Today, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) unveiled a first-of-its-kind digital tool to help parents access useful, easy-to-understand information about schools across Atlanta. The website, APSInsights.org, includes color-coded school profiles, an enrollment and performance map, data explorer tools, and a blog with information about how to best utilize the tool.
Parents can learn how their school compares to the district and state on multiple student achievement indicators and find information about school climate and demographics. Potential APS parents can also learn about their zoned school and APS school options such as administrative transfer and charter schools.
“We know that family engagement is essential to help students perform at their highest levels. In developing our new family engagement plan, we learned that parents want more, easily accessible information about our schools,” said Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen, Superintendent. “Our goal is that APS Insights will provide families with the answers they want about school performance, continue to increase our level of transparency and promote more family engagement.”
This grant is part of a broader effort to better engage parents detailed in the APS Turnaround Strategy. Stakeholders provided feedback about the need for more real-time, clear information about school quality through engagement circles, focus groups, interviews and surveys. Similarly, APS Insights was tested with APS parents, school leaders, and local community groups.
After previewing APS Insights, APS parent and Mary Lin Elementary Go Team chair Colin Heydt said, “I benefit enormously from the data visualization provided by APS. Most importantly, this new website doesn’t just provide facts and figures, it helps me contextualize the information and better understand its significance.”
The Walton Family Foundation invested $2.1 million to support APS’ Turnaround Strategy and the development of APS Insights. Foundation resources are also supporting the ongoing creation of data dashboards for teachers, and a parent dashboard portal that will be released in the summer of 2018.