This semester 24 juniors and seniors participated in CRCSD’s Work-Based Learning program, which connects students with an Individualized Learning Plan (IEP) to local businesses to develop real-world experience and 21st Century skills needed to obtain and maintain competitive employment. 

Beginning this school year, students started learning real-world experience throughout the district by working in the school buildings and at the Educational Leadership and Support Center (ELSC) in the warehouse, Buildings and Grounds department or Graphics and Printing department.

LuAnne Basemann is the Supervisor of the Graphics and Print department and oversees the students that support her department. “The students are self-starters; they come in and help with various jobs to get projects out the door.” Damon is a senior at Washington High School and helps in the ELSC print shop for an hour every Monday and Wednesday. “I staple books for the elementary schools, laminate big posters, and assemble name tags.” – Damon, HS student

Kelly Schmidt is the Assistant Cafeteria Manager at Kennedy High School and says Miles, a junior at Kennedy supports the kitchen staff by preparing the juices, fruit cups and refills the condiments. “The jobs that he [Miles] is assigned to teach him organization, how to follow instructions, and show that he can complete tasks,” Belva Helmle, Kennedy High School job coach

Kandy Bekeris says adding the CRCSD as a business partner was just a matter of planning and timing. “We are glad to have CRCSD on board, the school and ELSC staff working with our students have been amazing on all levels, and our students love going there to learn and practice real-world, transferable work skills,”  Kandy Bekeris, Washington High School Job Coach.

The Cedar Rapids Community School District is committed to creating an inclusive environment to ensure Every Learner is Future Ready.  The Work-Based Learning program partners with area businesses to allow students with access and experiences with industry professionals to develop the job skills while meeting specific learning objectives. 

“Work-based learning is a progression through awareness, exploration, preparation and training to support student learning for future success.” – Iowa Department of Education