News

Lightspeed Systems Completes Strategic Growth Investment from Madison Dearborn Partners

May 2, 2019

AUSTIN, TX. — Leading education technology solutions provider Lightspeed Systems (“Lightspeed” or “the Company”), announced today that it has completed its previously announced strategic growth investment from private equity funds advised by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (“MDP”), a leading private equity firm based in Chicago. The investment will enable Lightspeed to drive forward its growth strategy as adoption of its market-leading technology continues to increase. Lightspeed’s existing management team will remain in place and have an ownership position in the Company, as will the Company’s Co-Founders.

“This is an exciting day for Lightspeed and the educators and students we serve. With the support of MDP and its education technology resource network, Lightspeed will be better positioned to capture growth as a leader in the ongoing education technology revolution,” said Brian Thomas, Lightspeed’s President and CEO. “We look forward to executing our growth strategy and capitalizing on favorable market trends in support of our mission to enhance student safety and maximize the benefits of education technology. Together with MDP, we are confident that we can bring our innovative solutions to more K-12 students around the world.”

Lightspeed has been building and evolving technology for more than 20 years and serves over 15 million students worldwide today, offering market-leading, purpose-built software through its multi-OS Relay cloud platform that filters, monitors and manages student web access, distributed devices and classroom activities and provides powerful reporting and student safety tools. Having served K-12 schools since 1999, Lightspeed’s differentiated ability to operate across any device, operating system or network has positioned the Company as a leader as the demand for technology in the classroom that can help safeguard the health and wellness of students continues to grow.

MDP will work with Lightspeed’s leadership team to capitalize on attractive growth opportunities for the Company worldwide. These include helping extend Lightspeed’s market leadership position, further penetrating the growing domestic and international K-12 web filtering and reporting, mobile device management and classroom management market, and continuing to deepen end-customer relationships while leveraging channel partner sales initiatives.

In addition to the equity investment, Lightspeed has received debt financing from a term loan and revolving credit facility provided by PNC Bank, N.A. Terms were not disclosed.

William Blair & Company served as Lightspeed’s financial advisor, and DLA Piper LLP provided legal counsel to Lightspeed. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to MDP. MDP also engaged GSV Advisors, a leading advisory firm dedicated to the education and HR technology sector, for strategic counsel.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform, Relay. Headquartered in Austin, TX (with offices in Portland and the U.K.), Lightspeed serves over 15 million students in 35 countries. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Madison Dearborn Partners
Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (“MDP”), based in Chicago, is a leading private equity investment firm in the United States. Since MDP’s formation in 1992, the firm has raised seven funds with aggregate capital of approximately $23 billion and has completed over 140 investments. MDP is currently investing out of its most recent fund, $4.4 billion MDCP Fund VII, in businesses across a broad spectrum of industries, including businesses and government software and services; financial and transaction services; basic industries; health care; and telecom, media and technology services. For more information, please visit https://www.mdcp.com.


Lightspeed Systems Announces Strategic Growth Investment From Madison Dearborn Partners

March 29, 2019

Madison Dearborn’s Resources and Expertise to Help Drive Lightspeed’s Continued Growth Through Increased Adoption of Market-Leading Education Technology in U.S. and Globally

AUSTIN, TX — Leading education technology solutions provider Lightspeed Systems (“Lightspeed” or “the Company”) announced today that it has received a strategic growth investment from private equity funds advised by Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (“MDP”), a leading private equity firm based in Chicago. Lightspeed’s existing management team will remain in place and have an ownership position in the company, as will the Company’s Co-Founders. Together with MDP, they will seek to extend Lightspeed’s market leadership position and further penetrate the growing domestic and international K-12 web filtering and reporting, mobile device management and classroom management market in support of the Company’s mission to enhance student safety and maximize the benefits of education technology. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Lightspeed continues to benefit from the increasing demand for sophisticated, K-12-specific solutions and expand its presence in new and existing markets by offering market-leading, purpose-built software that filters, monitors and manages student web access, distributed devices and classroom activities. Lightspeed has been building and evolving technology for more than 20 years and serves over 15 million students worldwide. The Company recently launched Lightspeed Systems Relay, the first and only all-in-one cloud filtering solution for school device management with support for every operating system, device type, and location.

