Companies in Fairfax County can get involved with the schools and can help prepare students for the future workforce in many ways. Here are ways to get involved, each with a contact to help get the ball rolling.
FCPS Adult Education and Community Education (ACE) offers many opportunities to help the county's adult population navigate career changes and career progressions. The following programs are offered through ACE: business, information technology, communication, certificate studies, health and medical, trade and industry, apprenticeship, English for speakers of other languages, and workplace training. Support is needed through advisory councils, guest speakers, internships, job shadowing, and tutoring.
The Volunteer Learning Program (VLP) - Department of Special Services, Adult High School Completion - is looking for volunteers age 21 and over to tutor adults in reading, writing or math skills. These are students working to obtain a high school diploma or GED, or to achieve other important goals such as entering post-secondary education or getting a better job. Tutors meet adult students for at least one hour a week in a public library close to home or work, on a day and time that convenient for tutor and student. Training and materials are provided. More information.
Business Cooperative Internship (BCI) combines a high school business course with work experience in a business-related field that reflects the student's current career interest. Potential business links include: accounting, information systems, business computer programming, multimedia desktop presentations, network administration, office administration, and word processing.
Business and Information Technology courses enable students to explore fields such as finance and information technology. Middle school courses are provided in technology tools and digital input technologies. High school courses focus on current technology-related software applications including Visual Basic programming, gaming, multimedia, and web development. Other high school courses provide opportunities to learn about accounting, business law, and management. Academy courses are offered in Networking, Oracle, Cisco, and A+. The business program also offers an internship program between individual schools and various employers in the community. Students are eligible to work in an office environment as an extension of the classroom instruction.
Career Connections is a framework of career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation activities for students in grades K-12. Emphasis is on postsecondary educational planning for all students. Businesses can help by providing career speakers and classroom activities such as interviewing skills and resume writing. They can host educator and student visits in their workplace and offer job shadowing opportunities to students.
The goal of the career experience initiative is to incorporate classroom learning with “real-world” work-based learning experiences. The focus of the initiative is to develop high value experiential learning opportunities that foster career exploration and preparation. Potential business involvement has many options including: internships, job shadows, clinical experiences, mentorships, career fairs, client-centered projects, career workshops, field trips, speaker series, leadership training, and school-based enterprises.
Each of the FCPS Academies is staffed with a Career Experience Specialist whose primary role is to connect students and teachers to career experiences and resources in the community which will broaden the learning experience for the student in the academy course.
Academy Career Experience Specialists are responsible for the organization and coordination of career experience programs. In addition, the Career Experience Specialist serves as the Academy’s business and community liaison.
The goal of the College Partnership program is to increase the number of minority students who enroll and succeed in college. Business provides volunteers, who encourage and support student achievement by offering mentoring, shadowing experiences, summer internships, field trips to business sites, and other motivational programs. The school system provides students with personal development training, academic counseling, and college-life orientation.
Eighth grade civics students have the opportunity to visit the Judicial Center as guests of the Law-Related Education Committee of the Fairfax Bar Association. Students spend a morning touring the court; talking with a circuit, general district, or juvenile and domestic relations judge; and observing a trial in progress. Attorneys host these field trips and act as resources about legal issues, the administration of justice, and career awareness.
Funded by ExxonMobil, Expanding Visions seeks to encourage seventh grade students to enroll in advanced level math, science, and technology courses; as well as to increase their understanding of the practical applications of the concepts learned in those courses. Program components include: classroom presentations conducted by business volunteers, tutoring, the program’s “Olympiad”, and field trips.
Family and Consumer Sciences courses focus on the relationship between work and family. Courses enable students to explore family and consumer sciences occupations. Middle school courses include the study of family and consumer roles. High school courses include child development and parenting, early childhood careers, culinary arts, interior and fashion design, international foods and hospitality, gourmet foods, fashion design, life planning, and teacher cadet.
Family and School Partnerships serves as a resource to schools, businesses, and communities to support and involve families in the development and education of their children. Help is needed to: develop displays and materials to promote parent involvement in the schools and community; create a scholarship fund for parents who are interested in attending parenting classes but are unable to pay; print program brochures; and develop audio and video training tapes on parent involvement and parent education.
These are cooperative ventures between and among interested athletic organizations, Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS), and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). The programs allow athletic organizations to provide maintenance and improve facilities such that athletic conditions are up to the competitive standards of the organization(s) adopting it. The programs assurance that during the useful life of their investment, “friends” will be allowed continued use of the facility. Friends do not have exclusive use. This partnership helps protect the School Board’s investment and improve facilities for all county residents.
