Category: In the News

Accelerate Learning this Summer with Edmentum

Using the summer months to address missed learning opportunities is a necessity – but how do you do it? Edmentum offers high-quality, flexible summer solutions suitable for shortened summer schedules and provides real-time data and reporting to help inform you of instructional successes and decisions. Target the learning pathways of your students to pinpoint each student’s unique needs while engaging and rewarding learning experiences to keep their motivation high!

Address Gaps and Supercharge Growth

Meet each student where they’re ready to learn with Exact Path’s assessment-driven direct instruction for K-12.

Exact Path combines adaptive diagnostic assessments with individualized learning paths for K-12 students in math, reading, and language arts. Exact Path puts individual student growth first–giving students the tools to take control over their own academic journey, while providing educators with ongoing data to facilitate targeted support.

Scale Your Program with Virtual Instruction

Provide virtual learning opportunities by integrating Edmentum’s instructional services through our fully accredited virtual school, EdOptions Academy. Edmentum offers certified teachers of record, grading service, supplemental targeted instruction, virtual teacher mentoring, and more!

EdOptions Academy is a fully accredited Kindergarten through career online school that pairs Edmentum’s award-winning Courseware and Calvert Learning curricula with state-certified teachers, expert program management, and holistic student and instructional support services to help educators meet the needs of more learners.

Expand Course Options and Recover Credits

Keep students on track with Edmentum Courseware’s engaging, standards aligned digital curriculum for grades 6-12.

With Courseware, address every student’s needs with a robust collection of standards-based online curriculum. Edmentum’s course offering includes core subjects, courses for use with Advanced Placement® (AP®) exams, career and technical education (CTE), electives, World Languages, and ELL Foundations courses to help ELLs build English-language proficiency.

Elevate Elementary Blended and Virtual Learning

Engage K-5 learners with Calvert Learning’s project-based elementary digital curriculum for ELA, math, science, social studies, P.E., and art.

With Calvert Learning digital curriculum, educators can enhance blended and virtual learning opportunities with K-5 online courses in ELA, math, science, social studies, art, health, and P.E.

Master Grade Level Standards

Sharpen standards mastery with Study Island practice and assessment tools to help K-12 students meet grade-level proficiency or prepare for the year ahead.

Study Island’s standards-based formative assessment and practice program for math, ELA, science, and social studies provides educators with the tools and data needed to ensure that all students develop mastery of grade-level content for success on state assessments and beyond.

Set Strong Foundations for Reading Success

Build literacy skills and ensure that students read proficiently using Reading Eggs’ dynamic learn-to-read program for PK-6 students on the five pillars of reading.

Edmentum’s dynamic three-in-one literacy solution–Reading Eggs, Reading Eggspress, and Fast Phonics– is designed to help students build and reinforce their core reading skills in a rich, interactive online world aligned to the five pillars of reading.

Support the Whole Learner

Offer social-emotional learning curriculum through BASE Education for grades 1-12 rooted in mental health and wellness principles and underscored by clinical research.

Edmentum has proudly partnered with CSEL-approved BASE Education to offer social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum that is rooted in mental health and wellness principles and underscored by clinical research. As students regulate their emotions and behaviors, develop relationship skills and social awareness, and practice critical decision-making to plan for their futures, BASE Education and social-emotional learning serve as powerful tools at the heart of that work.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

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

Learn More About Edmentum

CENTEGIX Earns Multiple Recognitions and Awards

CENTEGIX™ innovates technology to save and enrich lives. This is accomplished through the award-winning CrisisAlert™ solution which enables anyone to get help with the push of a button. CrisisAlert empowers confident human action in any incident – from the every day to the extreme. This easy-to-use solution allows staff and administrators to immediately handle any situation, anywhere on the premises. The CrisisAlert wearable badge ensures that staff never have to worry about finding help because help will always find them. When staff feel safe and secure, they are free to focus on being productive, every day.

This past month, the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) signed on a nationally-bid contract with CENTEGIX through its affiliation with the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA). CENTEGIX has been recognized in a number of ways since this agreement was made.

CENTEGIX Named as Top Innovative Company by the Technology Association of Georgia

The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) recognizes 40 Georgia-based technology companies each year for their innovation, financial impact, and efforts to spread awareness of the state’s technology initiatives throughout the U.S. and globally. For the second year, CENTEGIX has been recognized as a Top Innovative Company.

CENTEGIX Named a Pacesetter Company by Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Atlanta Business Chronicle has named CENTEGIX as one of the fastest-growing companies in Atlanta for the second year in a row. CENTEGIX achieved the 2021 Pacesetter Award by growing the company at a rapid rate from 2018 to 2020.

