Category: In the News

Need it Quick? School Specialty has Quickship!

School Specialty is much more than product brands you know well, like Sax, Childcraft, Frey, Sportime, Abilitations, and EPS. The company is your partner in problem-solving. Working with you, collaboratively, they look at the long game, integrating all brands and their products, services, and solutions to help you engage your students and make an impact with them.

Online Ordering Benefits

School Specialty offers a special 1% rebate to all districts that place electronic orders through the School Specialty website for the length of the contract. District rebates are paid annually each calendar year, directly to the purchasing district. The rebate is calculated on the net invoice amount of the product only, less shipping and other charges.

Contract Highlights

School Specialty has negotiated strategic, value-added items and services to create the ILTPP contract:

  • 35% Off List Price on Supply items
    • FREE Shipping on Parcel Shipped Orders over $49
  • 12% Off List Price on Furniture items
    • FREE Shipping on all Truck Shipped Orders
  • A Market Basket of Deeply Discounted Everyday Items
  • 1% Rebate Back to YOUR District on ALL Online Orders
  • Freight Terms
    • Free shipping over $49 on 9 prefix items
    • 12% on 5 prefix items
    • Free shipping on 6 prefix items

Access Savings Today

Mention ILTPP to save time and money with School Specialty purchases for your school or district. You can also access contract pricing through our furniture contract with fast delivery.

Use this guide to find dozens of furnishings available to ship in 24-hours or two weeks.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Belkys Quintana
Director of Business Development

Learn More About School Specialty

Sharpen and TechXtend Summer Professional Development Program

With states starting to mandate mental health education in schools, are you finding it difficult to provide your students with an impactful mental health solution?

Have you found it difficult to help your district community members cope with anxiety, depression, and other behavioral health concerns?

TechXtend is offering a complimentary trial so that schools can access Sharpen: a mobile system filled with a trusted library of SEL and mental health literacy content.

The Sharpen program was designed specifically for districts to provide information, insight, and support to help teachers navigate the uncertainties and complexities forced upon us during these times.

The Sharpen team has offered professional development programs in K16 communities to improve knowledge of social-emotional skills, mental health, and substance use disorders for over 15 years. These trainings account for over 80,000 participants. This vast knowledge base has enabled the Sharpen team to create a model that engages individuals with mental health content demonstrated to mitigate risk factors and utilize protective factors to build, manage, and support overall mental health. This special offer provides access to specific content that is informed by nationally recognized mental health experts. SharpenUp Schools is easy to access, reimbursable as Professional Development, and may be CEU eligible.

Centered on building educator resiliency and decreasing burnout, the Sharpen program features courses on anxiety, toxic stress, stress management, best practices for improving student resiliency and self-care.

“I recommend Sharpen to any school district interested in improving behavioral health outcomes because it gives educators, parents, and students the opportunity to build resiliency skills, improve overall mental well-being, and provide connections to needed resources.”

Ruth Schonover – President of SC School Social Worker Association

Sharpen “Plug and Play” Guided Programs for Educators and School Professionals

Featuring 20+ hours of Professional Development including:

Limit 15 staff members per district.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Kevin Askew
Vice President & General Manager
800-441-1511 x7246

Learn More About TechXtend

Newsela Supports Illinois Curriculum Mandates

It can be challenging for districts to address Illinois Curriculum Mandates with standards-aligned content that engages students while providing teachers with the instructional support they need to bring the mandates to life.

Newsela takes authentic, real-world content from trusted sources and makes it instruction-ready for K-12 classrooms. Each text is published at five reading levels, so content is accessible to every learner. Newsela content meets the needs of Illinois curriculum mandates, including Civics Education, Black History, LGBTQ+ Studies, Illinois History, and many more.

Newsela provides content that is:

  • AUTHENTIC: From the real world, about real and relatable people and topics
  • ACCESSIBLE: Differentiated at 5 levels, representative of every learner
  • ACTIVE: Never stale, always up-to-date with what’s happening in the world
  • ACCOUNTABLE: Ensures educators and students are taking responsibility for learning
  • ALIGNED: Aligned to key standards, frameworks, and commonly used curriculum

The document below gives examples of how districts can bring curriculum mandates to life with Newsela’s engaging content.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

General inquiries:

New Newsela Schools or Districts
Jenny Pearl
Illinois Partnerships

Current Newsela Partners
Nicky Dunlap
Illinois Partnerships

Learn More About Newsela

Two New Federal Funding Options for Districts: EBB & ECF Assistance by LTC

Two federal options have been announced to potentially benefit Illinois districts in expanding devices and home connectivity options for students. To assist in outlining forms and additional information, the Learning Technology Center (LTC) is providing free, useful webinars, workshops, and support.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB)

The Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) was designed to provide a $50 discount on home connectivity costs for those who are eligible for the funding. One of the qualifiers for this discount is the National School Lunch program. This means any student who qualifies for the free or reduced lunch program in your district could apply and ask for a discount on their internet access charges.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)

The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is designed specifically for schools and libraries to address the need for additional devices and home connectivity that would outfit students for remote learning and the homework gap. The application process leverages the current E-Rate process and allows districts to file for devices and services on behalf of students and staff to respond to this unmet need. The funding can also be leveraged to address connectivity for school busses and community programs that serve multiple students. The funding window is now open through August 13, 2021. Interested schools and libraries can now apply for devices and services purchased between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.