FCPS Get2Green is a set of internal and external partnerships and resources aimed at producing a cadre of environmental stewards. Get2Green will promotes environmental education and environmental action across disciplines K-12 through three main foci:
Girls Inspiration is committed to inspiring girls to realize their full potential. Our goal is to provide opportunities for girls to explore hands-on activities and career possibilities in science, technology, engineering, and math, also called STEM. In order to meet this goal, elementary aged girls participate in hands-on STEM activities during a before or after school club. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity or starting or supporting a club:
Health and Medical Sciences courses enable students to explore a wide variety of opportunities within the health field in the areas of medical, dental, veterinary, and allied health. Students have the opportunity to develop a strong health care knowledge base and practice clinical skills through lab and internship experiences. Several courses lead to professional licensure or industry certification including emergency medical technologist (EMT), certified nursing assistant (CNA), certified pharmacy technician (CPhT), and licensed practical nurse (LPN). High school courses are provided in animal science, dental careers, fire and emergency medical sciences, introduction to health and medical sciences, medical assisting, medical terminology, pharmacy technician, physical and occupational therapy, and practical nursing.
The mission of Junior Achievement (JA) is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Businesses help JA by providing volunteers to go into area classrooms and present the Junior Achievement curriculum which teaches financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship using hands-on lessons and activities. Volunteering requires a one hour per week commitment during the school day over a 5 to 8 week time period. In addition, firms can provide financial support for curriculum materials.
Key Center serves students with moderate to severe disabilities, and emphasis is on developing independent living and employment skills. The students learn best by experiencing actual job activities in a community setting; therefore, varied work exploration activities, business visits, and job experiences are needed.
Marketing courses provide instruction in the fields of trade, commerce, and marketing. High school courses are provided in entrepreneurship, global marketing, hotel marketing, fashion, and sports and entertainment marketing. Students enrolled in a marketing course have the opportunity to participate in the student organization DECA. The marketing program has an internship component that allows junior and senior students to work in a marketing-based job as an extension of their classroom instruction. Students receive additional credit for their work outside the classroom.
The mission of MentorWorks is to connect every Fairfax County Public Schools student with a caring, responsible adult. Mentors help students to improve self-esteem, remain focused, receive positive reinforcement, learn life skills, improve technology skills, establish new horizons, practice reading, plan for college, and have fun.
If you are a business person looking for a dynamic way to reach new customers with discounts and rebates, Fairfax County Public Schools’ approved online employee discount program called Savings for Staff, may be for you. Click here to learn more about offering your goods and services through a personal online savings resource that has the potential to reach some 45,000 FCPS employees and retirees.
Co-sponsored by the Fairfax Bar Association and Virginia YMCA, this program provides an opportunity for high school government students to participate in the trial and appellate phases of legal proceedings. Students are given a scripted outline of a criminal or civil jury trial and assigned a volunteer attorney who assists them in preparing to conduct the trials as attorneys. Judges from the Fairfax County courts preside over the trials, and students from the various participating high schools also serve as witnesses, court clerks, and jurors.
This is a special education business skills program with a community work-based learning component. It is designed to increase the skill and employability levels of students with disabilities through classroom instruction and experiences and to develop transferable skills in the areas of computer application programs, word processing, data entry, data-based management, records management, order processing, shipping and receiving procedures, photo copying, mail processing, e-mail communication, and the Internet.
Partnerships are initiated to support academic achievement of students, foster positive attitudes about lifelong learning, and help students connect what they learn in class to the world outside school. Businesses and agencies are matched with elementary, middle, or high schools based on school needs and location. A range of activities can be implemented, including curriculum support, mentoring, tutoring, career day programs, incentives for student achievement, field trips, technology training for teachers, and donations of materials or equipment.
Service learning is a teaching method designed to involve students in authentic and meaningful service to their communities by making connections between the classroom and the community. Community organizations can help in several ways. Guest speakers from the community can teach students about issues in our area. Community organizations can also offer ways for students to volunteer in service events or provide internships in which students plan service learning projects. Organizations interested in collaborating with schools on service learning projects should contact the Service Learning Resource Teacher.
Career Centers provide intensive training environments for students with disabilities. Specific training offered includes hotel and/or restaurant services, office support services, mechanical repair services, facilities services, and landscape and nursery services.
Technology Education courses focus on the technology of industry. Middle school programs provide active learning situations that allow students to explore technology and related careers. High school courses are provided in technical, architectural, and engineering drawing; design and technology; electronics; engineering; and engineering physics.
Trade and Industrial courses enable students to study industry and professional careers. These programs offer students an opportunity to take a variety of courses developed and implemented from today’s industry standards. Classroom work is supplemented with simulations, innovative laboratories, and internships. High tech courses are provided in aerospace science, auto technology, professional graphics studio, professional photography studio, and professional television production. Other offerings include auto collision service; construction technology; construction management; cosmetology; criminal justice; electrical construction and engineering; heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration; and landscape architecture and turf management.
The Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) program is a simulated work environment that provides students with disabilities with opportunities to learn work-related skills, practice appropriate interactions with peers and adults, and explore interests related to career options. Businesses are needed to provide opportunities through job shadowing, job training, workplace mentoring, work-based experiences, and business projects such as preparing information for distribution and other types of work projects.
Business and Community Partnerships
Expanding Visions Program Specialist
March 19, 2013