Argyle Independent School District Partners with FiveStones Safety and CENTEGIX to Implement CrisisAlert

One Texas school district, Argyle Independent School District, recently partnered with FiveStones Safety and CENTEGIX to implement the CrisisAlert solution. This will allow the school district to increase safety and security on all campuses by utilizing the Crisis Alert platform to communicate alerts each day for incidents ranging from medical emergencies to severe weather. In the event of a school emergency, such as a campus-wide lockdown, the CrisisAlert badge will alert Argyle’s entire campus.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Steve Gambill
Sales Operations Manager

Learn More About CENTEGIX

Back to School Personal Protective Equipment

Midwest Technology Products has a 600-page catalog that showcases more than 10,000 products from over 400 vendors. Their dedicated, women-owned minority family business has been committed to providing the highest quality products paired with exceptional customer service since 1909. Midwest has tools for the next generation of designers and fabricators. Midwest is your source for durable, industrial-grade equipment, tools, and supplies for your shop or lab. Partnering with educators to prepare the workforce of tomorrow by providing innovative resources of uncompromising value – Midwest is here to help you.

To support your safe return to in-person learning and activities this coming school year, Midwest is offering a line of personal protection products essential to the health, safety, and wellbeing of your students, teachers, staff, families, and communities. These products are in-stock and ready-to-ship! In addition to these supplies, Midwest also offers:

Desktop Barriers

Mobile Hand Washing

Sanitizing Cabinets

Midwest Technology Products offers Abrasives, Arts and Crafts, Automotive, Building Trades, Career & Tech Ed, Drafting, Electrical, Foundry, Furniture and Storage, Hand tools, Hardware, Metalworking, Power tools, Safety, Small Engine, STEM, Welding, Woodworking, and VO-AG. Mention contract number AEPA IFB-018.5-B in order to access an immediate 10% discount off regular prices.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager

Sarah Cruz
Account Manager

Learn More About Midwest Technology Products

A Women- and/or Minority-Owned Business (WMBE) must be certified, meeting a series of requirements. An MBE must be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a minimum of one U.S. citizen of minority. A WBE must be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens.

CDW Announces Acquisition of Amplified IT

March 16, 2021 CDW Press Release

CDW Announces Acquisition of Amplified IT, a Leading Provider of Google Services, Solutions, and Software for Education Customers

On March 16, 2021, CDW announced the acquisition of Amplified IT, allowing the company to expand its services and solutions even further into education.

As a leading, multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to a variety of markets, including education, CDW has a long-standing partnership with the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP). ILTPP is thrilled to be adding the many tools and services of Amplified IT to its full catalog contract with CDW.

The acquisition of Amplified IT will increase CDW’s impact within the education market by providing additional support of Google for Education products and solutions.

Who is Amplified IT?

Amplified IT is an education-focused, Google Premium Education Partner with professionals, technical skills, and knowledge catered to the K-12 and Higher Ed markets. The company provides insights, services, consulting, and solutions that allow IT staff to leverage Google for Education and Google Cloud within their school and districts.

Who is CDW?

CDW Government LLC (CDW-G) is the industry leading provider of multi-brand technology solutions serving K-12 institutions. With over 30 years of IT experience, CDW-G offers a broad array of products ranging from discrete hardware and software products to integrated IT solutions such as mobility, security, cloud, data center and collaboration.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

John Buttita
Sales Manager

Learn More About CDW-G

All Covered – IT Services from Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta, a valued ILTPP Vendor Partner, is often only thought of as a copier/printer supplier. Most don’t know the company provides a wide range of services including IT services, Telepresence, Virtual Receptionist Active Panels, and Enterprise Content Management (ECM), a powerful tool for managing information, meeting Compliance regulations, and improving educational results in K-12 school districts.

In PK-12 schools and districts across the country, educators and administrators are challenged by a large and growing volume of documents— files and paper-based information that must be managed, accessed, shared, and retained. ECM is a streamlined, secure solution for managing information throughout your district. Some of the challenges that can be overcome by implementing an ECM system include:

  • Documents everywhere can lead to efficiency nowhere.
  • Lengthy retention periods demand filing cabinets that take up valuable space.
  • Staff time to file, retrieve, copy, and distribute paper documents is better spent on educational activities.
  • Stringent compliance and certification mandates require regular monitoring to ensure that student files, testing forms, staff reports and related materials are in place and up-to-date.
  • Video, audio, and image data are increasingly important, but may not be accommodated by existing storage systems.
  • Declining administration budgets are motivating districts to find ways to work smarter, not just harder.

