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Power Pact preps students for success

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Column by Gary French, superintendent

By GARY FRENCH

Spring in Kentucky brings the promise of March Madness, junior ACT assessments and Elizabethtown High School’s Power Pact.

Power Pact, an educational partnership, was formed in 2001 between Elizabethtown High School and Kentucky Utilities as an initiative of the Gear Up (Gaining Early Awareness and College Readiness) grant administered through Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

The term “power pact” represents a pact or promise between students, parents and educators to promote the student’s best interest while closely tracking and monitoring the student’s academic progress and aligning high school classes to meet the student’s post-secondary education and career goals.

This process takes place during an annual power pact meeting, traditionally the first Friday in March and sponsored by business and education partner, Kentucky Utilities.

Power Pact has proven most effective in getting parents and the community involved in the educational process of students. This collaborative event has only one goal in mind, to prepare our students for academic and career success.

Attendance at the first Power Pact in 2001 resulted in 98 percent of all parents and students attending scheduled appointment times to discuss their child’s education plans. Now, 13 years later, attendance has remained consistent, ranging from 87 to 93 percent annually. Even with the inclement weather often experienced, parents make every effort to sit down face to face with a Power Pact teacher/advisor to discuss their child’s future.

The business and community support of Power Pact in our school district has been overwhelming and continues to expand annually thanks to the work of Kentucky Utilities in hosting the KU Community and Educational Resource Fair located in the commons area of Elizabethtown High School. Numerous business, community, college and military representatives are available to meet with students and parents to answer education and career questions.

In addition, representatives from Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) are available to provide guidance on financial aid and KEYS scholarships.

An extra highlight, WQXE’s Greg and Hollie Show hosts an annual remote broadcast during the resource fair, chatting live with parents and community attendees during the event.

The EHS Student Council also is present to welcome all incoming freshmen and parents by acclimating them to the school environment through guided campus tours.

Parents are encouraged to attend informational sessions explaining the value and benefits of the Individual Learning Plan that all sixth- through 12th-grade students enrolled in Kentucky public schools must complete annually. The Family Resource and Youth Services Center, school administrators and counselors also are available to meet parents and students.

EHS Principal Steve Smallwood said it best: “We are very fortunate to have Kentucky Utilities sponsor our Power Pact program. This partnership gives our students the advantage when it comes to preparing them for career and college readiness. It creates a culture that supports our students and equips them with needed focus on high school academics in addition to college and career opportunities after high school graduation.”

ElizabethtownHigh Schooland Kentucky Utilities staffs are hurriedly making plans for Power Pact 2013 on March 1. Parents of 2013-2014 ninth- through 12th-grade high school students will be receiving postcards with their appointment time in the next few days.

Please contact Bonnie Young at EHS if you would like more information about Power Pact.

Gary French is superintendent for Elizabethtown Independent Schools.