Harlan Elementary certified Family Friendly

Published 10:42 am Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools and the Kentucky Department of Education recently certified Harlan Elementary School as one of 15 Family Friendly schools in the state.

According to a press release, the certification is awarded by a group including educators, families, and community organizations of the Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools. The organization focuses on learning opportunities, increasing open communication, and shared decision-making power across the Kentucky education system. The Kentucky Department of Education tracks the number of certified family-friendly schools as a reference point for improving Family and community engagement in schools.

Harlan Elementary School Principal Tara Posey gave her thoughts about the certification.

“We are so excited to be named as one of the first fifteen Family Friendly Certified schools,” Posey said. “We have an amazing community, PTO, and staff that work together to do what is best for students, and I hope our families always feel welcome, heard, and supported at Harlan Elementary,”

Harlan City Schools Superintendent C.D. Morton explained Harlan Elementary has been working on improving partnerships with community partners and families. Harlan Elementary developed a group that included families, teachers, and Posey. The team evaluated what areas in Harlan Elementary could improve communication with students’ families. Then, new processes were implemented to enhance the school’s family-friendly rating.

“Strong family partnerships help drive student success to new heights,” Morton said. “It is impossible to quantify the value of these partnerships. It is an exciting time at Harlan Elementary as the faculty and staff continue to grow our strong student-first culture that results in high student achievement. This is just another example of our schools leading the way at the highest level in the areas that matter the most.”

The Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools is connected to The Prichard Committee. The Prichard Committee began activities in 1983, according to the group’s website at www.prichardcommittee.org.

“The Prichard Committee has worked to study priority issues, inform the public and policymakers about best practices and mobilize citizens, business leaders, families, students, and other stakeholders in a shared mission to move Kentucky to the top tier of all states for education excellence and equity for all children, from their earliest years through postsecondary education,” states the website. 

Brigitte Bloom, President and CEO of The Prichard Committee, stated to achieve Family Friendly status, schools have to regard families as equal partners in the student’s education.

“Harlan Elementary is a bright spot in the Commonwealth,” Bloom said, “It has built the capacity of school leadership to understand and implement more effective family engagement best practices.”