History of the Community Partnership Program

The Community Partnership in Education Program began in Salem-Keizer Public Schools in 1981 with 10 partnerships. It was the first of its kind in Oregon and continues to be a leader in its field, growing to more than 200 partnerships. The program has been recognized both nationally and locally for its innovative and exemplary achievements.

Business Partner of the Month

Each month, a Business or Community Partner of the Month is featured at the regular School Board meeting.

Program Goals

An important characteristic of a partnership is that business employees, school staff, and students have a strong sense of involvement as they become an integral part of each other’s organization. Although service and activities implemented by partnerships may encompass all aspects of the school program, there is an emphasis on career education and the practical application of the four R’s (reading, writing, arithmetic, and responsibility) in the work world.

  • To bring business people in the school system to share their expertise with students, teachers and administrators
  • To give students, teachers and administrators a realistic picture of the business world and an understanding of the free enterprise system
  • To supplement classroom curriculum with learning experiences in business, industry, non-profit organizations and government
  • To share school’s human resources and facilities with the business community
  • To share the dynamics of the educational system with the business community

Sample Activities

  • Fifth graders at numerous Salem-Keizer elementary schools job shadow with their business partners. Students complete job applications and interviews before being “hired” to work for a two-hour shift.
  • Students at Houck Middle School have taken responsibility for a wetlands adjacent to the school and owned by Curly’s Dairy. Working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Environmental Quality, students track the quality of the water and soil, plant trees and shrubbery to encourage the return of wildlife and crafted a trail around the lake complete with benches.
  • Fully operational, in-school branches of one bank and two credit unions can be found at three of Salem-Keizer’s eight high schools. Students, after receiving training from the parent branch, operate branches during breaks and lunches.
  • Student patrons may open savings and checking accounts, make deposits and withdrawals and even take out small loans. Many in-school employees also work at their parent branches after school and on weekends. Students gain valuable skills and West Coast Bank and MaPS Credit Union appreciate having a trained pool of staff from which to hire.


Download a school directory and contact a Salem-Keizer school to get your partnership started!

Honored Community Partners

  • Spotlight on Success: Road-eo Team 2019

Spotlight on Success: Bus Drivers with the Transportation Department Bring Home Trophies

September 19, 2019|Comments Off on Spotlight on Success: Bus Drivers with the Transportation Department Bring Home Trophies

Members of the Transportation Department’s award-winning Road-eo Team was honored at the September 8, 2019, school board meeting Our bus drivers won multiple awards at the 45th Annual Oregon Pupil Transportation Association State Safety Exercises, [...]

  • Spotlight on Success

Spotlight on Success: Community Partner of the Month August 2019

August 14, 2019|Comments Off on Spotlight on Success: Community Partner of the Month August 2019

When a Spanish language teacher at North Salem High School took an unexpected medical leave last April, it appeared that almost 120 Viking students wouldn’t be able to earn college credits at Western Oregon University. [...]

Business Partnerships Needs Assessment

A Business Partnership Needs Assessment assists in establishing expectations and limitations between the business partner and the school. These suggested steps may be useful guidelines to help create your business partnership.

Define the Partnership

What do I expect from this relationship?

What is my primary goal or objective?

Secure Commitment at the Individual Level

Am I truly committed to these efforts?

What amount of time can I realistically give each month, and is it aligned with my
expectations for the partnership?

Identify the Players

Who is the school contact? Back up contact?

Who is the business contact? Back up contact?

A back-up contact on both sides of the partnership is essential since staff changes occur in
both the world of business and education.

Identify the Needs

Needs: What does our school/business most need? Consider school improvement goals, company mission statements, restructuring requirements, Board of Director goals, etc.

Resources: What do we have to offer as a partner? Think of areas of staff expertise, facilities, equipment for loan, etc.

Limitations: Where do we have to draw the line? Make these tangible and be sure thoseinvolved understand them.

Applying the Results

Compare your assessment with your partner. Look for similarities.

What common ground do you share?

Once you’ve identified common ground, begin to brainstorm activities.

Organizing for Action

After developing a list of potential activities, review your options.

Select just two or three things you would like to do and describe the duties involved, identify the people responsible, and select a timeline. As you complete a project and see the results in the classroom and the business, you’ll be inspired to try additional things. If the activity is
not successful, learn from your mistakes and try a different approach.

Download Attachments

File Description Date added File size
Business Partnership Needs Assessment A downloadable PDF of the Business Partnership Needs Assessment text
February 2, 2018 3:17 pm 55 KB