“I would like to thank Lightspeed’s Co-Founders Rob McCarthy and Joel Heinrichs for their mentorship, leadership, and contributions since we started this journey, and for their ongoing support as we continue our partnership alongside MDP,” said Brian Thomas, Lightspeed’s Co-Founder, President and CEO. “As we enter our next stage of growth as an innovator and leading provider of web filtering and reporting products for the K-12 market, we are confident that MDP is the clear choice of a partner for Lightspeed Systems due to their proven success, understanding of the education and technology markets, and commitment to helping us achieve our growth potential. With MDP’s support, we have an even greater opportunity to capture growth from the many favorable market trends we are seeing, which include continued adoption of technology in the classroom and the increasing importance of protecting, managing and analyzing student health and safety.”

Thomas continued, “MDP’s education technology resource network and extensive experience supporting high-growth technology companies and organizations that utilize distributed sales channels make them an ideal partner for Lightspeed. Looking ahead, the entire Lightspeed team is excited to play an ongoing critical role in the education technology revolution and continue providing our customers with powerful solutions that keep school devices and students safe, well managed and mobile. We’re excited about the opportunities this new partnership will create for Lightspeed to the benefit of our employees, our existing partners, and our customers around the world.”

Today, Lightspeed is well-positioned in a large and growing market with its robust database, stable and diverse customer base, differentiated ability to operate across any device, operating system or network and strong channel partner relationships. Lightspeed and MDP see significant opportunity for the Company to capture additional growth through organic and strategic acquisition opportunities. The macro trends that are driving these opportunities globally include the increasing device penetration among students from a continued movement toward a 1:1 student to device ratio in the classroom, and recognition that tailored web monitoring and reporting can help safeguard the health and wellness of students. MDP is supportive of Lightspeed’s growth strategy to deepen its end-customer relationships while continuing to leverage its channel partner sales initiatives.

Matthew Norton, a Managing Director at MDP and Co-Head of the firm’s Business & Government Software and Services team, said: “Lightspeed is uniquely positioned as an Ed Tech industry leader that enables schools to maximize the benefits of classroom technology, and we are honored to be partnering with Brian and his talented team to build upon the Company’s momentum. We look forward to continuing the successful execution of Lightspeed’s strategy by leveraging our extensive experience helping companies at similar stages of growth. As investors and as parents, we are excited to support Lightspeed’s strong position in the industry as the Company continues to provide effective and innovative technology-based safety solutions to more schools and students alike.”

William Blair & Company served as Lightspeed’s financial advisor, and DLA Piper LLP provided legal counsel to Lightspeed. Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice to MDP. MDP also engaged GSV Advisors, a leading advisory firm dedicated to the education and HR technology sector, for strategic counsel.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform, Relay. Headquartered in Austin, TX (with offices in Portland and the U.K.), Lightspeed serves over 15 million students in 38 countries. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Madison Dearborn Partners
Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (“MDP”), based in Chicago, is a leading private equity investment firm in the United States. Since MDP’s formation in 1992, the firm has raised seven funds with aggregate capital of approximately $23 billion and has completed over 140 investments. MDP is currently investing out of its most recent fund, $4.4 billion MDCP Fund VII, in businesses across a broad spectrum of industries, including businesses and government software and services; financial and transaction services; basic industries; health care; and telecom, media and technology services. For more information, please visit https://www.mdcp.com.


Lightspeed Systems Breaks Down Major Edtech Trend in New Whitepaper

March 13, 2019

“Cloud Filtering in Education” features veteran edtech company’s tips for successful cloud filtering deployment

AUSTIN, TX. — Education technology solution provider Lightspeed Systems has published a new whitepaper on one of the biggest trends in education technology. “Cloud Filtering in Education” shares why schools are increasingly moving to cloud filtering solutions and how to ensure successful deployment.

Lightspeed Systems has been filtering K-12 schools for more than 20 years, a fact that has positioned the company as a leader in the edtech space. Lightspeed Systems Relay is the only complete 1:1 cloud platform for filtering, managing, monitoring and protecting school networks.

