Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Statewide education site aims to help parents

KRISTINA IODICE Updated: May 5, 2011 at 12:00 am

Colorado parents looking for expert advice, statewide school comparisons and other information have a new place to check out online.

EdNews Parent launched at ednewsparent.org in the fall, focusing on teaching and learning, healthy schools and safe schools. A two-year grant from the Colorado Health Foundation is funding the online publication and weekly email newsletter.

“The more education coverage out there, the better,” said Julie Poppen, EdNews Parent editor.

The website pulls stories from across the state, similar to what Pikes Peak Parent and pikespeakparent.com focuses on locally with plenty of opportunity for residents to share comments, stories and photos.

Poppen screens articles, resources and links before posting them to the site or newsletter. There’s an assortment of easily accessed information.

The sections on the three topics, healthy schools, teaching and learning, and safe schools, each have news stories and tips. There’s also a blog and newsletter archive.

It’s not just a collection of news stories from around the state, however. Parents and others can ask questions of a variety of experts who donate their time.

Some of those on board include Ann Cooper, the “Renegade Lunch Lady”; Julie Hammerstein, a family wellness expert and nutrition coach; and Laura Barr, school choice consultant. Also pitching in are a dental health expert, psychologist and psychiatrist, all with experience with children.

“They really care about the issues and they want to share their expertise,” Poppen said. “It’s definitely a labor of love.”

Some recent questions addressed on the site were about one mom’s concern about her seventh-grade daughter in an eighth-grade math class; skipping pages in CSAP, and how to increase a kid’s interest in organized sports.

Another tool on ednewsparent.org will find and compare details, such as performance and growth, about schools across Colorado.

EdNews Parent is tied to nonprofit Education News Colorado, a news service devoted to covering education policymaking and analysis of issues including school choice, accountability and education reform.

For now, there are no ads but the goal is to find ways to make the website self-supporting after the grant ends, Poppen said.

“There can’t be too much information to help you as a parent.”


Contact the writer at 636-0162.

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