Quarterly Narrative Report

Imperial County UROG School to Work Grant

July – September, 2000


Prepared by: Deborah Harrold

School to Career Coordinator


(760) 336-2418 Voice (760) 336-2780 Fax


Part I – Narrative Report

  1. Foundation of Local School to Work Program
  2. The Imperial Valley Education/Business Workforce Coalition is the oversight committee for the Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant. The committee meets on a monthly basis to hear about the progress of the Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant.

    The foundation of our School to Work program is our partners who continually offer support and encouragement for the program. This quarter we have had additional employers join us as partners in specific projects and/or they serve on our STC advisory committee. Those specific projects are mentioned in the "Attention to All Learners" portion of this report as well as the "quarterly highlights" portion.

    The School to Career Coordinator holds the office of Secretary of the Enterprise Community and is a member of Imperial County’s Southwest Border Pilot Community Response Team which recently submitted four proposals to the President’s Interagency Task Force on the Economic Development of the Southwest Border.

  3. Implementing the Local School to Work System
  4. Effective June 12, 2000 Deborah Harrold became the School to Career Coordinator and on June 19, 2000 Alex Perrone became the Community Employer Coordinator for the UROG. Their office continues to be at the Heber School District where on a daily basis they are able to interact with teachers, students and parents. Elena Castro from the Calexico Unified School District serves as the Academic Specialist for the UROG.




  5. Attention to All Learners
  6. Summer Institute

    In July of this year we conducted our Summer Institute, a career awareness summer camp for junior high students. Students from William Moreno Junior High School and Heber School District had the opportunity to spend four weeks (five weeks for migrant students) learning about various careers. This was accomplished through hands-on activities, "Write-Time" curriculum, special guest speakers, and field trips.

    Our guest speakers included Mike Burk, the Calexico Postmaster that gave an extended presentation because of his dual careers – postmaster and dog trainer. He brought one of his dogs to show the results of proper dog training. Mike gave presentations at both schools.

    Thersea Alvarez-Romero, a consultant with the Small Business Development Center also gave presentations at both schools. She talked about her upbringing in southeast Los Angeles and how her schoolwork kept her from being a product of the streets. Thersea talked about the importance of education and how she has continually pushed herself to achieve. She has a master’s degree in economics and currently teaches school as well as serving as a consultant for the SBDC.

    Ernesto Castro from the Workforce Investment Board (formerly the Private Industry Council) also gave presentations at both schools. Ernesto has an extensive background in workforce development and knows the specifics of how to help people look for work or pursue a career. His presentation informed the students of the importance of knowing how to fill out an application, developing a resume, communication skills with employers and the services that are available to people in Imperial County.

    We were able to take the students on two field trips through the Summer Institute. The first field trip was to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography. The students, through their "Write Time" curriculum studied careers in this field and we were able to provide them with a first hand experience of the knowledge needed for this career field.

    The second field trip was to our local El Centro Plunge – a community center pool. The lifeguard supervisor, along with one of his lifeguards gave a presentation on the academic skills needed to become a lifeguard and the certifications required that involve a specific course of study. They talked about the safety issues and the laws that you have to be aware of in order to comply with procedures and regulations. Afterwards, the students were able to swim and see first hand the responsibilities of lifeguards.


    Student and Teacher Internships

    We were able to place approximately 60 additional students during this time period, bringing our total number of students placed in twenty (20) hour internships up to 271. Our total number of completed teacher internships is 24. Two teachers (who are husband and wife) both from Heber School District spent their internships at the Imperial Irrigation District (our local power and water company). Even though they had totally different experiences in their internships – Jeanette was in the educational/professional staff development department and Mike was with a zanjero (outside at the site) – they both learned a tremendous amount and were able to take that information back to their students. CBS 13 (KSWT) interviewed the STC staff, along with Jeanette Arzaga and Nora Sandoval, a UROG student intern. IID has since used Jeanette in their training programs for their employees. The STC staff also plans to include Jeanette in their STC Annual Conference Presentation on student internships in San Diego on November 8, 2000.

    Parent Institutes

    We conducted our Parent Institutes "kick-off" on September 14, 2000. We were able to utilize the expertise of Kathleen Harris who was here from September 14th-16th. We had two parent sessions, one at William Moreno Junior High and the other at Heber School District. Information was shared with parents regarding the importance of connecting activities at home to their academics. We had Spanish-speaking interpreters at both meetings and also had the handout material in English and Spanish.

