School bells ring in mid-August throughout Northern Kentucky as thousands of children — from preschool to 12th grade — return to class.

Options range from large public schools to smaller, faith-based academies. (A list follows.) But the goal across the board is the same — to prepare students for success in college and jobs.

The Kentucky State Department of Education, pledging Unbridled Learning (College/Career Readiness for All), offers parents extensive information on schools, instructional resources and state assessments. At www.education.ky.gov, the department details the work of the department, reports on districts and individual schools, and comprehensive best-practice guides for home schooling.

Dramatic changes in student assessments began last year in Kentucky classrooms and includes student achievement growth measures, emphasis on college and career readiness, high school graduation rates, student achievement in writing and social studies, and increased focus on the lowest-performing schools, according to the department of education.

Additionally, it holds all schools and districts accountable for improving student
performance.