Nine school districts have stepped up to create K-12 work-based learning plans that do four things:
- Detail a spectrum of innovative WBL options connecting K-12 classrooms to future careers;
- Integrate WBL in a cohesive way across grade levels and content disciplines to diverse students;
- Involve businesses and other community partners; and
- Include professional development plans for educators and their workplace partners.
Their plans will serve as models for other schools across Iowa. The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Business Council collaborated on the Request for Proposals to school-business partnerships involved in the STEM BEST (Business Engaging Students and Teachers) Program. Recipients will receive $5,500 to design relevant, engaging K-12 work-based learning plans or improve upon existing plans.
“By connecting students to Iowa businesses through authentic learning experiences, we’re able to better equip our youth to enter the workforce and enrich our local communities,” said Gov. Reynolds. “We have a great need for skilled workers and this is a critical component to meeting the demand for the future.”
The 2021 School District Work-Based Learning Plan Development Fund awardees are:
- Ankeny Community School District from the South Central STEM Region
- Bondurant Farrar Community School District from the South Central STEM Region
- Boone Community School District from the North Central STEM Region
- Clear Lake Middle School from the North Central STEM Region
- Northeast Community School District from the Southeast STEM Region
- Pella Community School District from the South Central STEM Region
- Spencer High School from the Northwest STEM Region
- Waterloo Community School District from the Northeast STEM Region
- Woodbine Community School District from the Southwest STEM Region
Outstanding work-based learning plans will be posted in summer 2022 on the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning website and distributed through the STEM Council for other schools to utilize as they develop or enhance their own plans. Direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.