Konica Minolta’s top-ranked ECM solutions, ILTPP contract products, offer practical, proven benefits to improve the flow of educational information, speed retrieval, control access, and maintain the enhanced security that K-12 districts demand.

  • Manage Content to Improve Efficiency:
    • Streamline educational and administrative workflow by moving content more quickly and efficiently.
    • Speed filing, access, and retrieval of student transcripts, faculty hiring documents, personnel information, payroll, and maintenance records.
    • Manage testing and grading, course materials, lesson plans, and departmental records.
    • Provide mobile access to educational information for educators and administrators district-wide.
  • Improve Compliance, Enhance Security:
    • Strengthen and simplify compliance procedures for HIPAA and FERPA privacy regulations.
    • Protect student confidentiality by storing records in a secure online repository.
    • Improve compliance by replacing paperwork with electronic files and controlling access and retrieval.
  • Control Costs to Stretch District Budgets:
    • Reduce administrative costs associated with handling student records, distributing course materials and managing personnel information.
    • Save space by minimizing or eliminating filing and storage of paper documents.
    • Convert hard-copy documents to cost-effective electronic forms that are easy to update.

All Covered is an E-Rate Provider.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Aaron Ott
Government Accounts Manager

Jason Bradshaw
Government Accounts Manager

Jason Sullivan
VP of Sales – Central Region

Learn More About Konica Minolta

Start Planning Back to School Safely with

Founded in 1956 and headquartered in Lincolnshire, IL, serves the needs of over a million small to medium-sized businesses and educational entities.  As a premier business-to-business office products provider, sells everything from paper and ink and toner to cleaning supplies and technology with 24-hour-a-day access to more than 100,000 school essentials. Introduced in 1996, was one of the first successful websites launched in the office products industry and has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Staples, Inc., since 1998.

Let the Team help you with creative solutions for a safe Back To School for your students & staff.

Back-to-School Needs

  • Classroom & Instructional Supplies
  • Chromebooks & Laptops
  • Interactive Flat Panels
  • Vape Detectors
  • Calculators
  • Cameras
  • Much More!

Building Safety

  • PPE
  • Sneeze Guards
  • Commercial Air Purifiers
  • Personal Storage Solutions
  • Touch-less Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
  • Other Health and Safety Items

Access To the Quill Specialist Teams’s dedicated Quote Specialist Teams work with a wide variety of vendors on the sourcing & pricing of all large volume needs.

  • Furniture & Tech Teams – provide guidance before you buy and work within your budget on all technology and furniture projects
  • Print & Promo Team – show your school spirit using customized logos on a vast product assortment
  • Bid Team – dedicated to processing any RFP or Bid requests

Awarded Cooperative Contracts

Satisfy your Illinois procurement laws by leveraging a nationally-bid, compliant contract. Be sure to mention ILTPP or one of the contract numbers below:

Contract Highlights:

  • Up to 80% savings
  • 12% savings on ink and toner every day
  • Fast, FREE delivery on all orders, including furniture and technology.
  • No minimum order size!

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Samra Cejvan
Buying Group Manager

Learn More About

Security Update Release (Out-of-Band) for Critical Exchange Server Vulnerabilities

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) has received the following notice from Microsoft regarding security updates released on March 2, 2021. If you did not receive this notice in advance, please reach out to an Account Executive below.

  • This affects any customer with On-Prem Exchange.
  • To remediate, you must be on the Current or N -1 CU (e.g. Exchange 2016 CU18 or CU19) of a supported version of Exchange. 
  • Once you are at the supported CU only then you can apply the patch.
  • There will be no back porting of this patch past what is documented. So if you are behind on the CUs, must upgrade.
  • Must Patch all Exchange Servers, especially Internet facing roles.
  • If you are in Hybrid Exchange, MUST patch Hybrid Servers.
  • Microsoft support engineers have advised for customers to make this a top priority getting this done ASAP.

What is the purpose of this notification?

This is an advance notification of security updates that Microsoft plans to release for critical Exchange Server vulnerabilities on March 2, 2021.

Although we do not anticipate any changes, the information detailed in this alert, including the timeline, is subject to change until the security update release.

Security Update Overview

On March 2, 2021, at about 2:00 PM (Pacific Time), Microsoft released security updates for vulnerabilities affecting Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Server 2016, and Exchange Server 2019. Updates are being released for Exchange Server 2010 for defense-in-depth purposes.

Microsoft sent advanced notifications a few hours before the release of security updates to give Exchange Server administrators time to plan for the rollout of these critical updates. 

Answers to Anticipated Questions

Q: Do these vulnerabilities affect Exchange Online?    

