Online tool about schools now available

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A tool is now available online that allows you to get an inside look in your schools.

The Arkansas Department of Education created the website as a resource.

Members of the Council of Chief State School Officers out of Washington set up stations for focus groups at the Jonesboro Public School's Administration Building.

Bryant Best, a program associate with the Council of Chief State School Officers, said they were working to gather information from people.

"The Arkansas Department of Education has worked extremely hard to create an online resource," Best said. "A website that people from district and local communities can use to find out what exactly is going on in their schools. And we've already created the website, but there is a step beyond that. It's giving folks an opportunity to use it. To see what's useful, what's not so useful and how we can retool and redesign the website so it can be more useful to people in their local community."

Best said it's important for everyone to not only gather feedback but work together.

"CCSSO is out here supporting the Arkansas Department of Education because we both believe state quarter engagement is very important. There are a lot of initiatives that are passed or implemented, but if they don't have the support or the input from parents and local community members, they'll fall flat. So, we definitely want to make sure we are working with folks at the district and local level to support all students."

Best said this information would prove helpful in showing them what all is working with the site and what isn't.

"CCSSO is supporting the Arkansas Department of Education," Best said. "We're getting feedback from district and community folks, particularly here in the Jonesboro School District. The Arkansas Department of Education has a tool resource online where parents, teachers and local community leaders can look into that system and figure out what's going on with their schools, what are some of the successes that they're having and any challenges. Just finding a way to be more transparent about some of the work that's going on in terms of education here."

Best said Thursday was their third and last day to be gathering information in the Jonesboro School District.

For more information about these focus groups or the site, contact your local educational co-op.

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