ILTPP is an initiative of the Learning Technology Center (LTC) and contributes to the LTC’s mission of building statewide capacity for educational change through technology-related professional learning, programs, initiatives, and support.

K-12 Connectivity & Remote Learning Solutions in Illinois

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) has partnered with Kajeet to provide Illinois schools and districts the power to connect school buildings, access the Internet outside the classroom, extend the school day via Bus Wi-Fi, and help students safely explore the digital world.

Kajeet is an IoT solutions provider with a proven model of safely connecting every student to the Internet. Kajeet is carrier-agnostic while offering the benefit of no data overage charges.

Easy, Flexible, & Cost-Efficient

Kajeet provides a complete solution built for students, which includes LTE devices on the network(s) of your choice, flexible data plans, and access to Sentinel, their patented device management portal. Kajeet makes it easy for you to roll out to students: devices arrive fully activated, provisioned, and kitted with a carrying case, charger, and Quick Start Guide.

Now is the Time to Act!

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced in April that Illinois K-12 districts are set to receive about $7.2 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan. Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton was quoted as saying that this round of funding will be “transformative” for students. In anticipation of this funding infusion, Pritzker asked education experts to compile best practices and recommendations on how to best support students as they return to the classroom.

Kajeet’s Complete Unlimited Distance Learning Bundle™ is highly affordable and includes one Kajeet SmartSpot, One Year of Unlimited Data, and the Sentinel™ Platform for education-specific-content filtering and data management.

Now Open: The 45-day Emergency Connectivity Fund application window for purchases of eligible equipment/services runs now through August 13, 2021. K-12 schools can make purchases as soon as July 1, until June 30, 2022. All Kajeet products and services quickly address the student homework gap and are ECF-eligible.

How to Save

When you work through ILTPP and Kajeet, you get instant access to pre-negotiated, discounted pricing on affordable Education Broadband™. To access pricing or schedule a high-level demonstration of Sentinel, contact your dedicated Account Manager below and mention ILTPP or contract number AEPA IFB 021.5-D.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Julie Collett
Business Development Executive

Learn More About Kajeet

Get your Hands On Early Learning Products

Go back to school this fall with everything your little learners need for hands-on discovery.

Pitsco Education is unveiling its first-ever assortment of early-learning manipulatives and activities. These were created with industry experts, providing your little learners with the resources necessary to tap into their potential! Enable those little hands today by shopping early learning with Pitsco.

Shop Early Learning

Be sure to enter AEPA22 at checkout for the exclusive discount of 2% off your purchase along with FREE shipping. Speaking with an account manager? Mention contract number AEPA IFB-019-E!

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Preston Frazier
Illinois Sales
800-835-0686 Ext. 4559

Learn More About Pitsco Education
Pitsco Education Blog

Edmentum to Acquire Apex Learning

June 22, 2021 | Posted by Edmentum

Acquisition establishes premier provider of high-quality K-12 virtual and hybrid learning programs, supporting millions of students worldwide.

Edmentum, a global pioneer in education technology, announced a definitive agreement to acquire Apex Learning, a Seattle-based industry leader in digital curriculum and virtual learning with over 20 years of deep expertise providing high-quality, rigorous, and teacher-centered programs. Apex’s mission of making a difference in education complements Edmentum’s drive to amplify teaching and propel student learning forward. Together, these two organizations will support millions of students worldwide.

“I am thrilled to welcome Apex into the Edmentum family,” said Jamie Candee, Edmentum CEO. “As the school year comes to an end and districts evolve into new models of teaching for the fall, so too must Edmentum continue to grow to meet those needs. Pairing Apex’s proven, high-quality secondary learning programs with Edmentum’s full suite of high-quality, online learning programs creates a rich array of offerings designed specifically for the next generation of learners. Together, in partnership with schools and districts globally, we will move education forward.”

Edmentum’s research-based approach offers hundreds of state- and nationally-certified courses, supported by comprehensive consulting and educational services. Adding Apex’s credit-bearing core and elective courses, project-based technology courses, and student-targeted, standards-matching tutorials will create a new industry-leading model for virtual and hybrid learning programs.

“I am incredibly proud of the positive impact that Apex’s programs and services have had with students and educators across the country,” said Chris Porter, Apex Learning CEO. “We are absolutely committed to high-quality learning content and scalable technology, and are very tightly aligned to Edmentum’s strategic vision. As we come together to work with schools to help provide students flexible learning models, the possibilities are endless. I am thrilled for the next phase of Apex and our combined ability to accelerate world-class instructional solutions for all students and educators.”

Andy Kaplan, Managing General Partner at Education Growth Partners, Apex’s prior investor, said “We look forward to seeing Apex and Edmentum further raise the bar for digital learning and better prepare students for success. We’re proud to see our belief and investment in Apex result in such an important event in the education technology market.”

