Certainty for the Class of 2021

Jenny Bunce
Jenny Bunce

March 24, 2021

In the midst of one of the strangest and most challenging times in K-12 education, students have entered new grade levels, moved from middle to high school, started kindergarten, and been accepted to college. Daily life is alarmingly different, and it’s increasingly important to honor students’ experiences. In particular, graduating high school.

Many 2020 graduates saw their senior year come to a screeching halt. They received their diplomas without traditional fanfare – celebrating with virtual ceremonies, walking across make-shift outdoor stages, even waving out car windows in drive-thru parades.

The class of 2021 may have similar celebrations, but after a much different year. Many will have spent most (if not all) of their senior year remotely. For those of us that recall their own senior year experiences, that’s tough to imagine. Senior year is an exciting time, dotted with seniors-only field trips, events, proms, off-campus privileges, yearbooks, and for some, the famous senior skip day 👀 

But senior year is more than just celebrations. It’s a quick exchange between a student and teacher in the hall that turns into an hour-long, heart-to-heart conversation. It’s staying after practice to hear tough love and motivation from a director or coach they’ve had for 4 years. It’s holding tight to life advice from mentors, creating lasting memories with friends, and wrapping up an important time in their youth – all while preparing to enter the “real world”. It’s not that these moments didn’t happen this year, it’s that many didn’t happen in person. And that’s a big deal.

So how do we show up for our 2021 grads? How can educators and admin hold space for seniors as they prepare for their next chapter? What does community support and accountability look like in a remote world? 

Supporting students’ goals is central to their academic and personal growth. Alma’s graduation tracking allows advisors to create customized graduation plans for every student, engaging them in conversation about their future aspirations, personal goals, and checkpoints along the way. Then, easily share the plans with teachers and families, identifying any need for intervention and additional support, and adjust in real time as necessary. These conversations may still happen remotely, but communication with Alma is easier than ever, with in-app messaging and mobile-ready student and parent portals.

Students are always the priority, and this year has shown that it really does take a village to support graduates. Alma helps educators do their jobs more effectively to better serve each and every student. Celebrate wins big and small this year, and give the Class of 2021 the support they need to finish strong and start their next chapter.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Welcome to inspirED!

Jenny Bunce
Jenny Bunce

March 11, 2021

Oh hello, we didn’t see you there. It seems you’ve found your way to inspirED – a new blog from Alma SIS – welcome! Since you’re here, let’s go ahead and tell you why we’re here. InspirED will feature stories from inside Alma, stories from our users, Q&A with Alma experts, trends and thought leadership from the ed tech world, and (hopefully), more! 

So who are the folks at Alma SIS? As an ed tech company, Alma knows the importance of real-world education experience. Sure, Alma employees have all been students, but one thing we’re particularly proud of is that 80% of our staff are former educators. We’re former teachers, principals, tech directors, academic advisors, administrators, vice principals, teaching assistants – the list goes on! The passion we share for education and varied experience we bring makes us particularly suited to build a student information system that entire learning communities can proudly adopt.

Alma’s HQ is located in Portland, OR, but we’ve got folks all over the country – CA, CO, IL, PA, MD, NH, VT, & WA (to name a few)… we’re everywhere! And not only that, but Alma’s all over the globe as the SIS of choice for schools in 44 countries worldwide! We’re fortunate to feel so connected over so many state lines, time zones, and country borders. Alma builds critical SIS tooling that significantly improves school operations and empowers educators to foster better student outcomes. Our goal is to create the greatest generation of educators, so that they can create the greatest generation of students.

We’re very excited to bring you inspirED, and hope you enjoy reading the content as much as we enjoy creating it.

Empower progress. Spark Potential.

For more information about Alma click the button below

Alma SIS cannot keep growing without the continuing collaboration and partnership of educational leaders like you.

From attending Q&A sessions, panel discussions, webinars, conferences, sending us user stories, and amazing testimonials, your stories have not only impacted everyone here at Alma, but show how deeply you care about the success of your students.

Because of your critical feedback and requests to better serve your learning community’s unique needs, this year Alma has been able to create and rollout programs like:

Navigator, to give administrators a better onboarding experience and more control over workflows across their schools

App Center, to make sure your school or district is able to seamlessly integrate mission-critical 3rd party applications …

And Alma’s Spanish parent and student portal, for more accessible communication with your students and their families, increasing family engagement and promoting equitable educational practices.

Above all, we are incredibly grateful for your tenacity, creativity, care, intentionality, and commitment to the students and families you serve.

We can’t think of anything more worthy of celebration. So here’s to you!

From all of us at Alma, may you enjoy this season of gratitude, celebration, and collaboration not just in this last month of 2021 but into 2022, and beyond.

Alma will be with you every step of the way. Cheers!

Andrew Herman

Co-founder + Chief Executive Officer

Mike Oliver

Co-Founder + Head of Product

Elizabeth Long

Co-Founder + Vice President of Services