2009-10-30 / School News

Bloomberg Introduces Enhanced 311 For Schools

Mayor Michael R. Bloom berg, De - puty May or for Education and Community Dev el opment Dennis M. Walcott and Chan cellor Joel I. Klein have launched an enhan ced 311 service for public school families which provides an easy-to-use resource for parents and guardians seeking answers about their children's education. Parent coordinators at each school will continue to be the first point of contact, but families can now select a new option on 311's main menu to reach an expert trained in responding to education related issues, including questions pertaining to enrollment, tran s portat - ion and admiss ions. In the past, families seeking information had to know which of several Depart ment of Educa - tion hotlines or offices could answer their particular question — there were distinct numbers for elementary school, middle school and high school enrollment, for example, and a transportation hotline. All of these questions can now be addressed by speciallytrained experts at 311.

"The City's 311 service has been a tremendous success, and now we're extending its reach to our public school families to make it easier for them to get answers about enrollment, busing and other issues that affect their children," said Bloomberg. "Since 2002, we've focused on providing families with the information they need to be full partners in their child's education — from placing a parent coordinator in every school to giving families online access to their child's attendance, grades and test scores. Adding this new service to 311 further ensures our families can stay well-informed and engaged in their children's education."

This enhanced 311 service fulfills the Mayor's promise in the 2009 State of the City address earlier this year to make it easier for parents and guar - dians to get information and find answers. Education experts dispensing information at the enhanced 311 have already handled nearly 60,000 calls during a four-month pilot of the new service, during which calls to Department of Education offices were routed to 311. In the past, many calls would have required families to leave messages and wait for return calls; some issues were not resolved for days or longer.

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