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ADE Office of Information Technology launches new K-12 Division of Elementary and Secondary (DESE) website

The Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education: Office of Information Technology (OIT) is pleased to launch a new version of its website. It is anticipated that the new site, which was built internally by the department’s Office of Information Technology, will save the state $50,000 in its first year. 

In addition to a new look; the website features an enhanced search option, a new chatbot feature, and streamlined access that gives visitors the ability to access strategic information in as little as three clicks of the mouse.

“We are excited to offer stakeholders a more user-friendly website that saves taxpayers money at the same time,” ADE Secretary Johnny Key said. “When state government transformed in July 2019, we began looking for opportunities to streamline processes across divisions, improve services, and save money. Thanks to the ADE Office of Information Technology, which built this website internally, the financial savings will extend for years to come as maintenance on the site also will be handled internally.”

The new website is built using modern computer language .NET core that is simplified, offers additional website capabilities, and makes the site more user-friendly. The site incorporates a customizable search feature that gives the division flexibility to populate the search as new content is added to the site. 

The new chatbot feature, which can be accessed by clicking on the “Any questions?” link in the bottom right corner of the page, allows users to ask the automated system questions that will quickly search for answers primarily among Commissioner’s Memos and information about major projects. It is not intended to replace the search feature but enhances the user’s ability to access information quickly.

To access the new website, go to https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov.

ADE launches Statewide Community Resources Portal

The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to launch the Statewide Community Resources Portal, a website that connects schools and communities with much-needed information about available support services around the state.

As a result of COVID-19, many students and families were in need of essential support services, or “wrap-around” services, such as financial, healthcare, and housing assistance. While many organizations provide such services around the state, a comprehensive repository of information did not exist. 

This need for the website became evident after ADE launched the ENGAGE Arkansas initiative with the Education Renewal Zones and Graduation Alliance in an effort to locate and assist students who have become disengaged or are at risk of becoming disengaged with school. As the ERZs began locating community supports for students, it was quickly determined that a quick reference list of services for families did not exist. ADE and the ERZs then partnered with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to develop the portal.

 “We are excited to make this website available to everyone around the state,” ADE Secretary Johnny Key said. “While the site will assist schools with providing much-needed services to students, the potential for this website extends beyond schools to DHS and Workforce Services offices, as well as others, around the state who also provide wrap-around services to their clients.”

 The website, maintained by ADE Office of Information Technology (OIT) is updated weekly with new resources, currently contains more than 50 categories of services ranging from abuse services to daycare and transportation assistance. Community partners who are interested in adding their contact information to the site may complete the form provided at the “Statewide Supplemental Community Resources” link at the top of the website.

To access the portal, go to https://adedata.arkansas.gov/scr.

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