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Kinvolved Announces Winners of the First Leadership Spotlight Awards

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May 6, 2019—New York, NY: Kinvolved, the leader in software and services proven to reduce chronic absenteeism and boost daily attendance, today announced the winners of the first Kinvolved Leadership Spotlight Awards. This prestigious honor celebrates NYCDOE users who leverage the company’s KiNVO attendance management and family communications software to bring about positive changes in their communities.

“I want to extend a huge congratulations to the Kinvolved Leadership Spotlight awardees,” says Miriam Altman, co-founder and CEO of Kinvolved. “We’re so impressed and empowered by the work that you do for our students and families every single day.”

Nineteen individuals across twelve schools in the New York City Department of Education, covering Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan, have been singled out for their passionate dedication to enhancing family engagement as a pathway toward student success.

Awardees in their own words

“I’m always thinking about ways to reach out to my students and their parents,” says Esther Nyako of Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Diploma Plus High School. “Students are my key focus. What can I do to get them to the classroom?” For her and her fellow awardees, Kinvolved’s KiNVO web and mobile app has been invaluable, allowing her to more easily connect with parents who are hard to reach due to irregular schedules, work commitments, or language barriers.

Another awardee, Augustus Grissett, Jr., from Brooklyn’s Research and Service High School, says of KiNVO, “We found another angle to show parents that you actually care: giving wake-up calls, texting them directly, letting them have that ongoing, back-and-forth conversation.” In addition to using the KiNVO smartphone app as a single interface for managing attendance data and delivering push notifications to parents about attendance and communications activity, Mr. Grissett is also able to use the platform to communicate with his diverse parent community: messages sent through the platform can be translated into more than eighty languages and require no parent or student login for two-way communications.

The engaged administrators and educators Kinvolved has honored this year see the school–home connection as a key part of removing obstacles to student success. “If you are aware and you communicate, you can get through any situation out there,” says Venus Herrera of Manhattan’s Urban Assembly Maker Academy. “If you’re not aware, you will have literally no idea what to do. And if you don’t communicate, then other people won’t know what to do. So definitely that’s a guiding philosophy.”

Awardees share with the company a recognition that getting students to class is the key determinant of future success. Kinvolved built its KiNVO app to empower teachers like awardee Jaron Serven of Manhattan’s High School for Environmental Studies to communicate early and often with students’ families, especially in cases where students may be struggling due to any number of linguistic, socioeconomic, or environmental factors. “They’re good kids, all of them, even the ones who struggle,” says Mr. Serven. “That’s the thing that hurts me the most. They’re all good, they’re all wonderful, in their own way. It just takes one person to see that.”

Winners of Leadership Spotlight Awards are those very individual educators and administrators who see the potential of every student; the way they use KiNVO inspires Kinvolved to continue its work of building software and services that facilitate the promotion of family engagement and, hence, student achievement.

Press Release: Kinvolved 2018 Impact Report

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Kinvolved Impact Report Highlights Impressive Results in Reducing Chronic Absenteeism and Details Roadmap for Improving Attendance in K–12 Districts

January 16, 2019 – New York, NY: As school districts prepare for the increased accountability around absenteeism and family engagement detailed in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Kinvolved, the leading social enterprise reducing chronic absence, today released its 2018 Impact Report, which shares a roadmap for improving attendance validated by its successful work with partner districts.

The roadmap was designed as a resource all districts can use to support change management, strengthen school-home relationships, establish accountability, and evaluate the effectiveness of their initiatives.

“These learnings come directly from our time on the ground with educators,” shares CEO Miriam Altman. “We’ve learned how schools and districts can increase funding, improve graduation rates, and create more economically viable communities by focusing on student attendance. It’s not easy work—it takes shared commitment, intention, heart, and mutual engagement, especially with families, to achieve positive, quantifiable results. We’re proud of the way KiNVO and its wraparound services amplify their efforts, and we’re excited to share a roadmap for success that’s grounded in the reality of school systems and communities.”

Additional highlights from the 2017–2018 impact report include:

  • 66% of schools using KiNVO, Kinvolved’s attendance and communications management app, reduced absenteeism; 52% reduced lateness
  • Teachers in KiNVO districts saved an average of 50 minutes/week; administrators saved an average of 75 minutes/week
  • Educators and families exchanged 9 million messages through KiNVO

The report also contains abridged case studies from its implementations in Sioux Falls School District (South Dakota), Meriden Public School District (Connecticut), and Providence Public Schools (Rhode Island), all of which reduced chronic absence after adopted KiNVO.