A: No. Customers using Exchange Online are not affected by these vulnerabilities.   

Q: What is the maximum severity, impact, and Base CVSS score of these vulnerabilities?   

A: The set of vulnerabilities include Remote Code Execution vulnerabilities that have a severity rating of critical. The highest base CVSS score in the set is 9.1. 

Q: Where (and when) can I find specific details about these Exchange Server vulnerabilities?   

A: When the security updates are released, the vulnerability details will be published in the Microsoft Security Update Guide ( Microsoft will also publish companion blog posts that will provide additional guidance. 

Q: Do I need to do any prep work with my Exchange servers to make them ready for these new security updates? 

A: Microsoft provides support for the latest two Cumulative Updates (CUs) for Exchange Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2019. Microsoft provides support for the latest Update Rollup (UR) for Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2013. Exchange servers running a supported Update Rollup (UR) or Cumulative Update (CU) are considered up to date.  Any Exchange servers that are not up to date will need to have a supported Update Rollup (UR) or Cumulative Update (CU) installed before you can install any new security updates. Exchange administrators should factor in additional time needed to update out-of-date Exchange servers. 

Q: Is there a method I can use to determine which of my Exchange servers can install the security updates directly, and which will need to have a supported Update Rollup (UR) or Cumulative Update (CU) installed first?   

A: Yes. You can use the Exchange Server Health Checker script, which can be downloaded from GitHub (use the latest release). Running this script will tell you if you are behind on your on-premises Exchange Server updates.  

Q: Do I need to prioritize specific Exchange servers (are some Exchange servers at increased risk)? 

A: Yes. Internet-facing Exchange servers (e.g., servers publishing Outlook on the web/OWA and ECP) are at increased risk and these should be updated first. Your servicing plan should include identifying and prioritizing Internet-facing Exchange servers. 

Q: After the security updates are installed, does the Exchange server receiving updates need to be rebooted?

A: Yes. After the security updates are installed, the Exchange server needs to be restarted for security updates to take effect.  

Recommended Actions

Please begin planning for deploying security updates to On-Premises Exchange servers in your environment. Allow extra time to update servers that are not running a supported Update Rollup (UR) or Cumulative Update (CU). Prioritize Exchange servers that are internet-facing.

Regarding Information Consistency

We strive to provide you with accurate information in static (this mail) and dynamic (web-based) content. Microsoft’s security content posted to the web is occasionally updated to reflect late-breaking information. If this results in an inconsistency between the information here and the information in Microsoft’s web-based security content, the information in Microsoft’s web-based security content is authoritative.

If you have any questions regarding this alert, please contact your Customer Success Account Manager (CSAM) and/or Account Executive (AE) below.

Related Resources 

Contact your dedicated Account Managers:

Joe Ignatius
Account Executive

Justin Libis
Account Executive

Advisory Council Member Spotlight: Don Ringelestein Earns National Award

March 3, 2021 | Main Township High School News

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) recently announced this year’s education technology award winners during its annual conference and District 207 Chief Technology Officer Don Ringelestein was named the organization’s Volunteer of the Year. The 2021 winners are individuals and groups that are driving innovative teaching and learning in school districts across the United States by championing the equitable use of technology in both in-person and virtual classrooms.

The Volunteer of the Year award recognizes the achievements of one CoSN member who has provided exemplary support to the organization over the past year. Don has been a prime mover in one of CoSN’s largest chapters, Illinois. He has been strong in volunteering to do peer reviews for school districts. He is a CETL and serves as a leader on CoSN’s Certification Governance Committee. On top of that, Don is consistently first to raise his hand to volunteer and gives his time generously to CoSN and the Illinois chapter.

Don has been with District 207 since last July and prior to arriving in District 207 he was Director of Technology/CTO with West Aurora School District 129. He has additional school district and business related experience. 

“Looking back at the past year, so many school districts, chief technology officers, superintendents and other education leaders stepped up to the plate and led their communities through the most abrupt digital transformation in recent history. Those that we are honoring today stood out among an impressive list of 2020 accomplishments from edtech experts across the country,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “We admire their unwavering commitments to innovation, digital equity and accessibility, and look forward to seeing what the future of learning may look like with these leaders at the helm.”

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents more than 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.

More About Don

Don has spent the bulk of his career working in the private sector, but for the past 11 years, he has been a leader in educational technology. Learn more about Don’s contributions to the transformation and implementation of educational technology by visiting the ILTPP Advisory Council page.

