Information posted for parents

The Kentucky Department of Education has launched a Web site to help parents find information about the state's education system.

The department's For Parents page (www.kde.state.ky.us/parents) enables parents to question education leaders directly. They can also subscribe to departmental e-mail alerts and news releases and receive information about testing activities and the state's education policies and procedures.

"The site is a huge change for grass-roots access to information," said Susan Perkins Weston, executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Councils. Previously, paper copies of some reports or other information were available only in limited quantities.

The site has an "About Your School" link where parents can find annual school report cards, standardized test scores, demographic information and homework resources.

"In the past, we've spent a whole lot of valuable time telling people where to go to get the information they were looking for, but all of that's over now," Weston said. "This drastically changes and simplifies the overall dynamics for the better."

Weston said there are plans to fine-tune the language of the site to eliminate education jargon parents may not understand.

Armando Arrastia, the department's Webmaster, said even though the site serves as a bridge between teachers and parents, the department still advocates face-to-face contact.

"We think that this is but one tool that encourages parents to get more informed about their child's education, and the more informed they are, the more likely they are to come in and ask questions," Arrastia said.

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