Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) embraces families as vital partners in the effective, well-rounded education of our students. One of the district’s priorities is to improve our system of support for engaging parents and caregivers and the community as we strive to enhance schools and student success.
At the state level, the Prichard Committee’s Kentucky Collaborative for Families and Schools salutes outstanding efforts with a Family Friendly Schools designation, and we are excited that Lafayette High School is the first in Fayette County to receive this certification.
The process of completing the application was an eye-opener. It allowed me as an administrator and Lafayette as a community to take a deeper dive into truly identifying how we engage families. In a key move, we created a diverse team made up of families, community members, teachers, support staff and myself as the administrative lead. We used a self-assessment tool to evaluate what Lafayette was doing well and where there was room to improve relationships with families. Then our team implemented new practices to improve our school’s Family Friendly score.
Family engagement is something that has always been and will continue to be embedded in our school culture, with the goal of informing and empowering our students and families. Therefore, our work was not getting the initiative off the ground but rather finding new and more effective ways to engage our families. Over the past couple years, we’ve had to rethink the way we view and conduct our opportunities for family engagement to meet their needs. Engaged families is one of our biggest assets, so it’s important that we create avenues of communication.
I try to ensure our school remains flexible and proactive. As conditions for community engagement evolve, so will we – finding new and improved ways to meet the needs of our students.
Tommy Johnson is the assistant principal at Lafayette High School.