Catoosa County public schools start back to class on Aug. 12. Parents, grandparents, students, teachers and others will be happy with the new design of system’s website.

The crisp, clean look, the larger print, clearly labeled links and many other features make it a big improvement over the old site.

It’s not only the main site that has been updated — so have the sites of all individual schools in the system.

Here are some things visitors to the main CCPS site can expect to find.

♦ A navigation bar near the top of the page has drop-down menus that will take a visitor just about any place they wish to go on the site, but the home page has quick links to some of the highest-demand pages.

♦ The “Parent Quick Links” feature on the home page provides moms, dads and guardians with an easy-find way to get where they need to go. There are nine links in the box: calendar, transportation, cafeteria, A+ Parent Portal, enroll, school supplies lists, text messages, handbook, and safe schools.

♦ There are also nine items in a “Featured Links” box: superintendent’s office, contact us, our schools (a simple list of each school and its address and contact info, but no links), strategic plan, employment, infinite campus, employee email, employee self-service, and transcript requests (a busy link, according to CCPS communications specialist Marissa Brower).

♦ Under “School Supply Lists,” parents will find back-to-school lists for every school and for many individual grades and classrooms. There are 62 pages of lists, so keep looking until you find the school(s) you need.

♦ Parents may wish to set aside a few hours to peruse the cafeteria link. No more the days of handing your child 50 cents each morning to buy lunch at school. Children can still bring their own lunches (remember PB&J, two cookies and an apple?), but that is no longer the norm. Many children also eat breakfast at their school.

♦ The cafeteria link offers menus worthy of kiddie restaurants, prices, a payment center, nutrition information, tips on good nutrition and exercise, applications for free and reduced meals and information about summer meal sites in the county, among other things.

♦ If you’re new to the area, you can find out what schools your children are zoned for, how those schools are rated by the Georgia Department of Education and how to enroll your children (in person or electronically).

The list of things the website covers is long indeed. Almost anything that concerns a parent can be found on the site with a minimal amount of searching. A few other areas of the site include: gifted education, special education, disciplinary issues, help for homeless and needy families, information about technology and transportation, staff, school programs and partnerships, policy and a whole, whole lot more.

A thought: a good idea might be to take a tour of the site before you’re desperate for a particular piece of information. Become familiar with it when you’re relaxed and it will be easier to use when you need it in a hurry.

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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