A partnership between Marshalltown High School and the area’s biggest employer is helping build connections among parents and school staff for the betterment of students.
Marshalltown High School staff members visit the JBS processing plant for several hours during the last Wednesday of each month, setting up a table near the lunchrooms to connect with parents of students. The idea came about after MHS Principal Jacque Wyant contacted JBS Human Resources earlier this school year.
Due to their work schedules and other barriers, many of the parents don’t have an opportunity to visit the schools. MHS staff members show parents how they can access the parent portal Infinite Campus to have access to student information and also provide information on the school calendar, registration dates and other information.
“This is very important to reach parents,” said Justin Boliver, Dean of Students at MHS, who is part of this effort. “We are there to try and mainly get parents connected with Infinite Campus, however, several times I have found myself answering questions about the high school and talking to parents about all kinds of issues.”
MHS staff member Tonya Hernandez provides assistance in communicating with the Spanish-speaking parents. JBS also provides interpreters to help with those parents from Burma.
“MHS administration would really like to thank JBS for allowing us to come and visit with parents on their lunch breaks,” Boliver said. “JBS has really been accommodating.”
Boliver said the feedback they have received from this outreach leads them to believe it is successful.
“We’ve had several parents tell us how much they appreciate the high school coming to see them at work,” Boliver said. “Many are impressed we would make an effort to come to their place of business to meet with them. They feel welcome now to come to the school and understand it really is a good thing to have conversations with staff of their child’s school. It is important that parents and schools work together to ensure the success of our students.”
Boliver said they would also like to set something up similar with other businesses in Marshalltown.
“I believe it provides an excellent service to our busy parents,” he said.