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PE-backed Renaissance Learning buys UClass

Renaissance Learning, a portfolio company of Hellman & Friedman, has acquired UClass. No financial terms were disclosed. GSV Advisors advised UClass on the transaction. UClass is a provider of K12 content management solutions for school districts.


WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis., Feb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Renaissance Learning, a K12 assessment and learning analytics company, announced today the acquisition of UClass, a cloud storage and content management platform for school districts’ curricula.

While Renaissance helps teachers identify what skills students know and what they’re ready to learn next, UClass makes districts’ existing resources easily accessible for instruction. With UClass incorporated into the Renaissance platform, teachers will be able to match students’ progress on state standards with content from the school district’s entire curriculum catalog to best fit each teaching moment.

“While we help educators map their students’ learning progress from the time they enter kindergarten to when they graduate, UClass helps districts map their entire curriculum catalog so that teachers can easily go from understanding what a student needs to delivering what instruction comes next,” said Jack Lynch, CEO of Renaissance Learning. “We’re looking forward to having the extremely talented UClass team join Renaissance and build upon this brilliant but simple solution for educators to bridge assessment and instruction without having to sacrifice freedom of choice in curriculum.”

Founded in 2012, UClass is used in more than 5,000 schools and has more than 16 million pieces of learning content already preloaded into its database, including lesson plans, instructional videos and games. Its strong potential with Renaissance stems from the ability to allow districts to upload and share their entire curriculum catalog to be tagged, mapped and qualified. This gives educators flexibility to select the best content for each student.

“We believe that teachers are the architects of student learning and that the best way to transform education is by supporting them,” said Zak Ringelstein, CEO of UClass. “The combination of Renaissance’s assessment data and UClass’s district content significantly increases the ability for an educator to choose the right curriculum at the exact moment a student is ready to learn it. This is one of the most game-changing things happening in education today.”

The UClass team will blend with the product, engineering and customer support teams at Renaissance while maintaining their San Francisco location. UClass was represented by GSV Advisors in this transaction.

About Renaissance Learning
Renaissance Learning is a leader of K12 assessment and learning analytics with a presence in more than one-third of U.S. schools and 60 countries around the world. By delivering deep insight into what students know, what they like and how they learn, Renaissance Learning enables educators to deliver highly differentiated and timely instruction while driving personalized student practice in reading, writing and math daily. Renaissance Learning is comprised of top researchers, educators, content-area experts, data scientists and technologists who create and perfect classroom-proven tools.

About UClass
UClass is a leading K12 content management solution that enables districts to flexibly distribute core curriculum to staff, facilitate collaboration across schools and measure the efficacy of its resources. UClass gives teachers and administrators a place to host purchased, in-house and open source curriculum of their choosing and strengthens it with a dynamic analytics dashboard, which helps educators figure out what is working so they can replicate curriculum success for students. UClass was founded by public school teachers whose mission is to increase opportunities for all students by providing schools the tools they need to ensure they use the most relevant content for the personalized needs of teachers and students.