South River High Bringing Local Businesses Into School Curriculum
Schools have a job to do. They are there to prepare students for life in the real world, whether that student goes on to further their studies in college or enters the workforce directly out of high school.
Wouldn’t it be great if schools could partner with local business-men and -women to help students succeed in the real world? Not saying that teachers are delivering stale lessons, no. But, the world is changing at such a rapid pace, wouldn’t it be nice for students to learn directly from business?
But who has time for that? Obviously a businessperson can’t be in school every day to teach students directly.
Starting this fall, students at South River High School will be learning directly from business in a new curriculum built around their signature theme of “Global Communications and Public Affairs (GCPA).” The way it works is that businesses coordinate with classroom teachers to impart business-specific—and topical—lesson plans. Students will then work at problem-solving real-world problems in the classroom with their teacher.
Linda Lamon is the program coordinator for GCPA. She has been working for the past two years to assemble a group of business men and women to help teachers write classroom lessons that tie learning to day-to-day applications.
South River Source is proud to be one of the businesses involved in the program. The business men and women are called the Integrated Community Stakeholders (ICST) team. The team has been meeting once a month.
At a workshop meeting on Wednesday, teachers and the ICST team met in the media center for a three-hour workshop to design and write specific lessons, called “curriculum overlays,” that teachers can use in the classroom.
Technology teachers Ryan Sackett and Sean Gold led a panel that discussed how to bring in business to their “Foundations of Technology” class. The class is designed for ninth and tenth graders and gives an overview of the kinds of tasks and careers surrounding technology.
With input from Nicholas Lingo, Navy Communications Officer at the Defense Information School and Kevin Collison from Merrill Lynch, the talk at the table centered around how new technologies including Facebook and Twitter are changing the way people communicate. How will that communication change in the next ten years?
Over at the science table, Dr. Carlo Echiverri worked with Jennifer Carr of the South River Federation to talk about how students could write science blogs for the South River Federation and the South River Source websites.
In Fashion Design, teacher Nancy Drury talked with a group that included Cheryl Malone from Anne Arundel Community College. Their input in the curriculum included how to dress for business. Another issue they discussed is how tattoos and piercing can impact your ability to work in certain fields.
Mrs. Maryland Tes Scanlon was also on site, talking with graphic artists Vincent Perez and Lori Manoogian about Fine Arts. South River art teacher Peggy Galloway led the discussion. Scanlon’s signature issue is a personal journal with updated health information, including medicines and dosages, doctor names and their contact info, previous surgeries, etc.
Scanlon had a health scare and realized that nobody keeps a journal of such information. When someone on the panel asked if people will still need paper in the future, Scanlon stepped forward and said that people couldn’t make a journal to hand to emergency personnel if it was all only online.
In each issue area, including Math, Social Studies, World Languages, Leadership and Fine Arts, four or five business leaders sat with teachers and helped hammer out real-world examples to show students.
The curriculum gets full support from Principal Will Myers, who is hoping to implement the program in the fall. As students work through each grade levels, there will be more and more specific classes available that build on prior knowledge.
For example, in ninth grade, students will have an opportunity to take a class that has a broad overview of technology. In tenth grade, students can get more intense, maybe with a Computer for Design class. By 11th grade, they can look at an elective in Interactive Media. By their senior year, the student might be looking at a leadership practicum or internship.
The ICST team will meet again later in summer to continue helping to write the curriculum. At the beginning of the year, students will learn about the program in their advisory (homeroom) class.
If you’d like to help the GCPA, email Linda Lamon or call the school 410-956-5600.
Local businesses participating in the ICST include:
- Diane Bennett of Anne Arundel Community College
- Ray Leone of Anne Arundel County Council of PTAs
- Bea Poulin of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold‘s office
- Lisa Barge of Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation
- Alli Holstrom of Anne Arundel Partnership for Children, Youth & Families
- Kristin Fleckenstein of the Anne Arundel States Attorney’s Office
- Joe VanDuren of Balanced Life Skills
- Lex Birney of The Brick Companies
- Rick Derrick of Derrick and Associates
- Nicholas Lingo, Daniel DeCook, Sgt. Kristi Machado and Sgt. Susan Wilt of Ft. Meade/Defense Information School
- Eric Sullivan of Health Corp
- Larry Hogan of the Hogan Companies
- Gladys Rodriguez of Homestead Gardens
- Bruce McIndoe of iJet-Intelligent Risk Systems
- Lori Manoogian of Manoogian Design
- Maryland General Assembly-State Sens. Ed Reilly and John Astle
- Christopher Asher and Kevin Collison of Merrill Lynch
- Tes Scanlon, Mrs. Maryland
- Tina Bickerstaff of O’Brien & Gere
- Al Betz of Outfluence LLC
- Joy Evans, Public Information Officer (retired/consultant)
- Joey Ruyter of Riva Trace Baptist Church
- Josh Falk of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
- Mitchelle Stephenson of the South River Source
- David Schultz, Division Governor of Toastmasters
- Dr. Carrie McMahon, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Dr. Kerry Campbell of the University of Maryland@Baltimore
- Nicole Marvaso of VOCUS