Title

Hi-Ho, Off to work we go! Employment Training for Everyone!

Focused Area

Improving School Climate for Youth-At-Risk

Relevance to Focused Area

Red River School District is a small rural district with few opportunities for collaboration with vocational technical institutions and is more than thirty miles from a college or university. The focus on changing the entire programming for students through this career readiness program allowed a variety of opportunities for career choices for our at-risk youth without the burden of hiring additional personnel. Collaboration with local employers and parents is also a highlight of this presentation.

Primary Strand

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance to Primary Strand

This presentation will focus on how a school district was able to implement a career development program that facilitated positive change in dropout rates, career opportunities for students, student attendance, and community involvement.

Brief Program Description

Learn how to provide real-life, rigorous, and motivational employment training for all students. In this session we will discuss ways to increase, attendance, graduation rate, and post-secondary employment opportunities. See how active learning is enhanced by scaffolding activities, individualizing instruction, programming for multiple reading levels and using assistive technology within the career development program

Summary

This session will focus on providing administrators, counselors, teachers, and potential employers the knowledge and skills to create an effective career development program that focuses on experiential learning for students. Using hands-on career education and skills training, Red River High School, increased attendance by 21% and graduation rates for At- risk students by 30% in the span of two years. Our Presentation will highlight the essential elements of a successful program and motivational strategies for student success as well as the use of transition planning to drive post secondary decisions for students.

In our program, students use real tools of the trade to perform actual tasks of workers in the field as they discover their interests, strengths and preferences. The focus on combining worlds of school and work to make learning relevant for students motivates all students to learn, stay in school, and successfully transition into further education or the workforce. We incorporated a curriculum that includes multiple functioning and reading levels appropriate for middle school, high school and young adults. In addition, the curriculum that is a model program by the National Dropout Prevention Network includes a component specifically designed for students with IQs of 55 and below. Our inclusive programming for students has also increased parental involvement and a school-wide vision for all students. We have found a way to make training for post-secondary employment fun and relevant for all students and Instructors.

Evidence

Development of the school program was based on educational research surrounding experientail training within career readiness and awareness. The curriculum used is research based and listed in "Educational Programs That Work" publication of the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Karen Taylor Squires is the Special Education Director and a Curriculum Supervisor for Red River Parish in Coushatta, LA. Ms. Squires holds a Master's of Education degree from Northwestern State University and has been a teacher at the elementary,high school levels and juvenile detention facilities. In addition, she has served as a Principal and IEP Facilitator. Ms. Squires' has a vast amount of experience in helping teachers develop and implement IEPS and transition plans. Her passion in education is aiding teachers and administrators in providing effective career development programs for all students.

Start Date

11-6-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

11-6-2015 2:45 PM

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Nov 6th, 1:30 PM Nov 6th, 2:45 PM

Hi-Ho, Off to work we go! Employment Training for Everyone!

Learn how to provide real-life, rigorous, and motivational employment training for all students. In this session we will discuss ways to increase, attendance, graduation rate, and post-secondary employment opportunities. See how active learning is enhanced by scaffolding activities, individualizing instruction, programming for multiple reading levels and using assistive technology within the career development program