Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Dekalb Teaching Discipline, Skills Through Work-Based Learning

Dekalb County High School’s Work-Based Learning Program allows students to support their families while developing real-world skills.

Work-Based Learning Coordinator Brad Leach said students are provided the opportunity to experience the workforce and see what careers best fit their interests. He said discipline and responsibility are key traits that students form through this program.

“With it being a rural area and whatnot, they have to work in order to help their family,” Leach said. “We have a lot of students that say they need to work. They can’t maybe do a sport or do a club, you know, after-school activities, because they do have to work to support their families.”

Leach said many students are able to further their skills in their program of study through these experiences. The system currently recruiting new businesses to participate in the work-based learning program. He said this is the school’s spin on a co-op program. He said the school works alongside the employer to ensure students are learning useful skills and representing the school well while on the clock.

“Local businesses, they’re able to get students in there to work and kind of helps them fill a spot and helps them with employment issues,” Leach said. “I know with COVID, you know, employment issues have been a problem for businesses, so the ability to have students available to fill these jobs has really been good. It’s really been a win-win for us as well as businesses.”

He said many students return from summer vacation for the fall semester with jobs. He said the school works around their schedule in hopes of allowing students to continue their employment through work-based learning. He said two teachers are joining the Dekalb County High School staff with two class periods apiece for the program. He said since the program began, it has been very popular and he expects the spots to fill up quickly.

“We actually go out and watch the students work,” Leach said. “And then we have a rubric that we use that we grade those students on what their job is and, you know, the different skills that they use at that job.”

Typically, students in the program leave school between 12:30pm and 2:00pm for work. Licensed Dekalb County employers are invited to sign up.