SPRING HILL — When the Fox Chapel Middle School Title I parent educator left the school more than a year ago, the position was left unfilled.
During this school year, when the administration decided to refill it, Missy Wyzykowski, 38, was interested.
She was familiar with the school, having worked in the clinic as a school health professional for seven years, so she applied for the job. She was delighted when she was selected.
"I do feel like I won it," she said. "I love it."
Wyzykowski wants parents to know she is available and what she can do for them. She described her job as promoting and coordinating parent involvement and actively improving student achievement as a parent liaison and advocate.
She wants parents to be aware of and use the parent portal, a Web site through which parents can access student and school information. With it, a parent can check his or her child's grades at any time. Parents receive personal access codes.
To receive this activation information, Wyzykowski asks parents to call her at 797-7025.
"So far, 54 percent of our parents have activated their code," said Title I lead teacher Rachelle Yungman. "Our goal is to keep parents up to date on student progress," she said. "It's constant awareness."
For families without computers, there is one available to them in the school's family center, where Wyzykowski can be found.
She is open to parent visits and helps at parent/teacher conferences, resolves student problems and works with guidance to identify students who might be struggling. Then she works with parents to support them.
She has lots of information for parents. "I have pamphlets on almost everything you can think of," she said.
Fox Chapel is a Title I school in the Adequate Yearly Progress phase that lets students on free and reduced-price lunch receive supplemental educational services. Wyzykowski can help parents choose service providers.
Wyzykowski also wants to help parents through workshops or activities. A "Dangerous Drugs in Your Neighborhood" workshop for parents only is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the media center. It's presented by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Wyzykowski has lived in Hernando County for more than 30 years. She attended Westside Elementary School, West Hernando Junior High School (now West Hernando Middle School) and Springstead High School, where she graduated in 1989.
Wyzykowski said she enjoys going to work and is there to take care of any parent need. "I just really want parents to know I'm here," she said, "to stop by and introduce themselves."
Paulette Lash Ritchie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.