HOUSTON CO., Ga. (WGXA) -- Langston Road Elementary School in Perry had a very special visit from the State School Superintendent, Dr. Richard Woods, on Monday. His purpose for the visit was to present the school with the Military Flagship Award, which recognizes schools that have gone above and beyond to provide a supportive environment for military students and families and help them with those needs unique to military students and their families.
Langston Road was one of only 6 schools to receive the award in the whole state and Principal Dr. Kelly Rush says it means a lot. "We have several military students here, we have teachers who are military spouses and, so, it's extremely exciting for us to earn this award," she told WGXA. "We devote a lot of time to take care of our military kids, providing them with support, encouragement, resources that they might need, helping them transition to our school when their families move in."
She spoke of the importance of offering special help to these students and families, citing Perry as being a military town. "It's showing us that we're going above and beyond to help and support our military children and our military staff. We do everything we can because we do live near Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and it's very exciting for us to be able to help our children, our students, you know, and our teachers and other staff members in that way."
We also spoke with State School Superintendent, Dr. Richard Woods, who said, "That's a lot of work, a lot of dedication," of Langston Road Elementary's achievement.
"We're just trying to make sure our families feel welcome, that they're supported," he added. "Many of our families come back to Georgia once they retire and, so we wanna put our best foot forward."
The selected schools allow excused absences for a student during their parent’s departure or arrival day, and also allow enrollment with military orders, military ID, or shot records for 90 days until the family finds a home or lease. Online or phone registration for incoming military families are also allowed. Additionally, these schools have a military buddy system linking incoming military students with other military students during their first weeks of school.
In addition, Langston Road Elementary has a designated Military and Family Life Counselor, a professionally licensed counselor who specializes in providing support to military families and students. The counselor works closely with staff to support the needs of military children in things like coping with post-deployment issues, the challenges of changing schools, and more. When new students move to the area, the counselor also meets with the family to arrange a school visit and ensure a smooth transition for their student’s first day of school. In 2020, Langston Road established a Military Kids Club that serves as a connection for students whose families serve in all military branches. The club also plans events for military holidays and collaborated with the Georgia Vectr Center to donate items for Veterans Day.
Langston Road Elementary is one of only three Houston County schools to ever receive the award, which has only been given to 19 schools since its inception.