Marietta board hears about community effort

The Marietta High School a cappella group Vocal Point performed Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” at the start of Monday’s Marietta City Board of Education meeting, but district representatives are hoping to get a more definitive response from local businesses today.

At the meeting, held in the high school library Monday, Marietta City Schools director of community outreach Tasha Werry updated the board on the efforts of the Building Bridges to Careers initiative, including a “social” scheduled for this evening.

Over the years, the Partners in Education initiative has fallen by the wayside, with no one person overseeing it amid various administrative changes, Werry said. Today’s social, slated for 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. in the high school cafeteria is a chance to “let them know that we’re here and we’d like to talk again,” she said.

In addition to current partners, any other businesses interested in working with the district are welcome.

“It’s open to all businesses,” said Putnam Elementary Principal Jona Hall.

Building Bridges to Careers is a countywide initiative, started by Marietta City Schools and Washington County Family and Children First, emphasizing college- and career-readiness. The group has been working with various local businesses to learn about what potential jobs and needs exist in the community, as well as developing real-world scenarios teachers can use in their classes.

Werry showed the board the new website, buildingbridgestocareers.org, where businesses can reach out to the group, and teachers can access scenarios that have been used in classrooms. There’s also a survey businesses can take.

“It’s a very simple way for them to let us know they’re interested and give us information that we can (share with) our students,” Werry said.

Although Marietta has taken the lead on the program, Werry said the model can be used by other schools. In fact, representatives of Belpre City and Warren Local Schools are active participants in BBC meetings.

In other business, Superintendent Harry Fleming recognized Putnam Elementary first-grade teacher Alicia McIntire for her work in helping develop an online course for the nonprofit Battelle for Kids. McIntire said she assisted with a module dealing with formative instructional practices for first-grade math. Formative instructional practices involve determining how a student is doing on certain subjects and adapting how one teaches the student prior to a final test.