Concord East Side earns sixth Family Friendly Schools designation

Concord East Side earns sixth Family Friendly Schools designation

For the sixth consecutive year, Concord East Side Elementary has been granted the prestigious Family Friendly Schools designation by the Indiana Department of Education. 

The program recognizes and honors schools that welcome all families into the school community, communicate effectively, support student success, speak up for every child, share power and collaborate with the community.

Concord East Side Elementary is one of only three schools in the state to have received the honor each year since the program’s inception. The other two schools are Christ the King School (Archdiocese of Indianapolis) and Jonas A. Salk Elementary School (Merrillville Community School Corporation).

Concord East Side Principal Shad Hartsough said he and his staff are honored to be recognized by the state again this year, and credits the efforts of parents, teachers, and the greater Concord community for supporting the school’s mission to promote a family-friendly atmosphere. 

“From teachers to parents, and support staff to our community, everyone plays an integral role in building the foundation of learning for children. It’s important for home and school to work together in order to give our students the best opportunities available to support their success in life,” he said. “Making these connections is an important step in doing just that.”

Throughout the year, school staff host events designed to bring families to the school to interact with staff by participating in crafts, science experiments or a movie night. 

Students also participate in philanthropic efforts, partnering with organizations such as Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which provides beds for children in the community and the American Cancer Society, Hartsough explained.

“Through these partnerships, students learn that they can play an important role in contributing to their community and supporting those efforts. In addition, it’s important to know how we can help support our community with what we’re doing, and in turn, to have our community support our school.”

Hoosier schools designated as “Family Friendly Schools” address the academic, physical, emotional and social needs of their students while providing needed resources and fostering the active involvement of families both in school and in the community, according to the Indiana Department of Education. The Family and Community Engagement initiative was launched in January 2015 by former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. 

Concord East Side Elementary was one of 34 schools in the state to be named a 2020-2021 Family Friendly School. A full list can be found by clicking here.

Concord East Side staff have developed partnerships with Dunlap Lion’s Club, Bethel University, Faith United Methodist Church, ETHOS Science Center, NIPSCO, the National Weather Service and local emergency responders. 

Concord East Side Elementary School students and staff, joined by parents and members of the community, participated in a balloon launch on May 10, 2019 at the school. The project was supported by donations from the community.
Nathan Geise, a sixth-grade science teacher at Concord Intermediate School, conducts a science experiment with Concord East Side Elementary School families during Science Night on November 7, 2019. Science Night is one of several family focused events held at the school throughout the year.

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