The Daviess County Public Schools district is taking part in Family Engagement Week activities, with the goal to build awareness about the importance of positive relationships between schools and homes, and to support effective family and school partnerships in Kentucky.
A series of activities is scheduled from Monday-Friday, with schools given the option to promote the events they believe would be of greatest interest to their families. The experience was initiated by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
“Research shows family engagement is strongly associated with a more positive school climate, academic growth and socio-emotional well-being,” said DCPS federal programs coordinator Shelly Hammons said. “The focused activities for the week were established by the Prichard Committee; their guidance and support will provide unison across our district and the Commonwealth. The outcomes of this week’s engagement will serve as a springboard to more activities to be scheduled throughout the school year.”
Planned activities and participating schools are as follows:
- Monday: Family Amazing Race. Families will explore our community and participate in activities at home — Highland, Meadow Lands, Burns, and Sorgho elementary schools, Burns Middle School
- Tuesday: Student-Teacher Twin Day. Teachers will invite their students to dress up like them – Burns, Country Heights, East View, Highland, Meadow Lands elementary schools; Burns Middle School; Heritage Park High School
- Wednesday: Recipe Sharing and Cooking. Families will cook together – Audubon, Burns, Highland, Meadow Lands, Southern Oaks elementary schools, Burns Middle School, Heritage Park High School
- Thursday: Kid Teaches Parent(s) a Tik-Tok Dance. Burns, Highland, Meadow Lands, Whitesville elementary schools
- Friday: DCPS Families Rock. Schools will post videos of families, teachers and students dancing together – Burns, Highland, Meadow Lands, Whitesville elementary schools
Whitesville Elementary School principal Dr. Tricia Murphy said her school is celebrating a series of family engagement activities all month with a specific emphasis on family fun with fitness, dancing, reading, and cooking for this week’s events.
Michelle Ruckdeschel, principal at Heritage Park High School, said students and staff have been collecting “family favorite” recipes that are being compiled into a special Phoenix Family Cookbook. For every recipe submitted, the person’s name will be entered into a drawing for a free slow cooker to be given away at the end of the week.
Whitney Matthews, guidance counselor at Highland Elementary School, said her school is participating in all of the suggested activities as well as additional events, such as “gratitude challenges.”
“We are hosting themed days on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month to show our gratitude for teachers and our families,” Matthews said. “Our social-emotional learning for the month is centered around the different ways we can express gratitude and learning the art of contentment. We extend our gratitude learning into the weekend by challenging families to participate in a gratitude activity. ”
Larkin Gray, interventionist at Burns Elementary School, said they are excited to be on this “learning journey” to have parents, community and schools working together to prepare future leaders.
“Our school culture is welcoming and inviting for the diverse population at our school,” she said. “We are currently working on putting ideas in place on how to celebrate all ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures. Family Resource Center coordinator Laura Whitehouse and I are passionate about increasing the engagement of families at our school by working as a collaborative partnership. We want families to feel truly valued and respected. By doing so, we will increase academic success and reduce family barriers.”