Improved Durability For Photo Archive Stickers

Ideal for record folders and placement cards, Photo Archive Stickers come alphabetized by class for ease of use.  We’ve upgraded the adhesive material they are printed on, improving their color saturation and durability.

 If you another set of Photo Archive Stickers, please let us know.

Fairfax County Public Schools Switch From SASI To iSIS

Fairfax County, VA

Bryce is famous in our office for dressing in all black - everyday! Here is some of our staff on Halloween, "dressed like Bryce".

Fairfax County Public Schools are in the process of switching their administrative software to iSIS.  According to Fairfax County, the transition will occur in phases throughout this school year. 

For Bryce E., Splendid’s Digital Products Coordinator; that means making sure Fairfax County continues to receive their images and student data in the format they need.  Both the images and the data have to be compiled correctly or iSIS will not except uploads.

“Bryce:  I was able to run a quick test of your Image CD today.  The pictures load without issue.  We do have to do a more in depth review but we appreciate you being so proactive!”  – Marisue U. and Alan B., Information Technology, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

Thanks Marisue and Alan.  Don’t you wish everyday were picture day.

Conversation with Tim O’Brien, Our CS Manager

Splendid:  Tim, what was our average delivery time for product from Customer Service in September?

Tim:   With the new system in place, from the day it is sent to the lab to the day it is shipped out, the average is 3 days. Considering I run orders once a day, I think it is safe to say 4-5 days from order entry to ship.

Splendid:  What kind of questions are parents typically asking on the phone or by email?

Tim:   Our most common questions are about the Image Download.  They want to know more about how to use it. For example, they want to know if they can take it to places like Ritz, share it on Facebook and print it at home.

Splendid:   Well, can they?

Tim:   Yes, they own the copyright and can print it in high-resolution and share it with their friends and family.

Splendid:   Another popular question?

Tim:   I don’t want to bore you, but plenty of people ask; “Can I order pictures after picture day if I forgot to turn in an Order Envelope?”

Splendid:   We’re not bored.  Bonnie says that school secretaries ask that question all the time.  What do you say?

Tim:   Every child is photographed on picture day and any parent that did not order on picture day will receive a Second Chance Order Form, with a proof image, so they can order a package online.

Splendid:   That’s fantastic.  Do they get it?

Tim:   Yes, they get it!  They are relieved to know they can still order a package.  Sure they have to pay shipping after picture day, because the orders are delivered to their home, but they really love the idea that they can see the image and then decide to purchase a package on the web site.

Splendid:   Thanks Tim. 

If you have any questions for Tim, please feel free to contact him at TOBrien@SplendidPortraits.com.

 

 

FBI Child ID APP Helps iPhone Users Find Their Missing Children

The FBI has just released its very first mobile app, aimed at helping parents deal with their worst nightmare – a missing child. Known as Child ID, the application allows users to store their kid’s photos and identifying information directly on their smart phone, making it easier to provide authorities with vital data when an emergency occurs.

Parents can also use the tool to dial 911 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with the tap of a button, and can instantly email their child’s details to law enforcement officials too.

Of course, some may feel uncomfortable with keeping such personal information stored on a smart phone, but the Bureau insists that none of the data will be collected or shared without authorization – and they’re pretty good at keeping secrets.

For now, Child ID is available only for iPhone, though the FBI plans to expand it to other mobile devices in the near future. Interested users can download the App from iTunes.

IRS Allows For $250 Educator Expense Deduction

Teachers can deduct up to $250 for the costs of books, supplies, equipment and software used in the classroom, even if they don’t itemize.

 “The educator expense deduction allows teachers and other educators to deduct the cost of books, supplies, equipment and software used in the classroom. Eligible educators include those who work at least 900 hours during a school year as a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal or aide in a public or private elementary or secondary school.” –  IRS

For even more interesting reading, visit IRS.gov.

Picture Delivery in September Averaged 14 Days!

Splendid Portraits delivered finished portraits to client schools in an average of 14 days this September.  

“Some schools delivered a little faster and some a little slower, but on average we were at 14 days… and that includes weekends!” says Johanna Sawyers, Production Supervisor at Splendid Portraits.

Finished prints are delivered sorted by class or homeroom advisor, depending upon the school’s request.  Each classroom is delivered in a clear plastic handle bag for easy distribution.

“It’s kind of funny, but we get a lot requests for those plastic bags.  I guess people like to use them for other things,” says Johanna. 

Don’t you wish everyday were picture day.

