• Published May 10, 2023

    Williamson County Schools is piloting a new program that's designed to help families prepare for life after high school.

    It's called Parent Academy, and it was put into place at Franklin High School this spring. WCS College Readiness Specialist Stephen Womack created the program with the goal of assisting families through what can often be a difficult and confusing time.

    "As the parent of a senior, I thought having the opportunity to gather with other parents who are on a similar path could be helpful," said Womack. "These meetings give parents a chance to explore the challenges and opportunities their family will face as their child prepares for their next steps after high school."

    Starting March 30, parents gathered for weekly, hour-long sessions in the Franklin High library. Some of the topics included scholarship opportunities, admission essays and soft skills that are necessary for college.

    FHS parent Joanie Bowles is preparing to send her third child to college and says she found the program to be very helpful.

    "Going into it, I thought I knew what I needed to know," said Bowles. "But there is so much more going on beneath the surface. I wish I had this class for my other two children."

    Another parent, Joanne Johansen, is new to the United States and said she had no point of reference for college in a new country.

    "After attending Parent Academy, I now know where to start," said Johansen. "The resources and links that have been provided are invaluable."

    Following the success of the initial program, Womack says he plans to continue developing Parent Academy with the goal of expanding to multiple schools next year.