SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As the school year comes to a close, principals and administrators nationwide are already planning for the year ahead. Although master scheduling typically starts in January, school leaders must often fine-tune master schedules during the summer months as enrollment, staffing, and budget numbers shift. To support its pioneering efforts to simplify the master scheduling process, education technology startup Abl today announced $7.5 million in Series A funding, led by Rethink Education. Sinovation Ventures, Owl Ventures, Reach Capital, and First Round Capital also participated in the round.
"Master scheduling is an increasingly complex challenge that our principals grapple with as they attempt to balance the implementation of new national standards and the need to develop high-quality learning environments for all students," said Cheryl Hibbeln, Executive Director of Secondary Schools, San Diego Unified School District. "Master scheduling is the sort of real-world challenge that technology is perfectly suited to address, facilitating greater input from staff and bringing transparency to an important equity lever for school communities."
Developed through a collaborative process that involved public school leaders from Tennessee, Texas, California, and Pennsylvania as design partners, the Abl platform enables administrators to transform an otherwise static process into a flexible approach that allows principals to test and evaluate scheduling scenarios. The platform was designed to address the most prevalent scheduling challenges for school leaders and make it easy to design and manage the daily life of a school. Abl maps to school leaders' existing planning processes to minimize training requirements, and works alongside a school's SIS to save administrators time.
"The master schedule is, in many ways, the blueprint of a school – but a Rubik's Cube of programs, people, and events can make the scheduling process overwhelming and time-consuming for school leaders," said Abl Founder and CEO Adam Pisoni, who previously served as CTO and Co-Founder of Yammer. "We spent over a year learning about this challenge for school leaders – and then developing a solution that digitizes their workflow and gives unprecedented visibility into student course needs and resource allocation throughout the school day."
According to the most recent MetLife survey of school leaders, three-quarters of principals in American schools believe the job of school leadership has become too complex. Dr. Timothy Wagner, Associate Principal for Program Planning & Innovation at Upper St. Clair High School in Pennsylvania, put it this way: "As the summer begins and we wrap up the master scheduling process, our team is committed to ensuring that we begin the next school year without a hitch. The team at Abl understands how difficult this work can be, and has developed an intuitive platform that allows us to easily evaluate master scheduling options to best support student course needs, avoid scheduling conflicts, and create more time for teacher planning."
Developed through a collaborative process with school leaders, Abl is on a mission to transform master scheduling into a smart, collaborative process that enables school leaders to quickly visualize tradeoffs and meet the needs of every student and teacher. Our dynamic school scheduling platform makes it easy to design and manage the daily life of a school through a simple, cloud-based system that eliminates the spreadsheets, magnet boards, and calendaring tools most schools use today. For more information, visit www.ablschools.com.
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