Don is a valued member of the ILTPP Advisory Council. The Council ILTPP by providing insight from schools, vendors, and other Illinois organizations regarding educational technology products, services, and purchasing best ­practices. The Council members are leaders in the educational technology and purchasing/procurement fields, serving as Superintendents, Principals, Technology Directors, School Business Officers or Managers, and liaisons to other Illinois organizations. Council seats are open to representatives from every school district and time commitments are flexible. ILTPP members are encouraged to apply if they are interested in volunteering or assisting with program activities.

New Google Workspace for Education Editions & Pricing

This past month, Google introduced a complete revamp of G Suite for Education. Google Workspace for Education is taking over and introducing ample products, pricing, and accessibilities to schools and districts.

Google Workspace for Education still includes all the products your school has relied on this school year, such as Classroom and Meet. Google is continuing to offer these products while restructuring the editions to better meet the diverse needs of institutions across the globe. The announced changes will go into effect starting April 14, 2021.

While pricing listed is the official Google pricing, CDW-G and the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) have partnered to provide ILTPP members paid editions at a discounted rate. To learn more about how to save, contact your dedicated Account Manager, John Buttita below and mention ILTPP.

G Suite for Education > Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals

This edition remains free and is comprised of tools that enable collaborative learning opportunities on a secure platform. If your school is currently using this edition, there will be no changes made other than the new name and newly added features. Google plans to continue to build this free edition by, “listening closely to educators and their needs.”

+NEW > Google Workspace for Education Standard

This brand new edition includes advanced security and analytics tools through the Security Center to help reduce risks and mitigate threats with increased visibility and mobile management control across your learning environment.

  • Pricing: $3/student/year. Buy 4 student licenses, get 1 staff license for free. This edition is priced off of enrollment. The way it is structured, your school or district should get more staff licenses than needed. For full domain, you must purchase a license for all students.

+NEW > Teaching and Learning Upgrade

This brand new edition includes enhanced educator tools to help enrich communication and class experiences while guiding academic integrity across your institution. By building on the Education Standard edition, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade provides new features to Classroom, originality reports, and advanced video communication capabilities, such as what’s new in Google Meet.

  • Pricing: $4/license per month (for staff) with no minimum.

G Suite Enterprise for Education > Google Workspace for Education Plus

Google Workspace for Education Plus is the ultimate, comprehensive edition that builds on Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, and the Teaching and Learning Upgrade by incorporating advanced security and analytics, enhanced teaching and learning features, and more.

  • Pricing: $5/student/year. Buy 4 student licenses, get 1 staff license for free. This edition is priced off of enrollment. The way it is structured, your school or district should get more staff licenses than needed. For full domain, you must purchase a license for all students.
  • Note: Current GSEfE Full-domain customers can continue renewing promotional pricing until 2022/23, with optional purchasing until 2024 at $48/Staff FTE. Partial-domain license owners can continue to purchase PDL until 2023 at the current GSEfE PDL pricing ($48/Staff).

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

John Buttita
Sales Manager

Learn More About CDW-G

NEW Lightspeed Systems® Integrations with Microsoft® Teams

Austin, Texas, Feb. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)Lightspeed Systems®, the leading K-12 online safety and effectiveness solutions provider, announces the integration of Lightspeed Alert™ and Lightspeed Classroom Management™ with prominent online collaboration platform, Microsoft® Teams. 

Lightspeed Alert ensures any online indications of self-harm or violence—including the usage of Microsoft Teams chat feature—are flagged for school intervention.  

“Most of our flagged safety issues have been through the [Microsoft] Teams chat logs,” shares Greg Hogan, Network Data and Security Coordinator at Bibb County Public Schools. “I don’t know of any other product that monitors [Microsoft] Teams chats. It’s a must-have for a remote learning environment.” 

The Lightspeed Classroom Management integration with Microsoft Teams further empowers educators to keep students engaged and focused on learning. With the integration, teachers will now be able to view not only the students themselves within Microsoft Teams meetings, but also simultaneously view their screens and online activity with Lightspeed Classroom Management. Teachers will also be able to set custom browsing rules and restrictions, send whole-class or individual-student messages, and share lesson URLs, all in one spot. 

“As a long-standing partner for K-12 schools, we’re committed to continuously innovating our solutions as learning environments evolve,” shares Brian Thomas, President & CEO at Lightspeed Systems. “Integrating our solutions with Microsoft Teams is another step forward in helping district leaders and educators provide the safest, most effective online learning experience for their students.” 

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Lighstpeed Systems
Aiden Kahn
Regional Sales Manager

John Buttita
Sales Manager

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

Erin Miller
Inside Sales Manager, K-12 Education
(601) 399-5720

Learn More About Lightspeed Systems