Skip Navigation

Press Release Archive

Parents of One in Five U.S. K-12 Students Receive Messages from the Blackboard Connect Mass Notification System

 Schools Communicate with the Parents of Over 11 Million Students To Enhance
                        Student Attendance and Safety

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB), a global leader in education technology, today announced that it is now sending messages to the parents of over 11 million K-12 students in the U.S. through the Connect-ED(R) mass notification service, representing about one in five student households nationwide.

A growing number of K-12 schools and districts have adopted the Blackboard Connect(TM) mass notification platform to encourage parental engagement, increase student safety and support student achievement. The service has been leveraged for parent outreach programs aimed to address a range of academic and student safety needs, including efforts to improve student attendance.

For example, La Mesa-Spring Valley School District in San Diego County, Calif. recently saw a significant increase in average daily attendance after sending absence and truancy notifications to parents, which resulted in a $450,000 increase in funding to the district from the state.

"Having technology to reach parents and staff during an urgent situation is important for the safety of our students, which is our top priority, but the service has provided an important financial benefit," said Brian Marshall, Superintendent at La Mesa-Spring Valley. In this economy, we cannot lose a single dollar and Blackboard Connect has directly resulted in increased revenues for our district."

Districts have also used Blackboard Connect to help ensure student safety during a number of natural disasters including Hurricane Ike and the massive wildfires in Southern California. During these situations, districts used the platform to send messages to parents and staff -- both at home and during evacuations -- with updates on school schedules, health warnings and other time-sensitive information.

"Superintendents, principals and other education leaders recognize the positive impact that reliable, timely communications with parents can have," said Tom Motter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Blackboard Connect. "And they demonstrate, on a daily basis, how such a platform can help foster a stronger education experience for students particularly in times such as these. Achieving the scale we've reached across the country is an important milestone for us and for our client community."

Drawing on the experience gained in delivering hundreds of millions of messages for K-12 organizations, the Blackboard Connect platform enables school leaders to schedule, send and track personalized voice messages at up to six phone numbers and two e-mail addresses per student and staff member. To ensure that important messages reach residents, students and parents quickly, regardless of their location or preferred method of communication, the Blackboard Connect platform sends voice and text messages through four different modes of communication:

    *  Voice messages to home phones, work phones, cell phones and e-mail
       addresses;
    *  Text messages to cell phones, PDAs, networked digital signage and other
       text-based devices;
    *  Text messages to e-mail accounts; and
    *  Messages to TTY/TDD receiving devices for the hearing impaired.

The Blackboard Connect platform allows officials to send an unlimited number of messages, requires no additional hardware, and can be used from any computer with Internet access or telephone. This ensures that administrators can send vital messages from wherever they are located -- even if they are evacuated. Additionally, officials receive detailed reports on contacts that did not receive a message, enabling them to follow up through alternative means as needed.

For more information about Blackboard Connect solutions, please visit http://www.blackboard.com/Alert-Notification/Connect-Platform.aspx

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-Q filed on November 6, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the forward- looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of February 18, 2009. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to February 18, 2009.

SOURCE Blackboard Inc. 02/18/2009
CONTACT:
Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., 1-202-463-4860 ext. 2637,
matthew.maurer@blackboard.com;
or Kate Taylor of Edelman, +1-916-420-7848,
kate.taylor@edelman.com,
for Blackboard Inc.
Web site: http://www.blackboard.com (BBBB)