2009-06-05 / School News

Online System Allows Parents To Track Children's Learning

Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today introduced the Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS) Parent Link, a new online tool to help families follow their children's academic progress and collaborate with teachers to address their children's academic strengths and weaknesses. Families will be able to use Parent Link at home and in conferences with teachers to view detailed information about their children - including information about attendance, course grades, and scores on state tests and diagnostic assessments. Parent Link will also allow parents to find out how their children's school compares to other schools serving similar groups of students. During the next several weeks, schools will distribute instructions to families about how to access Parent Link. The Chancellor was joined by Principal Ann Gordon-Chang at PS 85 in Astoria, one of the schools that piloted Parent Link earlier this year.

"Parent Link helps make parents essential partners in their children's education. We can now give more information than ever before to families, allowing them to learn how their children are doing in school, work with teachers in helping their children learn, and hold all of us, myself included, accountable for results," Chancellor Klein said. "We are setting the standard nationally in New York City in providing detailed information to all our families wherever they have access to the Internet. I hope that parents come to expect and demand this important information from us."

Families will be able to view Parent Link from any computer with Internet access. The system provides families with the same information about their children that their children's teachers have. It also provides families with reports about how their school compares to other schools that serve similar student populations. This information will help families work with teachers to address their children's academic strengths and weaknesses, learn how they can help their schools improve, and make choices among schools. Parent Link is available in nine languages.

Schools will distribute unique and secure login information and instructions to families during the next several weeks. When they log on, families will be able to access a tutorial that guides them through the information in Parent Link, teaches them how to use it to help their children improve academically, and provides links to resources parents can use to work with their children at home. This tutorial was designed in collaboration with parents who piloted the system earlier this year.

The information about each child that is available in Parent Link includes the following:

Biographical data, including date of birth, current grade, gender, and ethnicity, Special education status, English Language Learner status, Attendance data for the current year and the previous three years, and specific "absent" and "tardy" dates, Course grades for the current year, Enrollment history, Scores for the past three years, when available, on the State English Language Arts, math, science, and social studies exams (grades 3-8), Scores on State Regents exams (grades 8-12), Scores on recent no-stakes periodic assessments in English Language Arts and math, Credits accumulated and progress toward graduation (for high school students).

Families at three schools participated in a pilot of Parent Link that began in November. In addition, about 300 families used a preliminary version of Parent Link earlier this year at feedback sessions in every borough.

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