Profile: K12 Inc (LRN.N)
29 Aug 2014
K12 Inc. (K12), incorporated in December 1999, is a technology-based education company. K12 offers curriculum, software systems and educational services designed to facilitate individualized learning for students primarily in kindergarten through 12th grade, or K-12. The Company provides a continuum of technology-based educational products and solutions to districts, public schools, private schools, charter schools and families. Its products include Curriculum, Pre-K and K-8 Courses, Online School Platform-Learning Management System, High School Courses, Innovative Learning Applications, School Management Systems and PEAK12. Its managed public schools includes Full-time virtual schools and Blended schools, which includes Flex schools, Passport schools, Discovery schools and Other blended schools. Its institutional Business includes K12 curriculum, Aventa curriculum, A+ curriculum, Middlebury joint venture, Pre-kindergarten and Post-secondary. Its international and private pay business includes Managed private schools, The Keystone School, George Washington University Online HS, K12 International Academy, IS Berne, WEB and Independent course sales (Consumer). In April 2011, it acquired the operations of the International School of Berne (IS Berne). In June 2014, it sold its select businesses to Safanad Education Ventures Limited (Safanad Limited). Select businesses consist of K12's post-secondary business; K12's interest in an existing Middle East joint venture operating with a Safanad Limited affiliate, and private international brick and mortar school.
K12 has the digital curriculum portfolio for the K-12 online education industry. The K12 curriculum consists of online lessons, offline instructional kits and materials, and lesson guides and other ancillaries. The Company offers a catalog of courses designed to teach concepts to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as curriculum for use in post-secondary online programs. A single year-long K12 course generally consists of 120 to 180 instructional lessons. Each lesson is designed to last approximately 45 to 60 minutes, although students are able to work at their own pace. With the acquisition of the curriculum portfolios of KCDL (Aventa), AEC (A+) and Kaplan Virtual Education (KVE), as well as the MIL joint venture, the Company has nearly 700 courses across kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school, including world languages. This combined portfolio contains over 100,000 hours of instructional content and over one million visual, audio and interactive instructional elements in the Company's asset repository.
The Company's K12 online lessons or curricula are accessed through a learning management platform, which the Company calls its Online School (OLS) for K- 8students and the eCollege platforms for high school students, as well as a number of other common industry platforms for students who access Aventa and A+ curricula. Many of the Company's courses utilize learning kits in conjunction with the online lessons to maximize the effectiveness of its learning systems. In addition to receiving access to the Company's online lessons through the Internet, each K-8 student receives a shipment of materials, including textbooks, art supplies, laboratory supplies (such as microscopes, scales, science specimens) and other reference materials which are referred to and incorporated in instruction throughout its curriculum. The Company's courses are generally paired with a lesson guide. Lesson guides work in coordination with the online lessons and include overview information for learning coaches, lesson objectives, lesson outlines and activities, answer keys to student exercises and suggestions for explaining difficult concepts to students.
Pre-K and K-8 Courses
From pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, the Company's courses are generally categorized into seven major subject areas: English and language arts, mathematics, science, history, art, music and world languages. The Company's curriculum includes all of the courses that students need to complete their core kindergarten through 8th grade education; a new pre-K offering students to core subjects through cross-curricular thematic units, building initial and fundamental relationships among concepts. Its learning systems offer the flexibility for each student to take courses at different grade levels in a single academic year, providing flexibility for students to progress at their own level and pace within each subject area.
The first phase of the Company's K12 second generation elementary language arts program is designed to deliver interactivity and make instruction even more engaging while integrating rewards, interactive practice and a virtual world. The Company's Fundamentals of Geometry and Algebra course completes its K-8 math offering. These courses support students at various skill levels through targeted, timely remediation, embody the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and include media integration. In addition, the flexibility of the Company's learning systems allows the Company to tailor its curriculum to state specific requirements. For example, the Company has developed 62 courses specifically created for the public schools standards in 13 states. In addition to the ongoing evolution of the Company's K-5 Math+ program, the Company has also created over 80 custom Math+ sequences to serve specific state needs. The Company continues to migrate K12 K-8 courses from its legacy content management system (CMS) to its new CMS.
Online School Platform-Learning Management System
For the Company's K12 curriculum users in grades K-8, the Company provides a learning management system, its OLS platform. The OLS platform is an adaptive, intuitive, Web-based software platform that provides access to the Company's online lessons, its lesson planning and scheduling tools, as well as its progress tracking tool which serves a key role in assisting parents and teachers in managing each student's progress. The OLS is also the central structure through which students, parents, teachers and administrators interact using K-mail and Class Connect (the Company's integrated synchronous session scheduler). Students, parents and teachers can access the Company's online tools and lessons through the OLS from anywhere with an Internet connection. The Company licenses a third-party learning management system for uses in its high school program.
High School Courses
The curriculum available to high school students is broader and varies from student to student. Students also are able to select from a range of electives. The Company has augmented its lab program for lab science courses with the creation of alternate kit-free science labs for the formerly kit-based high school science labs in order to provide a more flexible and robust lab program across its physical science, earth science, biology, chemistry and physics courses. The Company's overall lab program includes traditional kit-based labs based on either shipped-in or household materials, virtual labs, video-based labs, data-collection and data-manipulation labs, and field studies. Across all subject areas, the K12 core curriculum accounts for approximately 90% of the Company's high school course enrollments. It also offers curriculum marketed as its Aventa Learning by K12 product line. Aventa courses are written to national academic standards and each of Aventa's 22 AP courses has been reviewed and approved by The College Board. Aventa's online courses are developed by subject matter experts designed by multimedia teams and delivered by high school instructors. Aventa classes are primarily delivered over the Internet and use a variety of interactive elements to keep students engaged throughout.
