outside the box and bring a fresh perspective and new ideas. For the past 10 years, McLane has been plagued with behavioral challenges. Three years ago, McLane had an opportunity to start fresh with...

written March 7, 2017 by Jessica Mitchell

Study Shows Positive School Climates Improve Teacher Retention

We all knew a positive school climate boosts student performance—but did you know school climate also affects teacher turnover? A new study reveals how improving school climate decreases turnover rate. Like their students, teachers are greatly affected by the environment they work in. They need clear expectations, positive supports, and at times, timely interventions to improve their teaching skills and feel satisfied in their work. As Matthew Kraft, associate professor at Brown University and lead author of the study “School Organizational Contexts, Teacher Turnover, and Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data” published in the American Educational Research Journal says, “In recent years, researchers and policymakers have focused much of their attention on measuring and improving teacher effectiveness. However, teachers do not work in a...

written February 25, 2017 by The Hero Collective

Student Data is Necessary to Determine Efficacy of Tiered Behavior Interventions

Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) are great frameworks for improving behavior and student outcomes. But how do they differ, and how well do they work? The right data is needed for the answer. Ever since Response to Intervention was introduced by special education legislation in 2004, the educational framework’s use among school districts around the country has been growing at a rapid pace. But the core concepts remain the same, especially the need for accurate, robust student behavioral data to make discipline policy decisions. Recently, Education Weekly published an article showing the fast evolution of Response to Intervention. It shows how along with the burgeoning numbers of RTI implementations have come substantial changes so that the framework could be...

written February 23, 2017 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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