Wellness Center and MacArthur Cafe promote parent involvement

Principal Ms. Katherine Berger oversaw the opening of the Wellness Center and the first MacArthur Cafe as outreach opportunities for parents and families.

In an effort to have more parent involvement on campus, Principal Ms. Katherine Berger held the grand opening for the new Wellness Center on Back to School Night on September 5 in addition to hosting the first MacArthur Cafe on Tuesday, August 27.  There were two opportunities for parents to attend the MacArthur Cafe, 8:15 to 9:15 AM or 5:30 to 6:30 PM.

The grand opening and ribbon-cutting was part of Back to School Night.  The marching band and choir from Santa Ana High School performed as did MacArthur’s concert band.  Santa Ana Unified School District Board President Mrs. Valerie Amezcua and Member Mr. John Palacios attended the ribbon cutting, which took place before Berger announced the teachers before Back to School Night.

“The Wellness Center is a place for family engagement that allows parents to gather new information and share concerns they might have,” said Berger.

The Wellness Center supports family wellness physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The center is also for students to learn how to be safe and healthy in their school environment. 

Before the ribbon cutting, Community and Family Outreach Liason Mr. Johan Arana hosted an informal opening for the staff on August 23.  Around 30 staff members attended the staff opening before school.  They were provided with snacks and an area to sit and talk to other staff members.  Both the Wellness Center and Arana’s position are aimed at strengthening relationships with parents and families.

The first MacArthur Cafe was on Tuesday, August 27, from 8:15 to 9:15 AM and from 5:30 to 6:30 PM in the PAR.   The MacArthur Cafe was a family engagement meeting to provide parents with new information and changes.  According to Principal Ms. Katherine Berger, approximately 70 parents attended both sessions combined. 

The MacArthur Cafe is important for parents to attend so they have a better understanding of the school and to share ideas and comments.  The school provides light snacks and coffee for the parents that attended the meeting. 

“It is important for parents to attend the cafe because they get to share ideas and concerns they have,” said Berger.

The cafe benefits the school by allowing parents and administration to share ideas and work together to discuss the importance of education.  The administration provides a slideshow to inform the parents on school rules and expectations for the students.  During the presentation, parents shared their beliefs on what is most important for students.  They had a chance to collaborate with other parents and the administration. 

The MacArthur Cafe has the same concept as previous principal Mr. David Casper’s Coffee with the Principal.  Although the Wellness Center has a new concept and impact for MacArthur, it is dedicated to student health and educating parents on student well-being.  They both promote parent involvement in student well-being.