With so many essential school services — directories, apps, and more — hosted in the cloud, schools are turning to cloud filtering to take advantage of its scalability, seamlessness, security and flexibility.

But not all cloud filtering solutions are created equal, and school administrations have legitimate concerns about moving from appliances to cloud filtering. Will a cloud filter cover BYOD and guest devices? Will it keep school devices safe off the network? Will downtime be an issue? Will switching to cloud filtering be too expensive?

Download “Cloud Filtering in Education” to learn:
• The benefits of switching to the cloud
• The challenges that keep schools from making the change
• The true costs of appliance-based filtering compared to cloud filtering
• Questions to ask cloud filtering vendors before you buy
• Key features of the best cloud filters

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform, Relay. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Releases Classroom Management Solution for Windows OS

February 19, 2019

Lightspeed Systems Relay Classroom — now available for Chrome OS, Mac OS and Windows — surpasses modern classroom management technologies by providing insights into student productivity via machine learning.

AUSTIN, TX. — Ed-tech solution provider Lightspeed Systems, the leader in school device filtering for almost 20 years, has released an update of its classroom management solution for the Windows operating system. Lightspeed Systems Relay Classroom is now available in general release for Windows, Chrome OS, and Mac OS.

The cloud-based Relay Classroom is a disruption to classroom device monitoring technology. Competing solutions rely on teachers to continuously monitor classroom device activity as it happens. In theory, live monitoring solutions help educators pinpoint students who are off-task or falling behind; in practice, teachers struggle to track the activity of 30 students at a time and monitoring all those screens keeps teachers tied to their devices.

Relay Classroom — which easily integrates with the Lightspeed Systems Relay 1:1 platform — leverages machine-learning AI to provide insights into student browsing behavior. Rather than depend on teachers to identify unusual browsing on sight, Relay Classroom alerts teachers when it happens, zeroing in on students who may be distracted or struggling. Although teachers have the capability to live-monitor student device screens with Relay Classroom, the solution’s alerts free them from that responsibility.

Relay Classroom gives teachers the power to:
• Receive status updates from students (“need help,” “working,” or “done”)
• See aggregate views of student browsing activity and status
• Broadcast teacher or student screens to the rest of the class
• View student screens in real time, pull browsing histories, and record device activity
• Send quick messages (e.g., “Are you done?” and “Need help?”) and receive replies from students
• Lock device screens and send content links
• Limit student web access to a website or group of websites for the class period, and release students when they change their status to “done.”

Lightspeed Systems Relay offers complete filtering, management, monitoring and protection from a single, unified platform. With Relay, school IT departments can perform all necessary functions of 1:1 management with one, scalable, cloud-based solution — with optional hardware for larger networks and BYOD.

To learn more about Relay Classroom, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/monitor. To learn more about the Relay platform, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform, Relay. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Releases Artificial Intelligence School Safety Solution

January 29, 2019

With real-time alerts on troubling student web activity, software solution Safety Check helped one K-12 school identify a suicidal student within 20 minutes of solution implementation.

ORLANDO, FL. — Today, at the Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), Lightspeed Systems announced a next-generation school safety solution to help prevent student self-harm and violence. Safety Check — a feature of Lightspeed’s 1:1 platform, Relay — is a new software solution that provides real-time alerts of troubling student web activity to school administrations.

Leveraging advanced machine-learning technology, Safety Check provides the immediate data schools need to prevent school violence, bullying, and other harm. Its sophisticated AI performs in-depth scanning of student online activity to determine what’s relevant and what isn’t.

Additionally, by combining detailed user information like timelines and screenshots with its alerts, Safety Check gives school IT departments necessary context to determine the severity of suspicious activity. Safety Check gets the right information to the right people at the right time to help save students’ lives.

Safety Check has already saved student lives. Twenty minutes after implementing Safety Check’s beta release, one school district discovered a student who was contemplating suicide, allowing the district to intervene and provide necessary support.

Lightspeed Systems President & CEO Brian Thomas shares, “We’re a mission-driven company committed to protecting students. We’ve made great strides in 20 years and Safety Check is going to help us do even more for school safety.”