For the past three years, Kinvolved has conducted an annual study to gauge the impact of its solutions on chronic absenteeism, family engagement, and mindset shifts. The study comprises surveys and interviews with KiNVO users, analyses of publicly available attendance data and School Quality Reports, and reviews of internal KiNVO metrics.

Impact metrics from prior years show the effect of Kinvolved software and services on school systems:

  • Attendance rates increase: Kinvolved partner high schools saw a 13x increase in average daily attendance.
  • Chronic absenteeism drops: Schools using KiNVO—Kinvolved’s attendance and communications platform—saw a –3% change in chronic absence rates.

“Kinvolved is the original education technology solution to absenteeism,” says Altman. “We’re five years deep into our mission to get all students to school every day, and we’re committed to that mission because it’s the right thing to do. With the new ESSA attendance requirements, it feels like federal policy is catching up with what we and our districts already know. Our work has become more important than ever.”

Kinvolved recently raised $1.54M in Seed II investments from notable organizations and angel investors, including the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, the Twilio.org Impact Fund, New York Ventures, Excell Technology Ventures, GingerBread Capital, and u2i. The organization is using the funds to support national growth, product research and development, and client services.

About Kinvolved

Kinvolved is a social enterprise on a mission to increase student achievement by minimizing absenteeism. Our holistic approach combines technology tools and human interventions to change the deeply ingrained behaviors and external factors affecting student attendance and chronic absence, including poverty, racism, and socio-economic exclusion. Learn more at www.kinvolved.com.

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Media Contact:

Jillian Lubow, Strategic Communications, jill@kinvolved.com

Kinvolved Closes $1.5M Seed Round to Expand Its Efforts to Engage Families and Communities in Eradicating Chronic Absenteeism

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November 1, 2018 – New York, NY: Amidst a wave of new research underlining the connections between school attendance and student success, Kinvolved, the leader in software and services proven to reduce chronic absenteeism and boost daily attendance, today announced it has secured $1.54M in funding through a Seed II investment round.

Kinvolved raised funds from notable organizations and angel investors, and their investments will help Kinvolved build on its success supporting school districts in their efforts to get all children to school each day.

The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (DRK)—a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early-stage, high-impact social enterprises—led the fundraising round, and its managing director, Stephanie Khurana, sits on Kinvolved’s board of directors.

“DRK invests in high impact social enterprises that solve real-life problems in targeted, innovative ways,” says Khurana. “The Kinvolved team has demonstrated a commitment to eradicating chronic absenteeism through a systems level approach and meaningful engagement to support students. We’re excited to support their efforts to expand into new communities.”

Also included in the round is the Twilio.org Impact Fund, which invests in social enterprises that use innovative communications strategies and demonstrate the potential to scale. The organization recently announced it had met its goal of powering one billion messages for good five years early, and referenced its impact investment in Kinvolved as part of its efforts to help reach one billion people each year.

Erin Reilly, VP of Social Impact and GM of Twilio.org, shares that, “when it comes to education, it can be hard to bridge communication gaps among school staff, students, and families; these missed connections can sometimes have dire consequences for kids. By leveraging communications technologies, Kinvolved offers simple, intuitive tools that break down barriers. We are excited to welcome Kinvolved into the Impact Fund family.”

Other investors include:

  • New York Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of Empire State Development, which will also serve as a board observer.
  • Excell Technology Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in seed and early-stage technology startups in New York State. Excell also holds a seat on Kinvolved’s board of directors.
  • GingerBread Capital, a venture capital fund founded by Linnea Roberts that invests in women founders and entrepreneurs, and helps women-led business access the resources they need to scale successful enterprises.
  • u2i, a software development firm that builds tight, passionate, agile software development teams to help startups and growing businesses achieve success. u2i has been Kinvolved’s technology partner since 2015.

“These investments represent an alignment between these organizations’ missions and Kinvolved’s commitment to achieving educational equity by engaging educators, families, and communities in the effort to get every child to every class, every day,” says Miriam Altman, co-founder and CEO of Kinvolved.

Kinvolved will use the funds to support sales growth, deepen product research and development, and expand its client services offerings. The organization’s 2016–17 Impact Report quantified the effects of the organization’s software and services on school systems:

Data from its 2017–2018 impact study show impressive first-year gains, and Kinvolved will release those findings in its forthcoming impact report.

“We develop software and services that strengthen the bonds between and among students’ support systems, and that raise awareness of attendance issues before they become unmanageable,” says Kinvolved co-founder and Chief Product Officer Alexandra Meis. “Those are the most powerful levers we can pull to improve student achievement and offer all students an equitable chance at a high-quality education.”

