JMS utilizes technology to better connect with parents
By David Seale
If you have a child in the Chilton County school district, don’t ignore that incoming call with a 478 area code. It’s a call from the new crisis communication system with which the Chilton County schools have contracted, and that call has some vital information.
Jemison Middle School has already utilized the new phone system to communicate information about progress reports and fundraising deadlines and plans to use it more.
“With busy schedules, we know it’s tough for parents to keep up with important announcements, so we’re really glad Mr. Moore and the county have agreed to contract with this service,” JMS principal Mark Knight said. “We only plan to use it for important information. Also, the school system will be using it for any severe weather closings, so parents need to pick up when they see that number.”
Information about meetings, deadlines, and report cards will be the main focus, but Knight said that whenever information is important enough to communicate to parents, JMS will use the new calling system.
“The best schools nationwide are the ones that connect with the parents effectively, and we want to do a better job with that,” he said. This week, parents can expect a call regarding the Title 1 meeting next week.
The Jemison Middle School Web site has also been key this school year in broadcasting important items to parents, such as uniform policies, teacher contact information, and weekly syllabi so that parents can monitor student homework.
In fact, the site has been updated this week to reflect a slight change in uniform policy regarding jackets.
“Times being what they are and sickness being a factor, we tinkered some with the uniform policy regarding cold weather wear, and I knew that if we posted it on the Web site, we could be assured of getting these changes to parents in an effective way,” Knight said. “Parents count on our site, and we’re fortunate that our webmaster, computer teacher Shonda Copen, has the skills to keep it vital.”
The changes in jacket policy involve being able to wear jackets with stripes in school colors. Moreover, students can wear any jacket they wish while waiting for the bus or walking in cold or inclement weather, but if it does not match original uniform descriptions, it must be placed in a locker or cubby for the rest of the day.
“We don’t want kids getting cold, wet, or sick, and we know that in tough economic times buying a new jacket might not be feasible,” Knight said. “If parents will go to the website, they’ll be able to see the full description of the new changes.”
A final piece of JMS news: the JMS football team notched its first win with a close 7-6 victory over Holtville. Austin Chapman scored in his second straight game, and the Panther defense denied Holtville’s extra point try with 50 seconds in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.
– David Seale is an assistant principal at Jemison Middle School.