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New program at John Marshall aims to help students in need

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Distractions take away from learning opportunities for students. Getting rid of them is the goal behind John Marshall High School becoming the fourth full-service community school in the Rochester Public Schools district.

According to the Rochester Public Schools, “Community schools work to help all students have equal access to basic needs (such as food, clothing, dental, and vision), expanded learning opportunities during the school day to complement curriculum, and enriching out-of-school activities.” 

The effort is a partnership among The United Way, Rochester Public Schools and other community resources. They’re all working together to make sure all students have equal access to basic needs.

John Marshall High School Principal Eric Johnson

“We’re all in making sure our kids can be successful so we’re just continuing in that direction that we are completely committed doing everything we can to help our students be successful as possible,” said John Marshall High School Principal Eric Johnson. “Some of our students can’t focus on their academics because they have to think about basic needs whether it is food, clothing, school supplies those most basic things are missing.”

Administrators and teachers believe by eliminating those distractions students can excel, “Our first step doing that is helping to make sure that those most basic needs are being taken care of so that our students can be academically ready to learn and be successful,” Johnson said.

The school already had a small space where students can get what they need, but now there will be a full-time staff member who can help beyond basic needs.

“We noticed it was busy all day long and there’s a lot of traffic and a lot of turnover and you know those shelves were emptied very quickly,” Johnson said. “The idea is that it will expand beyond just basic supplies and really connect kids with partnerships and agencies in the community, but this just one step.”

JM will be accepting donations such as non-perishable food items, spirit wear, school supplies and much more. Donations will be accepted during schedule pick-up August 15th through the 16th, and anytime during the school year by contacting John Marshall.

Ubah Ali

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