When I began my role as the Youth Services Center Coordinator at Pulaski County High School in July of 2021, I was not aware of the Family Friendly Schools certification, as the previous principal and youth services center coordinator had begun the process in the Spring of 2021. So, you can imagine being new to this role, with a brand-new environment and having this certification process tasked to me, I was overwhelmed. However, once I became aware of the mission and goals of this partnership, and had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people, I realized that it was something worth investing in.
Our principal, guidance staff, some teachers and some parents created a Family Engagement Team in 2021 to work together and complete the certification. Our family engagement team worked very hard on this certification process, and I am so appreciative of the effort and time that they put into this. We also attended meetings via ZOOM with other school districts in surrounding areas and the Partners for Rural Impact to get ideas and support.
By completing this process, our team learned that we really do have some great programs that are already set in place at Pulaski County High School. Some programs that we have are English as a second language (ESL) services, Parents as Teachers, Catch Up Pulaski – which assists students in catching up on their missing assignments – offered during their lunch period, after-school tutoring and more.
It makes me proud to be a part of such a wonderful school and environment. We also discovered new ways to improve our current programs as well as discovered new ideas to incorporate for the future.
By completing this certification process, it has really helped to motivate our school to keep up with these efforts. We will continue to strive towards making our school a place for students and their families to grow and become successful through engaging and supporting them along the way.
Annie Wheeldon is a Youth Services Center Coordinator at Pulaski County High School. Pulaski High School was awarded the Family Friendly certification in 2022.