Safety Check is a critical feature of Lightspeed Systems Relay. Relay eliminates the hassle of managing disparate systems and solutions to keep school devices safe, well managed and mobile. With Relay, school IT departments can perform all necessary functions of 1:1 management with one, scalable, cloud-based solution — that covers all mobile and network devices.

Relay’s features include:
• Support for all devices — every OS, BYOD and IoT
• Easy SSL decryption — patent-pending Smart Agents provide SSL decryption to all devices, apps and browsers without need for proxy servers, PAC files or certificates
• Precise device geolocation — find lost and stolen devices, maximizing 1:1 ROI
• Next-gen classroom management — featuring AI-based insights that notify teachers when students are off-task
• Delegated management — easily share granular filtering and MDM tasks with the rest of your staff

To learn more about Safety Check, visit lightspeedsystems.com/protect.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform, Relay. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Announces Complete 1:1 Platform for School Devices

January 24, 2019

Lightspeed Systems Relay offers complete filtering, management, monitoring and protection from a single, unified platform.

LONDON, U.K. — Today, at Bett Show 2019, the premier education conference, Lightspeed Systems announced the first and only comprehensive software platform for school device management. Lightspeed Systems Relay, the market-leading cloud filtering solution for K-12, is now offered as an all-in-one solution for the filtering, management, monitoring and protection of school devices, with support for every OS, BYOD and IoT.

In 2019, school IT departments have more responsibilities than ever. So many tools are required to ensure a 1:1 device initiative is successfully deployed, maintained, and utilized. In the past, IT departments have been forced to purchase multiple solutions for device filtering, classroom management, mobile device management (MDM), and student safety. Not all solutions on the market support every operating system, making management even more complicated and expensive for networks supporting multiple device types.

Lightspeed Systems Relay eliminates the hassle of managing disparate systems and solutions to keep school devices safe, well managed and mobile. With Relay, school IT departments can perform all necessary functions of 1:1 management with one, scalable, cloud-based solution — with optional hardware for larger networks and BYOD.

Relay’s features include:
• Support for all devices — every OS, BYOD and IoT
• AI student safety alerts — know instantly when students are at risk of suicide, bullying and other violence
• Easy SSL decryption — patent-pending Smart Agents provide SSL decryption to all devices, apps and browsers without the need for proxy servers, PAC files or certificates
• Precise device geolocation — find lost and stolen devices, keeping ROI high
• Next-gen classroom management — featuring AI-based insights that notify teachers when students are off-task
• Delegated management — easily share granular filtering and MDM tasks with the rest of your staff

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated filtering, management, monitoring, and protection for schools through its groundbreaking platform, Relay. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Sponsors Groundbreaking Research Into School Safety

December 20, 2018

The leading edtech company partners with Global Grid for Learning and McREL International, sponsoring research into school safety solutions and providing software grants to participating schools.

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AUSTIN, TX. — Today, Lightspeed Systems made another critical step toward school safety by announcing its sponsorship of the Safer Schools in America Impact Grant Program, an initiative jointly operated by Global Grid for Learning and the Tier 1 educational research institute McREL International. Through the program, eligible schools will receive $25 million of grants in education technology products and services — from Lightspeed Systems and other corporate sponsors — for the purpose of protecting students against school violence and self-harm.

As a provider of K-12 filtering, mobile device management and monitoring solutions for 20 years, Lightspeed Systems has helped tens of thousands of school customers intervene to prevent student harm, saving countless lives. By participating in Safer Schools in America, Lightspeed will not only grant essential software solutions to participating schools — creating a safer, more easily managed learning experience for students — the company will also contribute meaningfully to research supporting school safety.

Safer Schools in America will study the impact of sponsor products and services across 500 American schools in 250 school districts over the next three years. The results of this groundbreaking national research study will be published quarterly, starting in spring 2019.

“Lightspeed Systems is a major player in edtech with more than 28,000 school customers and a key partner in our expanding ecosystem; we are very pleased to count them as a sponsor of Safer Schools in America and hope that their commitment paves the way for other corporate sponsors,” said GG4L Founder and CEO Robert Iskander.