The acquisition follows a strategic investment in Edmentum last year by Chicago-based private investment firm The Vistria Group that signaled new growth for Edmentum to address the learning needs of 21st-century classrooms.

“This acquisition enriches Edmentum’s depth in middle and high school grades and strengthens the company’s commitment to delivering high-quality, research-based online learning to schools and districts across the globe,” said Phil Alphonse, Senior Partner at The Vistria Group. “Bringing these two organizations together will propel even more teachers and students forward and create countless opportunities for hybrid and virtual learning all over the world.”

Apex Learning customers and products will continue to be supported as Edmentum and Apex work in concert to provide the high-quality service and experience students and educators have come to expect.

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) will update its membership on any contract updates that develop.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Jason Eggert
Illinois Partnership Manager
(214) 293-9759
c: (815) 529-0885

Learn More About Edmentum

ViewSonic Introduces the ViewBoard 52 Series

ViewSonic has officially introduced the ViewBoard® 52 Series, a 4K Ultra HD interactive whiteboard for education. Equipped with user-centric design features and best-in-class collaboration tools for today’s lessons, classroom technology has never been made easier.

This series was designed with a number of top features, including:

  • Single-Cable Connectivity via USB-C: Generating instant, worry-free connectivity.
  • Shortcut Keys and I/O Ports: Seamlessly connect and control uninterrupted, flowing classes.
  • 33-Point Touch Technology: Ultra-fine touch, palm awareness technology, and dual-pen capability for naturally smooth writing experiences and endless opportunities for best-in-class student collaboration.
  • Innovative Multimedia Sound & Camera: Supported by 2x15W front-facing speakers and a 15W subwoofer for amplified student engagement, this series is packed with industry-first display features. Teachers facilitating distance or hybrid learning from their personal device can easily access the 8-mic array and any connected visualizer to select the most appropriate camera and mic source.
  • Browser-Based Remote Management System: Maximized engagement and management to become the market-leading interactive whiteboard solution for teachers, students, and IT managers.

Interested in Pricing?

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) has a number of vendor partners offering pre-negotiated discounts and contract highlights on ViewSonic products and services. To review competitive quotes, simply complete ILTPP’s FREE Quote Request Form and receive a quote package in 3-4 days!

Contact your dedicated Account Managers:

John Buttita
Sales Manager

Howard Technology Solutions
Joe Leppert
Senior Field Sales Representative
(312) 448-1314

MNJ Technologies
Marcus Sheffer
Senior Account Manager

Kyle Thomas
SM SLED Manager

Sarah Goncalves
South Region Inside Sales RVP
888-226-5727 x3730

Edmentum Publishes ‘Crosswalk: Federal Funding & Allowable Uses’

The federal funding landscape can be daunting to navigate. That is why Edmentum has partnered with its experts in federal funding to create the Crosswalk to help state and local education agencies align their priorities to federal funding streams. This chart provides a crosswalk of the allowable uses and flexibility of activities authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), including specific references to each act’s language as it pertains to the desired solution and how the solutions align to Edmentum programs.

Within the Crosswalk, charts outline specific titles of ESSA, IDEA, and Perkins V’s allowable uses and flexibility against funding activities and Edmentum programs, including:

  • Adaptive, Benchmark, and Formative Assessment
  • Advanced Coursework
  • Blended and Virtual Learning
  • Career and Technical Education
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Core Credit Instruction
  • Credit Recovery
  • English Language Arts
  • English Language Learners Support
  • Individualized Learning
  • Pre-K
  • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Student Intervention
  • Summer School

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Jason Eggert
Illinois Partnership Manager
(214) 293-9759
c: (815) 529-0885

Learn More About Edmentum

Get a Jump on Summer Tech Planning: Trafera Has Chromebooks!

Get a jump start on your summer technology planning with in-stock Chromebooks: Available NOW at Trafera!

Kickstart your summer prep with HP Chromebooks currently stocked and available to ship from Trafera! Trafera has thousands of devices in the company’s warehouse and they are ready to ship to your school immediately upon purchase. Also, receive a 15-month subscription to Trails Digital Lesson Library when you buy 100 Chromebooks or more.

Mention ILTPP for Additional Discounts & Perks

  • Gain direct access to your own dedicated, US-based Trafera Account Manager
  • FREE Chromebook technical assistance from Trafera Engineers
  • FREE Benefit Claiming Assistance – Find and take advantage of free offers such as professional development, software, and setup services
  • Access to FREE Trafera TRAILS, online Professional Development
  • Customizable Deployment Solutions – Pre-enroll devices in your G Suite domain, pre-configure Wi-Fi settings, assign devices to particular Organizational Units (OUs), divide shipments by OU, add asset tags or laser etching, pre-wire charging carts, install devices in protective cases, reduce waste with Green Pack “green” shipping services, or any other custom solutions you desire.

Be sure to reference contract number ILTPP-TRA2103-2 to access the contract highlights listed above.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Tim Peters
Account Manager

Learn More About Trafera