    Junior Achievement

    Junior Achievement has been made available to all three of the eight (8th) grade classes at Heber School District. The curriculum chosen by the Superintendent was "The Economics of Staying in School." We have met with all three teachers and are currently waiting "employer training" by the Junior Achievement program in San Diego. We have our three employer volunteers ready and they are looking forward to the JA experience. Mains Elementary are using Junior Achievement for their 4th grade class and the other schools are planning which aspect of the JA program to implement.

    Policies and Support:

    Our STW team gave a presentation at the National School to Career conference in San Diego, CA on July 19-21st. The team talked about the major policy and support components of their UROG program. Those presenting were the Chairperson of the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition – Rick Johnson, our Academic Specialist – Elena Castro, our Community Employer Coordinator – Alex Perrone and the School to Career Coordinator – Deborah Harrold.

    Through regular meetings with IVROP, CUSD and administration and staff at our schools, we are able to keep current with their regulations and policies. We have found that we are able to help with much needed programs – such as college preparatory information for parents through our Parent Institute planned for Calexico High School.

    Building the Capacity of The System:

    Through the Calexico Chamber of Commerce, School to Work (Career) is able to continue to make and strengthen employer connections. An example of this occurred on August 24th after the Calexico Unified School District orientation, there was a luncheon for employers and new teachers at Hometown Buffet. This gave us an additional opportunity to network with employers and also to market our educator/employer conference featuring Kathleen Harris on September 16th.

    On August 9th, the STW (Career) Coordinator and the Community Employer Coordinator visited the School to Career committee meeting for the Mexicali Chamber of Commerce in Mexicali. Both Alex and Deborah were able to meet with our neighbors from Mexico and discuss best practices for School to Career programs. Several of the Mexicali chamber members were very interested in attending the September 16th educator/employer conference.

    Mr. Perrone and Ms. Harrold had the opportunity to share with the community School to Career activities on a radio broadcast at KQVO in Calexico, a Spanish-speaking radio station. They used the broadcast time to market the educator/employer conference as well as talk about student internship and job shadowing opportunities.

    September 16th Educator/Employer Conference

    We had 171 educators and employers attend this valuable conference on Saturday, September 16th at the Barbara Worth Resort in Holtville. Featured speakers were Kathleen Harris from the California Institute on Human Services and Dr. Federico Zaragoza from Texas and Kimberly Collins from SDSU. Ms. Harris spoke all morning on integrated curriculum, Dr. Zaragoza spoke during lunch on workforce development and afterwards, Kimberly Collins talked about the California Center for Border and Regional Economic Studies.

    We were very encouraged by the good turnout on a Saturday and the amount of conference evaluation forms that were returned to us numbered 85. From the evaluation forms, it was apparent that all attendees found the information relevant, motivating and helpful to the application in school or the work site.

    The Calexico Chronicle, a local newspaper attended the conference and wrote a full page article on our speakers and STC activities in our community.




  7. Sustaining the School to Work System:

Kathleen Harris – Integrated Curriculum

On September 16th, we filmed the training by Ms. Harris in order to broadcast on our local educational channel 99. This would provide the 2- hour instruction on integrated curriculum available to all educators in Imperial County. This broadcast will be operational in the month of November.

Kathleen Harris – Instructional Aide Training

On September 14th, Kathleen Harris gave integrated curriculum training to all the Calexico Unified School District instructional aides. This was very much appreciated by the instructional aides, as they receive little training in this field. Kathleen’s comments were that they seemed to soak up every bit of information she shared. The same training occurred the following day on Friday for the Heber School District instructional aides. Again, the response was extremely positive and motivating for the IA’s.


School to Career Advisory Committee

We had our first STC Advisory Committee under the Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant on September 27th. Twenty-five people were in attendance, 15 were employers and 4 were ASB students from Aurora High School. On the same evening, nine signed up to being available for the Junior Achievement program at our schools.

Alex Perrone, the Community Employer Coordinator notified the meeting participants of some of the upcoming projects developed through the UROG. One of the employer partnerships includes Aurora High School and Papa John’s Pizza. