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Novachi Releases Free Online LMS and SIS

A start-up company in California has launched a new, free, combined learning management system and student information system that intends to take on major competitors in the K-12 space. Novachi (from a company of the same name) is a Web-based application that automates multiple classroom activities.

For teachers, Novachi automates functions involved in making assignments, grading homework created within the system, developing a lesson plan, publishing a syllabus and a calendar, taking attendance, and providing a progress report to students and parents. It also offers features for student attendance, incident reporting, and permission slips and provides basic integration for California state reporting.

The system can also be used by teachers and students to e-mail each other.

The service is offered free to teachers, school administrators, and district staff. Parents and students can also register for free, but they need to obtain an access key from the teacher or district person first. Each user gets secure access to a different set of functions depending on his or her role.

The service is in compliance with COPPA regulations, protecting children's online privacy, the company said. Elementary and middle school students need parental consent prior to using Novachi, which can be granted online. The parental consent process has been reviewed by TRUSTe and has been certified as privacy-compliant for children.

To generate revenue, the company includes education-related advertising on teacher, student, and parent sites; currently, that consists of Google ads. CEO Bruce Nguyen added that his firm has corporate backing and other private equity investments to sustain operations, whether or not advertising generates sufficient income to support the company. "We are well funded for a long time," he said.

Although the service is available in English to K-12 users anywhere, schools and districts in California can use Novachi to upload data into CALPADS, the state Department of Education's longitudinal pupil achievement data system. The company indicated it will tackle Florida state reporting requirements next.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.