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Shiloh Middle wins customer service award

SNELLVILLE -- Four Georgia schools were selected as the 2013 winners of the Georgia Department of Education's Family-Friendly Partnership School Award. Among them: Shiloh Middle School in Snellville.

Principal Eli Welch III said school staff and students were all "extremely excited" to get the exclusive award.

According to a news release from the Georgia Department of Education, schools were selected because they represent the best in customer service for Georgia families, "whether it's on the phone, in 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."

Welch said that it's mostly a matter of recognizing the "value that parents bring to the table" at school.

Other attributes recognized in the Family-Friendly Partnership Awards included having easy-to-navigate websites, forging partnerships with parents to help improve student achievement and providing unique, engaging and innovating parent engagement programming.

State Superintendent John Barge plans to visit the local school and the three others around Georgia who won the award in the fall. Among the finalists for the award also were Shiloh High School and Snellville Middle School.

Before officials chose a winner, schools 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 said that schools that won the award "understand the importance of what welcoming environments bring to student success. Truly, they are models for the entire state on how to engage families and make parents feel welcome from the moment that they walk in the door."

For more information about the Family-Friendly Award, visit http://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/Pages/Georgia-Family-Friendly.aspx

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