Britt Elementary wins state 'customer service' award

SNELLVILLE -- Principal Doris Jones believes that parents are a student's first teachers. The lessons that children learn before arriving for their first day of school are essential. That's why she understands the importance of forging partnerships between parents, children and teachers at W.C. Britt Elementary in Snellville.

There are some out there who think Jones has done a fine job accomplishing that.

The Georgia Department of Education recently selected three schools statewide as inaugural winners of the agency's Family-Friendly Partnership School Award. Among those chosen: W.C. Britt Elementary.

According to a news release from the Georgia Department of Education, the schools were selected "because they represent the best in customer service for Georgia families, whether it's on the phone, at the front office or on the Internet. The schools have welcoming staff members, comfortable waiting areas, clear signage and engaging student work throughout the building."

State Superintendent John Barge said that schools like Britt Elementary "are models for the entire state on how to engage families and make parents feel welcome from the moment they walk in the door. We must find more ways to get parents involved in the education of their children, whether it's online or in person."

The other schools selected for the award include Morningside Elementary and Miller Elementary, both in Houston County.

Each school being considered for the award received phone calls and visits from "parents" looking for information or assistance. They also received a walk-through by department staff, which conducted interviews with school workers, parents, students and community members as part of the selection process.

Barge will visit Britt Elementary in November and present Jones and school staff with a plaque and a welcome mat for their front doors.

Jones said that, from her point of view, "it's absolutely important that the students come to school ready to learn and that their parents are supportive. Parents begin teaching before students ever arrive. Their work at home to help and encourage their children makes for a happy child that's ready to learn."