Parent community council will try to spread awareness of Academy - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Parent community council will try to spread awareness of Academy @ Shawnee's success

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Parents, community leaders and school administrators will work together to showcase success at one local school.

The principal at the Academy @ Shawnee is in the process of forming a parent community council. The goal is not only to improve the school but also change the many negative perspectives.

"I was upset...Shawnee, really?" said Theresa Allen, Academy @ Shawnee Parent.

Allen believed all of the negative hype about the Academy @ Shawnee and was not happy about her sons going to school there.

"You're going to graduate and not be able to read," Allen said to her sons.

For years, the school had a negative reputation and is located in an area that has seen more than its share of crime, but times are changing and so is the Academy @ Shawnee.

"We're going to change the Starbucks conversation, we're going to change the conversation out in the grocery store," said Dr Houston Barber, Principal at the Academy @ Shawnee.

Doctor Barber is in his first full year as principal at Shawnee and he is on a mission.

He explained, "Our goal is to, you know, tell what is happening, the success story about The Academy @ Shawnee, look at the graduation rates as they rise."

Doctor Barber hopes to improve the school and spread the word by forming a parent community council.

"We anticipate to have 30 to 35 parents there, of all different backgrounds," said Barber.

The goal is to strengthen the ties between the neighborhood and school.

"This is an opportunity to get feedback about the needs of our community and about the needs of our parents so that we can act on those needs," said Barber.

Barber is also looking for community members to get involved and help spread the word about the positive things going on at Shawnee.

"It is retailing the story and rebranding the truth, and I think what people will find is that we have AP classes here now, we have band, we have, you can be a pilot, you can fly a plane, you can be an engineer, you can build, you can invent," said Barber.

That's part of what changed Theresa Allen's opinion.

She said, "It has all changed. He is advanced, so, they didn't offer that at first."

So instead of focusing on the past or the negative, Allen is one of the first to join the new parent community council.

"I was like, yeah, I have a lot of ideas...and I just love what he's doing," said Allen.

The first meeting will take place next Thursday and then once a month, or as needed.

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