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.
An important characteristics 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
- 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: National Federation of State High School Associations’ Northwest Coach of the Year
We are proud to recognize West Salem High School Track & Field coach Erich Herber, who has been named the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Northwest Coach of the Year. The award singles [...]
Last spring, there was a harmful algae bloom at Detroit Lake, which impacted the drinking water in Salem and surrounding communities. City leaders tested the water daily for several weeks, and updated the community on [...]
The Inspire Foundation and Salem-Keizer Public Schools are pleased to be partners in a monthly recognition of Career and Technical Education students who demonstrate professional skills. Called “Professionals of the Month,” students in all 47 [...]
One of the Career and Technical Education Center’s newest programs is doing more than just starting coursework this year. Students in CTEC’s new Law Enforcement program got out of the classroom and spent time last [...]
McNary High School senior Angel Olmos-Lopez is an National Honor Society student and is the co-president of the Celtic’s garden club. He hopes to attend Oregon State University next fall, and plans to studying engineering. [...]
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.