By LAURA HAMMACK, guest columnist

Brown County Schools has kicked off an exciting new team that is made up of a representation of K-12 educators focusing on college and career readiness for our students.

The purpose of this team is to ensure that all students who graduate from Brown County High School have a college or career action plan that is able to be implemented the day after they walk across the stage to accept their diploma.

This team is important because we have had too many conversations with young people who realize their college and career goals late in their high school experience, and because of this, find themselves struggling to make their goals a reality.

Our new focus will begin this conversation in kindergarten and will last throughout the educational process in Brown County Schools.

We hope that this profound focus on preparation for life after graduation is an appealing attribute for families who have students attending our school district, as well as for families who may be considering a return home to Brown County Schools or enrolling in Brown County Schools for the first time.

As I mentioned in the previous column, Brown County Schools is disappointed to realize a reduced student enrollment for the 2015-16 school year. When student enrollment is reduced, the dollars that are received in the general fund from the state are lower.

In order to remedy our general fund imbalance, we are actively pursuing students who may be residents of this county but are choosing to attend school outside of the district. We want them to reconsider enrollment in Brown County Schools.

We are also hoping that students who are residents in school districts outside of Brown County Schools will consider enrolling here so that they may access our world-class resources in a small-school environment.

We also hope that families who are choosing to homeschool their children will consider the opportunities that are offered in the school district.

We provide the ability for homeschooled students to access a portion of the high-quality programming the schools offer, while simultaneously honoring the homeschool curriculum plans of the family. If you are homeschooling your child, we are able to enroll your child for any number of courses for which you may have an interest.

Band, art, music and other elective programming can be excellent ways for homeschool children to access opportunities that can be a balanced part of a homeschool curriculum. Sophisticated science lab opportunities, advanced mathematics instruction, innovative technology programming and engaging engineering courses are all offered at Brown County High School and are open to any homeschool students should they want to try a class or two or three.

Students who are enrolled in Brown County Schools have access to engaging extracurricular activities that expand a comprehensive set of interests. Because we are a smaller school district, students who choose to participate in extracurricular programming have an opportunity to play or participate in a way that might not be possible in a larger school setting. We believe in offering a variety of engaging extracurricular opportunities so that students are able to find joy in educational opportunities that expand outside of the classroom.

We are excited about our campaign to recruit new Eagles! Brown County Schools is seeking to be one of the highest-achieving school districts in the state of Indiana. We will make this goal happen and can’t wait for more families to realize the incredible world-class opportunities that are offered in our small-school settings.

Laura Hammack is superintendent of Brown County schools. She can be reached at 812-988-6601 or