“We are proud to be a sponsor of this strategic initiative toward the improved safety of our schools and the lives of children,” said Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas. “By teaming up with GG4L and other corporations, we can help even more schools and save even more lives.”

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems, visit http://www.lightspeedsystems.com. To learn more about GG4L’s Safer Schools in America Impact Grant, visit http://gg4l.com/initiatives/safer-schools.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and more than 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Relay Classroom, Mobile Manager, and Web Filter. To learn more, visit http://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Global Grid for Learning (GG4L)
Embracing the belief that a nation’s education system directly impacts its future, GG4L is building innovative public and private partnerships mindfully structured to harness the power of data to solve big school challenges such as school safety, literacy, college and career readiness. With privacy and security top of mind, GG4L’s 3-way partnership, among schools, industry and philanthropy, actively champions continuous cycles of improvement informed by data. By facilitating affordable access to proven solutions and efficacy data, GG4L fuels rapid innovation in education. As a membership-based Public Benefit Corporation, GG4L is committed to voluntarily meeting higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency. To learn more, visit http://www.GG4L.com.

About McREL International
McREL International is a nonprofit research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world. Using a collaborative approach and research-based insights, McREL provides schools, districts, and other education organizations with high-quality research and evaluation, professional development and coaching, strategic planning, and assistance with improvement and innovation projects. To learn more, visit http://www.mcrel.org.


Harpeth Hall School Terminates Securly Filtering Partnership to Implement Lightspeed Systems Relay

December 19, 2018

New case study reveals how Lightspeed’s device filtering/monitoring solution helped one Tennessee school district recover its 1:1 after a failed attempt at filtering with Securly.

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NASHVILLE, TN. — The technology department leadership at Harpeth Hall School — a distinguished private school in Nashville, Tennessee — recently elected to terminate their Securly contract in favor of implementing Lightspeed Systems Relay, a multi-OS cloud filtering and monitoring solution released this year.

Harpeth Hall School Director of Technology Justin Dover shared why his Securly deployment failed, how Relay has helped the school’s 1:1 initiative, and other details in a new case study, “After ‘Disaster’ Securly Deployment, Relay Saves the Day With Hassle-Free Off-Site Filtering & Powerful Reporting.”

There are more devices in K-12 schools today than ever before, but IT departments need to maintain control of those devices to keep students safe and focused on learning. The cloud-based, multi-OS Relay eliminates the need for multiple systems to filter, monitor and manage school devices with features for granular user activity reporting; content filtering, including SSL sites, with flexible policies; real-time suspicious activity alerts; and geolocation for lost and stolen devices. And all these tools are available in a single, streamlined UI.

Harpeth Hall School implemented Relay last June to approximately 750 student Windows devices as well as about 150 staff devices. Thanks to Relay’s Smart Agents — Lightspeed’s proprietary, on-device filtering agents, which also decrypt SSL traffic — Harpeth Hall students get a safe online experience everywhere they take their devices.

“We implemented Relay on hundreds of student computers with no issues in three months. That is a massive win in my book!” Dover said. “Relay now provides excellent filtering and reporting, no matter if [devices are] on or off campus.”

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay. To read the case study, visit http://bit.ly/harpethhall.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and more than 28,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Relay Classroom, Mobile Manager, and Web Filter. To learn more, visit http://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lightspeed Systems Releases Admin Roles Feature to Relay and Mobile Manager

November 29, 2018

New feature in Lightspeed’s filtering and MDM solutions allows admins to delegate key responsibilities to staff while maintaining control of major functions and data

AUSTIN, TX.Lightspeed Systems, the leading provider of filtering and MDM solutions for K-12 schools, has released a crucial new feature for its Relay device filtering/monitoring solution and Mobile Manager mobile device management (MDM) solution. Admin Roles allows admins of the software solution to delegate granular management roles to other school staff members, allowing easy division of tasks and keeping sensitive student data secure.

In K-12 school environments, tech directors aren’t the only staff members involved with filter and MDM management. Other tech personnel, principals and even teachers can benefit from the ability to blacklist websites, share reports, and pull device location data. Admin Roles gives admins, aka district owners, the power to delegate specific administrative tasks to other team members without granting them full administrative access — saving admins’ time while ensuring management of devices and data remains centralized.

