Flagler County Florida
Flagler Palm Coast High School
Executive Director, Office of Student and Community Engagement: Lynette Shott
Principal: Dustin Sims
Parenting Instructor: Susan Warner
While teen birth rates have steadily declined over the last several years, one in 10 new mothers is a teenager, and teen pregnancy rates in the United States are still nine times higher than those in most other developed countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and the CDC cite pregnancy as the No. 1 reason teen girls drop out of high school.
At Flagler Palm Coast High School we offer any pregnant females or parenting male or female students attending school full time in Flagler County Public Schools the following services:
A critical factor in preventing teen mothers from dropping out of school is access to childcare.
Studies have shown that students who use school-based childcare or stable childcare in the community experience increased attendance, improved academics, and higher graduation rates.
At FPC we offer childcare at no cost while the student attends daily classes earning credit. Our childcare is a fully staffed licensed facility that can accommodate 28 children.
The teen mothers participate in an early childhood education segment during parenting classes to learn about child development and the importance of reliable childcare and infant healthcare. In addition the childcare is located directly through the parenting classroom giving the students access to their children for class activities such as reading and interactive literacy activities.
Flagler County School District provides transportation of the student with the student’s child to the school/childcare facility. Car seats are provided for each child and are installed by employees certified in car seat installation.
Parenting I and II (elective credit class)
This class provides a small school setting dedicated to serving the teen parent and collaborates with outside community organizations. Some of the outside organizations include the local health department. An employee of the health department comes in during the school year and facilitates different health topics for the students, giving them an opportunity to ask questions. The class also offers a nutrition segment helping the young mothers understand the importance of nutrition not just for themselves but now their children too.
It includes a holistic education for teen parents involving personal, emotional, and academic integrity. The class addresses the social and emotional learning needs of the students, including identifying their strengths and goals, discussing the importance of completing their secondary school education helping them to maximize their ability to function independently as a young parent. It also includes programmatic activities to build self-confidence and self-esteem and improve decision making. During this class students can share their experiences related to their pregnancy and their relationships with family and others in their home and community settings, which facilitates their ability to engage with their classmates. It also empowers teens to develop an awareness of their bodies, allows the instructor to discuss important factors regarding relationships, and address potential issues that affect their health and safety. Included in the goals of this class are the following; to decrease the dropout rate for teen mothers, decrease dependency on welfare, improve parenting skills, and reduce the likelihood of repeat pregnancies to teen mothers. The instructor of the Parenting class focuses on learning strategies that engage and involve the students during the learning process. Her students find new and creative ways to solve problems, achieve success, and obtain their goals.