As a parent to three school-aged daughters, I understand the importance of keeping the lines of communication open and how critical it is to stay involved in their lives. I find myself wanting to know what they are doing in school, what type of homework they have, and how I can support them. My wife and I like to have real-time insight into things like our local district news and upcoming events so we are aware of what’s going on and how we can participate.

I do all of this because I know my involvement is critical to their academic success. Studies show that the more engaged parents and family members are with what is happening at school, the better students perform. So as both a parent and the CEO of Blackboard, I am excited to announce our latest acquisition of ParentLink: a company that has served K-12 schools and districts for over 20 years with solutions that increase parent, family and community engagement, and ultimately, student success.

The union of two of the leading K-12 communication providers will bring an unmatched expertise and passion to our industry. We are both focused on the same objective: to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the students, parents and schools we serve through highly innovative technology. By leveraging the full strength of Blackboard’s portfolio along with ParentLink’s customer-centric tools, we will help schools create a more informed and involved community.

Today’s news is also a testament to our continued investment and increased focus on the K-12 market, where some of the most exciting changes in education are happening. Over the past year alone, we have established a dedicated K-12 team that that is focused and passionate about working every day to improve educational outcomes for kids. We launched BbWorld K-12 Live, a free, digital track of our annual user conference solely dedicated to this teachers and students in K-12. And we introduced innovative new products specifically designed for the K-12 community, including the release of new solutions for blended and flipped classrooms as well as enhanced distance learning tools for teacher professional development.

And there is more to come. We’ve been talking a lot about the completely redesigned UX experience for our teaching and learning solutions that will be much more K-12 friendly. This is a community we are passionate about.

Blackboard is a changing company. We are delivering on a new strategy to better support schools and districts with their most pressing challenges, all the while keeping the student at the center of everything we do.  Follow me @JayBhattTweets to keep updated.

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