Commentary: Experiences help students get ready for the future

February 26, 2018


Twin Cities

School District Interim Superintendent
Cindy Amoroso

There’s a real world out there, where most adults spend 40 hours a week or more. And someday soon, our students will need to succeed in it.

Our students in grades 6-12 are figuring out their interests and passions, then they’re planning for post-secondary success by selecting courses that will help them get where they want to be. They’re not just planning to graduate, they’ll graduate with a plan — as Burnsville High School Principal Dave Helke says.

That’s an important reason why we developed our Pathways that now have students thinking and preparing for possible careers and figuring out what education, experiences and/or training they’ll need.

So what else are we doing to prepare students for the real world? Here are some examples:

We get students into the workplace: A partnership with Genesys Works, a nonprofit in St. Paul, places our students in major corporations for paid internships during the school year. Another example is students in our culinary program who have handled catering events and now are interning in local businesses. Students in our certified nursing assistant and our automotive programs also spend time in workplaces related to what they’re studying.

Students are involved in real-life projects: Our engineering students are involved in two amazing projects. One group is designing a new and improved case for Chromebooks while another group is helping create an augmented reality sandbox for an elementary school.

Students can earn college credits in high school: An important way for students to prepare for success in college is by taking college-level courses right at Burnsville High School through Advanced Placement, dual credits and College in the Schools. In fact, BHS is No. 1 in participation and credits earned through College in the Schools at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Campus. Research shows that students who have had at least one college-level class while in high school are more successful in college.

Students acquire workplace skills: Something new and exciting is that our district has joined with the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce to provide a five-week workplace readiness class for students at Burnsville High School. We’ll use curriculum called Bring Your “A” Game developed by the Center for Work Ethic Development. It focuses on developing foundational behavioral skills for success in the workplace including attitude, attendance, appearance, ambition, accountability, acceptance and appreciation.

Many thanks to our staff members and community partners for helping our students prepare for success in college and career. It’s a big step to leave high school and go into the workplace or on to further education, but we’re doing all we can to make a smooth transition for our students. They’ll leave Burnsville High School with a diploma, relevant experiences and a plan to get where they want to go.

Cindy Amoroso is the superintendent of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District.

Latest Posts