Harlan Independent Schools achieve Family Friendly status

Published 1:32 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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The Prichard Committee’s Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools has designated Harlan Independent Schools’ Elementary School and Middle School/High School with Gold Family Friendly Certifications.

The Prichard Committee’s website states the organization has endeavored since 1983 to study priority issues, advise policymakers and the public, and mobilize business leaders, families and students to place Kentucky in the top tier of states for education excellence and equity for all children.

According to a news release, the designation is awarded in recognition of the commitment the schools have shown in joining with families to improve student outcomes. The designation has been awarded to only five other schools across the state.

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“Schools that attain this certification are pledging to actively engage families as crucial participants in their children’s education,” said Brigitte Blom, president and CEO of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “Harlan Elementary and Harlan Middle/High schools exemplify this commitment, having consistently worked to incorporate family engagement practices. We’re thrilled to recognize this exemplary level of achievement by both schools to the growing number of schools making this commitment.”

The Harlan Independent School District has worked to create better partnerships with the community and student’s families. The certification process included a team of teachers, administrators and families utilizing self-assessment tools designed to evaluate family engagement at the schools. School practices were evaluated, areas for improvement were identified and new procedures were put into practice to elevate the schools’ family friendly rating, states the release.

“I am very proud that both of our schools have committed to achieving Family Friendly Certification from the Prichard Committee’s Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools,” Superintendent C.D. Morton said. “The fact that there are only a handful of other schools in Kentucky with the Gold Status signifies our commitment to excellence in all aspects of the school experience.”

Morton noted the certification shines a positive light on the school’s staff and students.

“Receiving this certification is a testament to the unwavering dedication of our schools’ staff, educators, and families,” said Morton. “It showcases their collective commitment to fostering a nurturing, inclusive, and engaging learning environment that places the utmost importance on family participation in our student’s educational journeys.”

For more information, go to www.prichardcommittee.org/familyengagement.