Business Partnership Goals

Educational partnerships bridge the gap between the classroom and the world of work. They connect schools, business, industry, and the community to bring quality educational opportunities to the district's students. Partnerships are a mutually beneficial alliance between public and private sectors designed to bring the community together in pursuit of common educational goals.

Effective partnerships result from a commitment by the partners to plan and complete approved projects based on the school's goals and objectives. A spirit of involvement and mutual respect develops between schools, businesses and the community as they work together to achieve these goals.

Business and industry partners help fulfill the Olathe Public Schools' purpose to "Prepare Students for their Future." Considering that 80 percent of graduating students will locate within a 50-mile radius of their home, business and industry's investment in Olathe students through partnerships will generate a high rate of return in future employees and continued economic growth for the community.

The pilot partnership program for the school district was headed by Terry Croskey, retired principal, at Meadow Lane Elementary School. By creating a partnership between his school and a local business, he was able to link business and academia. This ongoing partnership has proven to be mutually beneficial. Additionally, schools and the district are benefiting from the innovative partnerships created through this connection. More schools are seeking partners.

Mission Statement

To connect schools, businesses and the community to provide educational and career opportunities for Olathe students.

Goals of the Educational Partnership Program

  • To expand and enrich learning opportunities.
  • To create and expand job opportunities for graduating students.
  • To expand and enrich learning opportunities for educators through externship experiences.
  • To expand and enrich learning opportunities for businesses through internship experiences with schools.
  • To foster a climate of involvement, interaction, and respect between schools businesses and the community.
  • To create opportunities for businesses to enhance their community image.

Business Partnership Opportunities

Educational partnerships in the Olathe Public Schools may be implemented in many ways, provided they meet district partnership guidelines and Board of Education policy.

In addition to specific projects such as those named below, there are various levels of partnerships involving our students and schools.

  • Project Partnership: A connection between a classroom teacher and/or a business to complete a specific educational project for students in a specific class.
  • School Partnership: A connection between a single school and business to benefit a majority of students within that school. The school and the business/community partner meet to determine activities that meet the school's goals and objectives, and how they might share resources or personnel for their mutual benefit.
  • District Partnership: A connection between the Olathe district and the business/community to benefit several schools or a majority of schools within the district. Goals and objectives would be developed and monitored by district personnel.
  • Community Partnership: A connection between the Olathe district, a school, or several schools and a community organization to provide a partnership that educationally benefits students. The goals and objectives would be developed and monitored by the participating entities.
  • International Partnership: A connection between the Olathe district and an international partner for the purpose of educational and cultural exchange to promote global understanding.
  • View the Partners in Education brochure (PDF)

Adopt-a-School Partnership Resource

A connection between a school and a business to develop an Adopt-A-School partnership arrangement to provide resources or monetary support to a specific school for a specific purpose.

Summer Trails Skill Builders Partnership Resource

Connects junior high summer school students with businesses to provide job shadowing opportunities.

C.R.E.W.S. and A.C.C.E.S.S. Partnership Resource

A connection with businesses to provide training opportunities for ninth- through 12th-grade students with handicaps to practice job skills. Student placement at the job site is one to three hours per day for up to five weeks, with no pay. Job coaches supervise 100 percent of the time. Student rotations to various sites occur every nine weeks. Transportation is provided by the school district. Students who have demonstrated employability and job skills, may be placed at a site closely paralleling employment. These may be paid or non-paid positions, for two to three hours per day for extended periods of time. Job coach support is provided as needed.

Extern Partnership Resource

A connection with businesses to provide shadowing opportunities for junior high summer school students. The teacher and business sponsor jointly-planned activities which support the focus of the summer school classroom. Groups of eight to 12 junior high students spend one morning a week, for up to five weeks, at a business with teacher supervision. Transportation is provided by the school district. For more information, contact Denise Griffey, career and technical education facilitator, at (913) 780-8226.

Work-Based Learning Partnership Resource

Connects the Olathe district, businesses and the community to provide career awareness, career exploration and work-based learning opportunities for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, contact Gretchen Sherk, director of career and technical education, at (913) 780-8065.

YouthFriends Partnership Resource

A connection with businesses to provide mentors for students in kindergarten through 12th grade involving opportunities for social, emotional, or educational support to encourage students to become the best they can be in preparing them for their future. Potential mentors complete a formal screening provided by the Kansas City YouthFriends organization. Mentoring occurs during the school day on school grounds. For more information, contact Heather Schoonover, YouthFriends facilitator, at (913) 780-7002.

Business Partnership List

More than 600 area companies have established business partnerships with either the district as a whole or specific schools. The Olathe Public Schools have identified six career clusters and business partnerships are categorized within these clusters.

  1. Arts and Communications — Occupations related to humanities and performing, visual, literary, and media arts.
  2. Business and Financial Operations — Occupations related to business and financial transactions and business machine / computer operations.
  3. Health and Human Services — Occupations related to the promotion of health, the treatment of disease, and economic, political and social systems.
  4. Human Resources and Management — Occupations related to management and planning, records and communications, personal / customer service.
  5. Industry, Production and Technology — Occupations related to agriculture and natural resources, vehicle operation and repair, construction and maintenance, medical and advanced technologies, industrial operations and systems.
  6. Natural Resources — Occupations related to engineering and related technologies and involvement with the natural sciences and mathematics.
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