Need help?

Administrators are working to build better accessibility for students

In an attempt to make students feel more comfortable and safe about raising personal issues, Jones administration has recently released the help desk feature to students that’s now available via the school website. 

“There’s things that happen throughout the school day, or after school, that there’s usually neither an administrator nor teacher around that you can confide in regarding an event that happened that was traumatic or concerning,” said Assistant Principal Yvette Gonzalez Torres. “We want to make sure that we know about it.” 

The need for a feature similar to the help desk became more pressing as the online school year continued. 

“There were a couple of instances that things happened, but it was during the online process,” said Torres. “Since we weren’t person to person, I don’t think students knew things like, ‘Who do I talk to?’” 

One such student who worked through some of the hardships of reaching out to administration during online learning is Madelynn Lathan ‘23. 

“I have been doing school online so far,” said Lathan. “I wasn’t really aware of who admin was.” 

But once Lathan got through her confusion, she found talking with administration very easy and helpful. 

“They’ve been extremely accommodating,” said Lathan. “They’ve all been really really nice and understanding, and definitely patient.”

Now, administration is trying to continue to be accommodating and understanding for other students through the help desk feature. 

“I want students to know that we do care about them,” said Torres. “We do care about their safety.” 

Additionally, administration has plans to expand the help desk feature on the website in order to provide more resources for students and others. 

“It will be a space where students, parents, and community members can go,” said Development Director Troy Hillbrands. “They can check on wellness and well being, so there’ll be information on suicide prevention COVID related information, and they can also get tech support there.” 

Staff and administration aren’t the only ones supporting the idea of expanding the resources and abilities of the help desk. 

“I think it is a good start,” said Lathan. “Being able to get more student concerns and being able to solve more of those problems.”

Lathan continued to speak highly of the help desk through reflecting on how the introduction of the form could have been helpful for her. 

“If I was able to ask and reach out about my problems via a direct service versus having to email each person, it definitely might have taken off some stress,” said Lathan. “ I think that would have been really helpful.” 

In the event that a student is developing stress about the idea of sharing their issues as well as their identity, the help desk also has an anonymous feature. 

“This is hopefully a means for students to feel like if they’re not comfortable coming to [anyone on] the administration team [or] come to anyone in the main office and talk,” said Hilbrands. “This will be if they want to just do it anonymously or get something off their chest, they can do that too there.”

With the help desk and its various features, administrators hope to be able to give students a more significant voice in the Jones community and provide additional support. 

“I think our end goal, as an administration, we just want the kids to know that we’re listening,” said Torres. “We are listening because we care and not just about you as a student, but also you as a whole child.”