About Kinvolved

Kinvolved is a social enterprise on a mission to increase student achievement by minimizing absenteeism. Our holistic approach combines technology tools and human interventions to change the deeply ingrained behaviors and external factors affecting student attendance and chronic absence, including poverty, racism, and socio-economic exclusion. Learn more at www.kinvolved.com.

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Media Contact:

Jillian Lubow, Strategic Communications

jill@kinvolved.com

Kinvolved Hailed as a “Changemaker” among B Corporations

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Kinvolved Hailed as a “Changemaker” among B Corporations

Today, Kinvolved was awarded a place on the Best for the World: Changemakers list, which acknowledges positive impact and behavior change among Certified B Corporations across all categories on the B Impact Assessment. This comes on the heels of winning two other Best for the World awards.

All honorees are featured on bthechange.com. Thank you all for acknowledging our contributions—we’re proud to be among these amazing Changemakers!

Press Release: Kinvolved Wins Multiple B Lab “Best for the World” Awards

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Kinvolved Honored as Best for the World Among Certified B Corporations after Comprehensive Impact Assessment

The organization has been recognized in two categories, Best for Community and Best for Governance, for its positive community impact and its mission-driven leadership

June 12, 2018 – New York, NY: Today, Kinvolved was twice recognized for being a “Best for the World” organization based on an independent, comprehensive assessment administered by the nonprofit B Lab. Honorees are featured on B the Change, the digital Medium publication produced by B Lab: bthechange.com/bestfortheworld.

Kinvolved, a certified B Corporation, has been honored in both the Best For Community and the Best Governance categories. In each category, honorees receive the award if they earned a score in the top 10 percent of more than 2,400 Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment.

Honorees set a gold standard the positive impact that business-as-force-for-good can make in communities around the world. The selection criteria are available here.

The Community portion of the B Impact Assessment evaluates a company’s supplier relations, diversity, and involvement in the local community. It also measures the company’s practices and policies around community service and charitable giving, including whether a company’s product or service is designed to solve a social issue, such as access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity and the arts. Kinvolved made the list thanks to exceptional practices like developing products and services to address a core problem, student absenteeism, which disproportionately affects students in high-need communities.

The Governance portion of the B Impact Assessment evaluates a company’s overall mission, ethics, accountability and transparency. It measures whether the company has adopted a social or environmental mission, and how it engages its employees, board members and the community to achieve that mission. This section assesses employee access to financial information, customers’ opportunities to provide feedback, and the diversity of the company’s governing bodies. Kinvolved made the list thanks to exceptional practices like continuous improvement, based upon client input, transparency among clients and team members alike, and diversity in hiring full time staff and board leadership.

“We’re an organization made up of former educators and community advocates. We launched Kinvolved because we saw firsthand the disastrous effects chronic absenteeism has on our schools, our communities, and particularly our most at-risks kids,” says Miriam Altman, Chief Executive Officer. “Our mission to elevate student attendance is inherently beneficial to everyone in the community. Combined with our high standard for ethics and values within our organization, it has been a natural fit for Kinvolved to be a B Corp, and we are honored to receive recognition from B Lab.”

To certify as B Corporations, companies must complete a full assessment—which measures a company’s impact on its workers, community, customers and the environment—and have their answers verified by B Lab. Today there are more than 2,400 Certified B Corporations across more than 150 industries and 50 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business.

A total of 932 Certified B Corporations representing 52 countries were named 2018 Best for the World Honorees. B Lab simultaneously released separate lists recognizing B Corporations as Best For The World Overall, Best For Environment, Best For Customers, and Best For Workers, which can be found at bthechange.com/bestfortheworld.

“With the rise of anger at a system that feels rigged, people are hungry for companies like Kinvolved that are changing the system by building businesses that seek to create the greatest positive impact,” says Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab. “Best For The World is the only list of businesses that uses comprehensive, comparable, third-party-validated data about a company’s social and environmental performance.”

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About Kinvolved

Kinvolved galvanizes students, parents, teachers, leaders, and community stakeholders around a shared goal: To increase student achievement by minimizing absenteeism. We take a holistic approach to fighting chronic absenteeism, combining technology tools and human interventions to change the deeply ingrained behaviors and external factors affecting student attendance, including poverty, racism, and socio-economic exclusion. Learn more at www.kinvolved.com.

About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world and society will enjoy prosperity for all for the long term. For more information, visit http://www.bcorporation.net.

About B the Change

B the Change is a Medium publication produced by B Lab in collaboration with the community of Certified B Corps and the movement of people using business as a force for good. Read all B the Change stories at http://www.bthechange.com.

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CONTACT:

Miriam Altman: miriam@kinvolved.com; 646.719.0553

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