Press Release
5 min read

Twenty-Nine Kentucky Schools and Early Care Centers Awarded Family Friendly Schools Certification

Twenty-Nine Kentucky Schools and Early Care Centers Awarded Family Friendly Schools Certification
Written by
The Prichard Committee
Published on
May 28, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky -- The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has awarded 29 Kentucky schools and early care centers with a Family Friendly Schools Certification this spring.  "Schools that earn this certification have demonstrated their commitment to proactively engaging families in their student’s education," said Brigitte Blom, president and CEO of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “These schools have been innovative and energetic in their efforts to make families a valued part of their school’s team, which enriches the learning experience for students. We’re excited they’ve chosen to pursue this certification to demonstrate their dedication to their students and community.”  

The schools have worked to foster more effective partnerships with families and the broader community. As part of the certification process, a multidisciplinary team consisting of families, teachers, and administrators used a self-assessment tool to evaluate the school's family engagement performance. This team evaluated the school's practices, identified key areas for improvement, and integrated new practices designed to elevate its family-friendly rating.  

The Family Friendly Schools Certification is awarded by the Prichard Committee after applications are reviewed and scored by a working group of families, educators and community organizations. The group is focused on increasing open communication, learning opportunities and shared decision-making power across the Kentucky education system.  

“Schools and early care centers who apply for Family Friendly Schools Certification gain a deeper understanding about the importance of family-school partnerships, examine core beliefs about family-school partnerships and apply concrete strategies for increasing family engagement in their school,” said Blom.  

The Kentucky Department of Education includes the Family Friendly Schools Certification in its school report card as evidence of effective family engagement.  

“The Family Friendly Schools Certification highlights the exceptional work being done across Kentucky to build strong, collaborative relationships between schools and families,” said Clay Ford, Prichard Committee Board Chair.

For more details on the Family Friendly Schools Certification, visit prichardcommittee.org/familyengagement.  

2024 Spring Family Friendly Schools Certification Awardees

  1. Reidland Elementary School*
  1. North Washington Elementary Early Childhood Center*
  1. North Washington Elementary and Middle School*
  1. Washington County Elementary Early Childhood Center*
  1. Washington County Elementary School*
  1. Washington County High School*
  1. Washington County Middle School*
  1. Floyd County Early Childhood Center
  1. Breckinridge Elementary School  
  1. Campbell Ridge Elementary School  
  1. Clearfield Elementary School  
  1. Crossroads Elementary School  
  1. Donald E. Cline Elementary  
  1. East Bernstadt Independent  
  1. Eastside Child Development Center
  1. Grant’s Lick Elementary School
  1. Greysbranch Elementary School
  1. John W. Reiley Elementary School
  1. Lansdowne Elementary School
  1. Murray Elementary School
  1. NKCAC (Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission) Head Start—Alexandria Center
  1. NKCAC Head Start—Elsmere Center
  1. NKCAC Head Start—Falmouth Center
  1. NKCAC Head Start—Newport Center
  1. NKCAC Head Start—Boone County Center
  1. Picadome Elementary School
  1. Tygart Creek Elementary School
  1. Wurtland Middle School
  1. Yates Elementary School

* Denotes Gold Certification

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Education experts, Kentucky Legislature discuss expanding access to advanced coursework
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Education experts, Kentucky Legislature discuss expanding access to advanced coursework

Brigitte Blom, Anthony Mires, and Dr. Julia Roberts testified to the Interim Joint Committee on Education

Increasing the reach of advanced coursework work will help close achievement gaps

LEXINGTON, Ky -- Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence President & CEO Brigitte Blom, AdvanceKentucky Executive Director Anthony Mires, and Executive Director of the Western Kentucky University Center for Gifted Studies Dr. Julia Roberts testified to the Interim Joint Committee on Education today about increasing access to advanced coursework for Kentucky students.  

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Students who do not qualify for automatic enrollment can still enroll in advanced coursework if they choose to do so.  

Between 2018 and 2022, the number of Kentucky students enrolled in AP courses declined across all student groups.  

“Often, parents and students don’t understand the value proposition these courses offer,” said Mires. “We have to take a more active approach to go out and find these students, especially when we look at this broad middle group of students who could be participating in these classes but are not.”

Disparities persist in which students participate in both AP and Dual Credit programs. In the 2021-22 school year, districts with high percentages - 75% or more - of students from low-income backgrounds had only 5% of students enrolled in AP courses. Districts with less than 50% of students from low-income backgrounds experienced a significantly smaller decline in AP enrollment.

“Kentucky has many students ready to learn at advanced levels,” said Roberts. “Many of them have few, if any, opportunities in their schools to learn at advanced levels. All students are not ready to learn on the same level. Some need advanced coursework to stay motivated and reach their potential.”

Other solutions presented to expand access to advanced coursework courses included:

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For more information on advanced coursework, visit https://www.prichardcommittee.org/toolkits.

Owensboro Honored as The Prichard Committee's 2024 Groundswell Community Action Awardee
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“Owensboro exemplifies what can happen when community members join together to use local assets to meet local needs, without waiting on state or federal intervention,” said Prichard Committee President Brigitte Blom. “This award recognizes the power of building a groundswell of community support for enacting meaningful change in our own backyards.”

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The Summit featured a panel highlighting Owensboro’s local work entitled Owensboro's Can-Do Spirit: A Committed Local Coalition's Efforts to Elevate Early Care and Education. The panelists were part of the Greater Owensboro Partnership for Early Development (GOPED), a coalition of local citizens who mobilized the community to increase access to and quality of early care and education in the city.

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“The Groundswell Summit is an opportunity for education champions from all corners of Kentucky to come together to share what they are doing in their own communities to enhance education outcomes,” said Blom. “Owensboro was the ideal setting to find inspiration.”

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Hear the stories of how education is building a path to a larger life for Kentuckians.

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