Journal Entry

Higher Ground Education and Altitude Learning Partner to Modernize Education 

Higher Ground acquires Altitude Learning platform

Higher Ground will assume ownership of Altitude Learning’s technology platform, an industry-leading LMS that enables learner-centered education

Building on their shared vision of changing the world through education and a long-standing partnership supporting Montessori and learner-centered education, Higher Ground Education and Altitude Learning are collaborating to extend their collective impact and accelerate progress toward each organization’s mission.  

  • Higher Ground Education, a super-user of the Altitude Learning platform which it leverages to enable parents, students and educators to seamlessly access Montessori-inspired education or training, no matter where they reside, will directly own the underlying platform that powers its diverse programs, accelerating its mission to power the global growth of Montessori pedagogy
  • Altitude Learning, a leader in learner-centered education, will deepen its focus on supporting widescale adoption of learner-centered methodologies across ecosystems, further realizing its mission to catalyze and accelerate the shift to learner-centered education 
  • Higher Ground Education operates the largest growing network of Montessori schools with over 80 locations across the US and China, and also offers a diverse set of at-home and virtual learning programs. Altitude Learning’s learner-centered ecosystem supports a growing network of 120+ schools and districts across the United States. Together the organizations will impact over 1 million students worldwide.  
     

Jan. 15, 2021  

LAKE FOREST, CA — Higher Ground Education, Inc., the leading network of schools dedicated to Montessori education, and Altitude Learning, a leader in learner-centered education, today announced a new phase in their partnership poised to accelerate and scale Montessori and learner-centered education throughout the US and beyond. Higher Ground will assume ownership of Altitude Learning’s technology platform, an industry-leading learning management system that enables learner-centered education, by bringing the Altitude Learning technology platform and engineering team in-house to help expand the depth and breadth of its current offerings. Altitude Learning will deepen its focus on catalyzing the shift to learner-centered education and expanding the learner-centered ecosystem through services and solutions—including professional learning, coaching, strategic consulting, and partner support—for schools, districts, and systems. 

Since its inception, Altitude Learning has been building a learner-centered ecosystem supporting schools and districts with professional learning and tools to facilitate the shift to learner-centered education. The Altitude Learning platform empowers educators to create powerful, student-centered experiences that are grounded in research about how children learn best, and it features a unique interface and assessment framework that scaffold and amplify a learner’s ability to engage in valuable self-directed learning. 

By bringing the technology in-house, Higher Ground will be able to continue investment in its development and expand the scope and reach of the organization’s current offerings while ensuring seamless ongoing access to the core platform—for its own schools, for its partners, and for Altitude Learning’s growing network of partners. The collaboration fuses Higher Ground’s pedagogical expertise and vision with Altitude Learning’s technology to enable parents, students and educators to seamlessly access curriculum or training no matter where they reside. Higher Ground will use the Altitude Learning platform to host original, custom-designed curriculum, to enable a Montessori-informed assessment framework, and to ensure the seamless transfer of children and families across the Higher Ground network as they grow and as their life circumstances change.   

“Our focus at Higher Ground has always been on pedagogical reform,” said Ray Girn, CEO of Higher Ground and former teacher and curriculum developer. “We believe that Montessori principles, thoughtfully implemented, can transform the way that children are raised. But to fully realize our pedagogical vision, we needed a new technological paradigm, and we found it in the Altitude Learning platform. We need an LMS that can function as the digital equivalent to a Montessori shelf, with all of the pedagogical innovation and richness that implies. Altitude Learning does that and enables us to greatly expand and accelerate the reach of our Montessori programming without compromise.”  

Higher Ground acquires Altitude Learning platformHigher Ground’s acquisition of the Altitude Learning platform will enable parents, students and educators to seamlessly access Montessori-inspired education or training, no matter where they reside.

 

Higher Ground and Altitude Learning to Accelerate Respective Missions Through Collaboration  

Higher Ground and Altitude Learning have already enjoyed a long-standing partnership: Higher Ground has built and grown its unique program offerings on the Altitude Learning platform, contributing to platform development via insights from Higher Ground’s pedagogical experts. In addition, both organizations have partnered to support learner-centered public and private schools throughout the United States and will continue to do so.   

Higher Ground’s acquisition of the Altitude Learning platform will accelerate its mission to power the global growth of Montessori pedagogy through a tighter integration with a powerful digital learning platform. Altitude Learning, a premier learner-centered services organization driven by its mission to accelerate the shift to learner-centered education, will concentrate its resources on supporting widescale adoption of learner-centered methodologies across ecosystems.  

Ben Kornell, Chief Executive Officer of Altitude Learning, will join Higher Ground to ensure continuity of operations, as well as to directly support the two organizations’ shared platform vision.  

“Given the state of our country and our world, there is an incredible need for education models that equip learners with the agency and critical thinking to successfully navigate a changing world.  Over the past three years, Higher Ground has demonstrated that this is not only possible, but inevitable by combining their Montessori approach and the Altitude platform,” said Kornell. “This joining of forces makes that learning experience accessible direct-to-learners on-site, on-line, or at-home and indirectly through our partner programs. For schools, educators, and learners, we are excited to support you.” 

Devin Vodicka will step into Altitude Learning’s Chief Executive Officer role to lead the organization in extending its impact on the learner-centered ecosystem, joined by seasoned learner-centered educator and leader, Katie Martin, as Chief Impact Officer. 

“Education is at a critical juncture and experiencing an accelerated rate of change,” said Vodicka. “Comprehensive support for schools, districts, and systems paving their paths forward is critical. With Altitude Learning’s focus on expanding the learner-centered ecosystem and Higher Ground’s increased investment in the ongoing development of the platform we are expanding the impact of world-class services and technology that empower all learners to reach their full potential.”  

The organizations will implement a gradual transition plan to ensure continuity of technology access and operating support for students, parents, and educators served by both organizations.  

  

About Higher Ground Education  

Founded in 2016, Higher Ground operates the largest growing network of Montessori schools, with 80-plus locations across the US and China. It has grown into an omni-channel business offering in-person, at-home, and virtual learning options that enable parents, students, and educators to seamlessly access Montessori-inspired education and training, no matter where they reside. To learn more, visit tohigherground.com  

  

About Altitude Learning   

Altitude Learning partners with K-12 schools and districts to catalyze and accelerate their shift to Altitude Learning partners with K-12 schools and districts to catalyze and accelerate their shift to learner-centered education. Working hand-in-hand with leaders and educators to create the conditions for learner-centered change and provide tools for scale and sustainability, Altitude Learning solutions facilitate learner agency, competency-based assessment, and authentic learning experiences. As a public benefit corporation and a Certified B Corporation building a learner-centered ecosystem since 2013, when it was founded as AltSchool, Altitude Learning aims to empower every learner to drive their own learning and reach their full potential. To learn more, visit altitudelearning.com 

 

Contact  

Pat Lynch  

plynch@tohigherground.com    

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