 

 

The Jury Is Still Out On School iPad Deployments

By Christopher Dawson, ZDNet Education | October 3, 2011

A colleague recently sent me a link to a recent USA Today feature on an iPad initiative in the Zeeland Public Schools in Michigan.

A quick read of the story would have the average administrator or parent thinking that, not only are iPads the best things since sliced bread for students, but also wondering just how they can replicate the district’s expensive and ambitious program to equip virtually all students with iPads.

Read the full article on ZDNet Education

Extras Still Sought For Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” in Viriginia

Petersburg, VA

Extras are still being sought for Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which will be filmed in Richmond and Petersburg.

Casting director for extras Billy Dowd tells The Progress-Index the casting crew is looking for men at least 18 years old, no taller than 6 foot 1 and weighing no more than 200 pounds. African-American men are especially being sought to play Union soldiers.

Restaurant experience is a plus for extra roles as servants for White House scenes.

Read the full article

Picture Perfect Consistency – We Have a Secret …

Ever wonder how we crop and position each school portrait so they look exactly the same for your yearbooks? After all, we photograph hundreds of thousands of students and all of our images are consistent, not only from school to school, but also from year to year.

Well, here’s the secret… 

We employ 1000’s of Chinese villagers in the far-flung rural provinces of Northern China to carefully crop our images.  Just kidding. 

Actually, we use facial recognition software to identify the x and y coordinates of the subject’s eyes and then crop and position them identically for each image.  For example, parents receive images with the eyes exactly 32% from the top of the page. 

It’s amazing technology and it not only improves the quality of our images but also reduces the cost of producing those high quality images.

In addition, our software stores those x and y coordinates so we can crop them exactly how you need them.  For example, yearbook images are cropped a bit tighter than the portraits parents receive.

Also, when a parent orders a reprint, we’re able to print it exactly the same way we produced it on picture day. 

As for the 1000’s of Chinese villagers?  Sorry.  All of our products, labor, paper and chemicals are made in the USA.

Fairfax County Schools Switch To Digital Textbooks

Fairfax, VA

Hayfield Secondary School teacher Ken Halla is quick to point out what is missing from his classroom.

“Where’s the supply closet?” he asked. Where are the shelves upon shelves of five-pound textbooks?

But neither shelves nor closets are needed when your class has gone digital.

This year, classrooms across the county are doing just that as Fairfax County public schools formally make the shift from hardcover to digital textbooks.

At Hayfield, students arrive in class and pull netbooks out of a traveling cart available to teachers using online textbooks. The first lesson of the day for Halla’s Advanced Placement Government class is a citizenship test available online through the students’ textbooks.

Read the full article at The Washington Post

Lee County Schools Could Get $35 Million With Jobs Plan

Lee County, FL

Lee County schools stand to gain nearly $35 million for school improvements and technology upgrades as part of President Obama’s American Jobs Act, if it passes.

The district was 1 of 14 in Florida listed as a potential recipient of federal money.

While some with the school district say they would be glad to have the funding, they’re also staying cautious, as it’s just a proposal at this point.

See the full broadcast at WinkNews.com

The Secrets of a Principal Who Makes Things Work … By Michael Winerip

Published: September 25, 2011 in the New York Times

Jacqui Getz, the principal of Public School 126 in Chinatown, with Carlos Romero, an assistant principal.

One columnist’s idea of a good principal:

  • A good principal has been a teacher.
  • A good principal feels at home in a cafeteria filled with 800 children eating rubbery scrambled eggs for breakfast.
  • A good principal has her own style.
  • A good principal protects her teachers from the nonsense.
  • A good principal sets her own high standards.
  • A good principal works with union leaders to carry out her educational agenda, and if she can’t, takes them on.
  • A good principal knows teachers are only part of what make a school run.
  • A good principal takes money out of her pocket for the school.
  • A good principal loves and trusts the schools where she works.
  • A good principal worries in private, ignores the surreal and finds a way to get things done.
  • A good principal has a To Do list several feet long.
  • A good principal leads by example.

Read the full article at the New York Times

Three Cameras Need Lots of Room

Plenty of elementary and middle schools have enrollments large enough to require three cameras. 

We love the gym if we can get it because the larger space allows us to organize the classes and move the students in and out of the photography location easier. 

It helps us stay on schedule, reduce the noise and keep teachers happy.

Don’t you wish every day was school picture day!

 

 

Tomorrow is Picture Day Stickers Increase Parent Participation

 

In addition to bilingual Picture Order Envelopes, send home Tomorrow is Picture Day stickers to increase parent participation and reduce retakes.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyday were Picture Day?