BRAINARD – East Butler Public Schools is ready to implement the next steps in a grant-based ReVision program.
With the assistance of the Department of Education, the school has had the opportunity to analyze its current career education curriculum and develop strategies to enhance it.
High School Principal Mike Eldridge said the school’s ReVision team has been meeting and now has an action plan in hand.
That action plan came about not only because of discussion with staff and students, but with members of the community as well.
“It as a good process to go through and, for some things, it was eye opening,” he said.
Four strategies have been developed as a result of the process.
In cooperation with area businesses, the school will create opportunities for job shadowing and internships.
Eldridge said the goal is to give students a better look at the skills they will need for specific careers. Bringing in the business community also helps to demonstrate the careers that are available locally.
This is a program that will not develop overnight, but one the ReVision team will be working on over the next several years.
One of the items on the action plan is already moving forward and students will be able to benefit from it starting with the 2021 school year.
Eldridge said the team heard often during the information gathering process that a personal finance class should be a requirement for all students.
“It seemed like there was a consensus that students should take personal finance as a requirement,” he said.
He added this type of class would help with any career path the student was eyeing. The Board of Education has agreed and approved adding the course as a requirement for graduation.
Another opportunity identified is creating an entrepreneurship program at the school. This will be done through a store at the school that students will manage. The store will offer Tiger merchandise, as well as food and drink.
Eldridge said this will teach students business principals and management techniques. More specific details for the store will be worked out over the next year.
In three years, the goal is to have a certified nursing assistant program in place. The principal said costs for this program will be substantial and the district will be applying for more grant dollars to make this happen.
But, he added the medical arena was a high interest area for students and a CNA program could help with basis career skills.
The initial ReVision grant to the school was for $2,000 to help with the planning process. Up to $50,000 is available in additional grants.
Eldridge said there is a lot of competition for those additional grant dollars and East Butler ReVision team will need to focus on fine tuning its action plan even further.
More importantly though, the team will need to make sure the action plan leads to action.
“What I don’t want to see is that we have an action plan and then nothing takes place,” Eldridge added.
The next steps will be to implement and measure the actions developed.