I think this could be a HUGE list.
I'd like to see us use on-the-job internships more frequently - perhaps not always daily. We already do this with the ECE interns at an elementary school. I think you could apply this concept to almost any business area.
I think we should connect with the Salem Public Library. Whether it be for checking out books, accessing online newspapers or journal articles, inter-library loan, or community events, it could be vital if students are researching to gather information on their own instead of teachers handing it to them. Using google for answers is not the only resource students should be using(!)
Let's take that even further to utilize Roanoke College, possibly Hollins University and VT too since they're also in close proximity and we've already used resources there in the past - like the Anatomy FT.
This would be a great time for our school system to greatly increase the vocational program. Many of our students could benefit from taking their core classes in the morning and working as an apprentice to learn skills within community businesses in Salem. (similiar to what said about internships) I think we should look in to the certifications or requirements (much like Burton) and see if that type of program is something students can complete in partnership with area approved businesses. These would be skill specific such as electrician, plumber, cosmetologist, mechanic, etc. Students could be encouraged to enter a trade school upon graduation.
I agree with Beth's suggestion re: the Salem Public Library. While I do not know for certain that the staff at the library wants to know what they can do to be of better service to the schools, I know that they should and I imagine they would welcome our input.
I think the same invitation to cooperation should be extended to Roanoke College. Many of my College Prep. students and my IB students go on to Roanoke College every year, so I think it is safe to say the college has an interest in what we do at the high school. Students who plan to attend Roanoke College and wish to go beyond the offerings at Salem High School might benefit from a kind of mentor program at the college.
And after my film study comment in the other discussion, I though I might add here the need to foster connections with area theaters like The Grandin, etc.
The Taubman, Center in the Square, and The Jefferson Center all come to mind as community partners.
We are looking into the IB Careers Certificate as something to potentially offer at SHS. This would be a great tie-in to CTE classes.
I agree with Kim and her suggestions about the vocational courses, not all students have the desire to attend a four year university and they need to have an area that could enhance their career future. I also feel that Salem High School could become an Art Academy and have the surrounding counties and cities to attend our high school in the afternoon or even in night classes. They could attend their schools in the morning hours then after lunch attend our Art Academy which will include all of the arts, dance, vocals, various instruments, drama and of course visual arts.
Wow...I love the way we are thinking. I agree with everyone's comments. We have a wealth of resources that have yet to be tapped to their full potential for our students. I feel strongly about the opportunity for internships that get students out into the "real world." Through Junior Achievement students now have the opportunity to set up their own internships.
I think vocational training of some sort (either hands-on or shadowing) should be a major focus. I polled my students a while ago when the idea of this group was mentioned, and one of the most resounding desires from them was job-training and experience. I also think it would be beneficial to a student that's weak in math, for example, to see how what they learn in class can be applied in the real world.
I agree with Kim and Gibby regarding vocational courses. We can establish some partnerships with local businesses and non-profit organizations, where students could have hands-on experience to explore areas of interest.
I would also like to see some relationships built with our medical community. We have the opportunity to learn how interconnected some fields of study can be, like with medicine (biology/chemistry), sociology, psychology, etc. The VA Medical Center is close and might be willing to work with us, and I anticipate that this field is a great area to expand. We lost the nursing program that we used to have here at SHS, and that certainly filled a niche for some students.
Jefferson College of Health Sciences, VCOM (The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine), and Carilion's medical school (which I know nothing about, but it is different from VCOM and Jefferson) could be good resources to bring back nursing certifications for students and/or provide internships.
I will throw another one out there: If we remove the schedule from the equation what about an expansion of our partnership with parks and rec. We have fields and facilities that sit un-used through the standard school day that could be scheduled like and for expanded fitness