HJ - Standard CMS Class With Tablets

Students in a Clarinda Middle School class study with the aid of their iPad tablets. (photo courtesy of Clarinda School District)

As part of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council initiative to bring teachers and industry professionals together to help prepare students for STEM careers, the Clarinda Community School District (CCSD) was selected to be a 2019 STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) Program Partner.

Thirteen new or expanded partnerships were selected to receive up to $25,000 each. CCSD will receive $25,000.

“STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education, as well as integration of the Arts and Agriculture (STEAM), opens doors for our future workers, families and leaders. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at a rate of 17%,” said Clarinda interim superintendent Chris Bergman.

She made the announcement of the district winning the award before the school board candidate forum Thursday, Oct. 24 at the middle school

“Thus, these workers play a vital role in sustaining, growing and stabilizing of our local, state and national economy. Implementation of this grant will be one vehicle for shifting mindsets regarding next steps for graduates, as well as individuals and families impacted by mental health concerns. To create an even stronger community, it is time to embrace multiple pathways for graduates to live a life of contribution and satisfaction.

Any other interested partners are welcome to connect and contribute to our efforts. All collaborators are welcome to ensure that students at the CENTER of everything we do.”

The STEM Best Program supports school-business partnerships that allow teachers and industry professionals to work side-by-side on curriculum and projects that give students actual workplace experience and an understanding of the opportunities and required skills for careers in STEM fields. STEM BEST has also laid the groundwork for other successful statewide initiatives such as Future Ready Iowa’s Work-Based Learning Clearinghouse.

Executive Summary of the CCSD Grant Submission:

People are our greatest asset.

“Future Ready Iowa is a powerful tool for growing family incomes, meeting employers’ needs, and strengthening communities, “said Governor Reynolds.

“…investing in job training, apprenticeships, and cutting-edge careers is the next step for improving the lives of Iowans,” said Director of Workforce Development Townsend.

“Iowa’s education system is working hard to prepare students to succeed in high-demand careers,” said Department of Education Director Ryan Wise.

Reynolds said “…It’s the right thing to do. We don’t have a children’s mental health system right now. …Now is the time to act.”

What do these quotes, Empower Iowa, Future Ready Iowa Employer Summits, Home Base Iowa, Wellmark’s Healthy Hometown, and Partnership for a Healthy Iowa have in common? Collective Clarinda Commitment and Connection to mental health.

Partnerships between education, business and the community will create awareness, facilitate learning, and address mental health needs in an innovative manner. Broad goals - self-understanding, career and postsecondary information/exploration/decision-making through:

professional learning stakeholder groups, industry-driven classroom curriculum, skill-gap/high-demand career data, work-based learning experiences, professional skills instruction, teacher externships, networking, job “shadows,” mock interviews, career coaching, employer/student panels, community book club, leadership institute, student internships, on-site high school courses in businesses, registered/pre apprenticeships, community/university college credit, Intermediary Network support, projects posted to the Project Clearinghouse, competitions, financial support, equipment donations, mentoring, in-kind services/space/utilities, facility tours, provision of guest speakers, visits to implementing school districts, service learning, community viewing of “Resilience,” attending the Iowa Digital Literacy & Wellness Conference/Please Pass the Love/Youth Mental Health First Aid to engage in common learning, providing informational resources, etc.

To meet the high-demand jobs within the mental health field, focusing on high school to workforce pipelines, hiring/retaining employees with transferrable skills such as communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, flexibility, adaptability, productivity, accountability and recruiting underrepresented populations, in particular, students living in poverty, embody Collective Clarinda Commitment/Goals.

Empowering youth to achieve a life of satisfaction and workforce contribution by outlining multiple pathways to careers in the mental health field, will be in the forefront. 2-year, 4-year, certificate programs, training programs, military pursuits, nonprofit organizations, and other postsecondary options resulting in mental health careers will be connected to ICAP planning, career fairs, classroom content, and conversations with parents. Authentic experiences in “soft and hard” sciences, including psychology, sociology, chemistry, math, technology, and biology, lead to professions such as psychiatrists, police officers, laboratory/medical technicians, counselors, ENTs, art/music/PTSD/military therapists, physicians, social workers, and other healthcare fields.

When an individual is in a mental health crisis, many career fields are impacted. When an individual is in a mental health crisis, schools, businesses, churches, nonprofits, industries, families and communities must respond with support.

Partners: Clarinda Economic Development, Green Hills AEA, Clarinda Regional Health Center, Waubonsie Mental Health, Page County Health, Clarinda Academy, Clarinda Youth Corporation, SW Iowa Families, Clarinda Chamber of Commerce, Andrew Carnegie Museum, Lied Public Library, Iowa Western Community College, City of Clarinda, Iowa Western CC, University of Iowa, Page County Veteran’s Affairs, Clarinda Correctional Facility, and Zion Recovery Services.

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