With Admin Roles in Relay and Mobile Manager, district owners can delegate any or all of the following admin abilities for schools and groups:
• Track location of lost devices
• View solution dashboard and reports
• Share activity reports
• View or modify users/groups
• View or modify student internet access policies: default, video, and after school
• View or modify URL whitelists and blacklists
• View or modify blocked search keywords
• Modify classroom rules
• Modify MDM rules (Mobile Manager only)

The cloud-based Relay eliminates the need for multiple systems to filter, monitor and manage all those devices with features for granular user activity reporting; content filtering, including social media and SSL sites, with flexible policies; real-time suspicious activity alerts; and geolocation for lost and stolen devices. And all these tools are available in a single, streamlined UI.

Also cloud-based, Mobile Manager is a device-agnostic MDM built exclusively for education. With support for 1:1 and BYOD, Mobile Manager was developed for K-12 education with hierarchal policies, allowing IT to easily assign roles and permissions to all levels of school personnel as well as students.

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay. To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Mobile Manager, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/products/mobile-manager.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Relay Classroom, Web Filter, and Mobile Manager. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.


Lamar County School District Chooses Lightspeed Systems Relay to Filter and Protect Student Chromebooks

November 13, 2018

Lightspeed’s cloud filtering and monitoring solution safeguards the district community from harmful content and alerts school staff of troubling student behavior.

PURVIS, MS. — Mississippi’s Lamar County School District has selected edtech company Lightspeed Systems to provide device filtering and monitoring services for the district’s 19 schools. Lightspeed Systems Relay has been implemented to protect and monitor more than 7,600 student Chromebooks across the district, blocking dangerous web content while also monitoring student activity to help district staff identify suspicious behavior and safety threats.

Lightspeed has filtered K-12 schools for almost 20 years and has provided content filtering services for Lamar County School District’s devices since 2013. By implementing Lightspeed Systems Relay, a multi-OS cloud filtering and monitoring software solution, the district will benefit from features such as:
• Flagged Terms — receive immediate alerts when students enter or browse suspicious and troubling terms/content, allowing staff to intervene or escalate
• Simple SSL filtering — filter SSL sites like Google and YouTube without having to use proxies, PAC files or certificates
• Parent Report Generator — upload a simple CSV file of parent email addresses to automate the delivery of student device activity reports to their parents’ inboxes
• Lockouts — lock students out of internet access if they attempt to access too many blocked sites in succession
• Smart Play — the game-changing YouTube management feature that allows students to access tens of millions of educational videos (and none of the bad stuff)

“Relay is a turning point in the way we protect our students from the dangers of the Internet,” Lamar County School District Director of Technology Ross Randall said. “With the deployment of Relay, I can now allow my students to access useful content that I would have otherwise blocked due to the inability to granularly filter out the bad. I am confident that my students are in a much safer environment, and with the ability to flag terms I feel we can offer data that can be used in behavioral interventions.”

“After working with the district for more than five years, we have seen how devoted Ross and the rest of the staff are to giving students an advanced, 20th-century learning experience,” Lightspeed Systems President and CEO Brian Thomas said. “By implementing Relay, the district is not only safe from inappropriate and malicious online content, it will also be able to help students who need intervention.”

To learn more about Lightspeed Systems Relay, visit www.lightspeedsystems.com/relay.

About Lightspeed Systems
Lightspeed Systems partners with schools to make learning safe, mobile and easily managed. Partnered with 6,500 districts in the United States and 25,000 schools around the world, Lightspeed Systems offers integrated solutions for smarter K-12 school networks: Relay, Web Filter, Mobile Manager, and Classroom. To learn more, visit https://www.lightspeedsystems.com.

About Lamar County School District
The mission of the Lamar County School’s Technology Department is to support and encourage the integration and successful application of educational technology into the areas of curriculum, instruction, and administration. Located in Lamar County, Mississippi, the district serves more than 10,700 students in 19 elementary, middle, and high schools across Baxterville, Purvis, Hattiesburg, Lumberton, and Sumrall. To learn more, visit https://www.lamarcountyschools.org.


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