Summer is finally here, and it’s a great time to be a kid. As a parent of a fifth-grader and a third-grader, I am excited about the memories they’ll make this summer, and I’m proud of the growth they’ve made this school year. At the same time, I am humbled by the awesome responsibility I have as their first teacher.

With summer here, I can reflect as both a parent and an educator on what more we can do as a community to help better serve the needs of all children, including my son and daughter.

As superintendent of West Feliciana Parish schools and president of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, I’m often asked what makes West Feliciana so successful. The answer is simple — a three-way partnership between students, parents and teachers.

In education, our nation and state are struggling to compete in a global economy. The way to become more competitive is to offer a more holistic approach to education. We must have high standards for academic achievement but also provide the supports necessary for our children to reach those rigorous benchmarks.

Fortunately, organizations, school districts and nonprofits are rising to the challenge. For example, consider Learning Heroes, an organization that equips parents in supporting their children’s successes. Their “Readiness Roadmap” helps parents and teachers work together by providing resources aligned to the latest research about parents’ wants and needs so that we can help our children succeed.

From identifying what knowledge and skills your child should know at each grade level to learning how to identify your child’s character strengths and areas for growth from zest to gratitude and other essential skills, resources like these take the guesswork out of parenting.

I am thankful that organizations like Learning Heroes are working to directly assess a parent’s needs and then providing the free, holistic resources needed to help teachers, parents and students work together to achieve success. With models like this one in mind, together we can rally around each and every student to create the opportunities all kids deserve.

To learn more, visit

Hollis G. Milton

superintendent, West Feliciana Parish Schools

St. Francisville