The Company has A+ courseware, which is in use in over 5,000 public and private K-12 schools, charter schools, colleges, correctional institutions, centers of adult literacy, military education programs and after-school learning centers. The A+nyWhere Learning System provides an integrated offering of instructional software and assessment for reading, mathematics, language arts, science, writing, history, government, economics and geography for grade levels K-12. In addition, AEC provides assessment testing and instructional content for the General Educational Development (GED) test. AEC products are designed to provide for LAN, WAN and Internet delivery options and support Windows and Macintosh platforms. Spanish-language versions are available for mathematics and language arts for grade levels 1-6.
The Company offers online world language courses and summer immersion language instruction programs through its MIL joint venture. In addition to offering powerspeaK12 language courses, this venture also offers innovative, online language programs for high school and middle school students based on the Middlebury College pedagogy. The new courses use instructional tools such as animation, music, videos and other elements that immerse students in new languages. Beginner French, Chinese and Spanish for high school students, as well as Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish and German courses for middle and high school students are available and additional courses are in development. The joint venture has expanded the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy (MMLA), a foreign language immersion summer program for middle and high school students, which includes a day academy for middle school students, as well as the Company's four-week residential academy with instruction in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish at multiple college campuses.
Innovative Learning Applications
The Company has created tools that allow for more rapid mobile and tablet curriculum or content deployment across platforms for deeper markets penetration. Seven additional mobile applications were delivered during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 (fiscal 2012), for a total of 15 applications available for download. These apps have been downloaded over 400,000 times. It offers applications for the iPhone, Android phones and Android tablet marketplaces, adapting many of its curriculum features for the mobile application space. An active educational games initiative is delivering new methods for engagement, practice and review of K-12 concepts, including narrative/immersive styles, rewards, persistent data, complex algorithms. The Company has delivered a total of nine interactive games and an innovative review and practices portal called Noodleverse. Noodleverse includes over 1,700 activities and is designed for K-2 students in conjunction with a new language arts program.
The Company has delivered alternatives for its educational partners who desires materials-free curriculum. This includes converting over 59 existing materials-based high school Science labs into interactive virtual labs and video lab This laboratory is performed at a lab bench with all the materials and with the same procedures high school students would use in a physical chemistry laboratory. During fiscal 2012, the Company had converted 35 K12 textbooks used across 57 courses into an electronic format, including textbooks, reference guides, literature readers and lab manuals. This digital delivery ability enables the Company to offer options to the Company's customers through interactive online books that enhance the student's reading experience reinforce the student's learning approach and create a new method for delivering book and print materials. Each offline book is converted into an electronic book format with a custom user interface to be viewed through a standard Web browser or a commercially available electronic reader (Kindle and Nook).
The Company has learning management systems and can build courses that are adaptive, which enable individualized learning experiences as the course adapts at key points to student behavior and input. The Company's MARK12 reading remediation product captures individual students' successes and challenges as they practice phonemic awareness, alphabetic principles, accuracy and fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The program serves the individual student more exercises, practice and review in areas of difficulty. During fiscal 2012, the Company launched a pilot program for school year called National Math Lab, designed as a controlled study with randomly selected treatment and control groups from a pool of students in grades 5-10 identified as significantly below grade level in math. The Company continues to explore opportunities to enhance student engagement through strategic use of relevant multimedia. Multimedia is specifically used as appropriate for the subject matter.
School Management Systems
School Management Systems (SAMS) is the Company's student information system. SAMS is integrated with the OLS and several other systems, including the Company's Online Enrollment System that allows parents to complete school enrollment forms online and its order management system that generates orders for learning kits and computers to be delivered to students. SAMS stores student-specific data and is used for a range of functions, including enrolling students in courses, assigning progress marks and grades, tracking student demographic data, and generating student transcripts. The Company has TotalView a range of online applications that provides administrators, teachers, parents and students a unified view of student progress, attendance, communications, and learning kit shipment tracking. TotalView includes a means of documenting student engagement in required classroom activities, identification of those students struggling with grade level state content standards, and previous year's performance on state tests. TotalView also includes K-mail, the Company's internal communications system. Through K-mail, administrators and teachers can communicate electronically with learning coaches and students. TotalView also includes an enrollment processing and tracking tool that allows it to closely monitor and manage the enrollment process for new students.
The Company has an online learning solution called PEAK12. This solution simplifies a district's management of online learning by consolidating multiple solutions on a single platform. It allows administrators and teachers to manage enrollments, programs and performance tracking, alerts and reporting across multiple online solutions from a single solution. In addition, through the PEAK12 library, districts can search, build, provision and publish content or course modifications or new course solutions using various online learning assets. PEAK12 provides unparalleled capabilities for districts wanting to operate multiple solutions or catalogs from a single place and offers personalization features that can be managed at the district, school or teacher level.
The Company competes with DeVry, Inc., Pearson PLC, White Hat Management, LLC, National Network of Digital Schools Management Foundation Inc., Apex Learning Inc., Compass Learning, E2020 Inc., OdysseyWare, PLATO Learning, Inc., Rosetta Stone Inc., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson PLC., The Laurel Springs School, the National Connections Academy and Florida Virtual School.
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