Contract is ‘game changer’ for Roanoke company

If schools in Virginia didn’t know Interactive Achievement’s name before, they may soon.

The Roanoke-based firm is one of two companies that landed a contract from the Virginia Department of Education (DOE) to offer software to school divisions in the commonwealth (the other company is White Plains, N.Y.-based eScholar LLC).

“It’s a game changer,” John Hagmaier, Interactive Achievement’s CEO says about the contract, which is worth $3 million per year for up to five years. “It’s our job to get districts to buy into that contract, of which we’ve done pretty well of that already.”

Interactive Achievement’s onTRAC software has two parts. The assessment management system allows teachers to build their own tests and gauge their effectiveness. The longitudinal data system — for which Interactive Achievement won the DOE contract — lets schools track a student’s progress over time by looking at information such as end of year scores, grades, attendance and discipline records. The system also identifies students who are not progressing accordingly.

Before getting the DOE contract, 120 of the commonwealth’s 132 school divisions were using onTRAC’s assessment management system. Forty of those 120 school divisions also were using both the longitudinal and assessment management systems. Hagmaier hopes all the school divisions in the commonwealth will use some form of the software by the end of the year.

Hagmaier, a former teacher and assistant principal, started Interactive Achievement in 2007 with his wife, Mary, and two other business partners. The company now employs more than 90 full-time workers. About 18 employees have been added because of the contract and up to 10 more workers should come online next year.

Although Interactive Achievement is glad to be growing in Virginia, it’s expanding beyond the commonwealth, too. OnTRAC is being used in 12 states and next spring, the company plans to start selling its software in the United Kingdom. It has opened an office in London after working with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Leaders In Export Trade (VALET) program, which helps Virginia-based companies expand abroad.

“The VALET program from the VEDP was a big factor in helping us get over into the UK,” Hagmaier says.

(story from Virginia Business –