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Camas Local School

Connecting the Classroom to the Community

With the school year coming to an end, many students are finishing off with big presentations or projects tied to graduation requirements. Some of these assignments, like the Senior Project or Job Acquisition Skills (JAS) for juniors, come with community input.

For a quick refresh, the Senior Project allows students to partake in activities for possible career paths, who then give a presentation to a mix of teachers and community members. Job Acquisition Skills is also a graduation requirement, however, it is completed by 11th graders; in JAS, students must fill out their own resume and cover letter for a position of employment of their choice. Students will then participate in a mock interview given by teachers and community members.

With the heavy presence of public influence at CHS, it is evident that the school makes public involvement a priority. But why? Senior Project Coordinator Ms. Bridges suggests that this involvement possibly strives “to show the quality of education students are receiving to the community members, who have to vote on funding our school levies.”

Mrs. Onuoha, in charge of Job Acquisition Skills, proposes that residents “like to come to our school and see what the students are learning” and  “how they are preparing for their future.” Sometimes, Mrs. Onuoha notices, community members are so impressed by JAS interviews that “students have left with internship and job connections.” Having school projects examined by the community rather than only teachers also allows for more insight and consultation.

The school-community relationship is mutually savored. Both Ms. Bridges and Mrs. Onuoha confirm the community’s willingness and enthusiasm to help out with school projects; Mrs. Onuoha claims: “Often times, I share about an event that is taking place and I have parents that reach out and are willing to help.” Volunteering to sit in on senior boards is heavily advertised throughout the Camas community. The link to sign up for boards* is sent to all CHS families, posted on the district website and social media, put in the local paper etc. – all things that Ms. Bridges analyzes “seem to work” to get enough volunteers.

Some community members who have volunteered to conduct interviews were former CHS students. This has had a great influence because of “the ability [ex-papermakers] have to share with students the importance of [Job Acquisition Skills] post-high school has brought a different level of insight and encouragement to our students,” sees Mrs. Onuoha.

* Link to volunteer for senior boards here: http://bit.ly/2DGzp5S

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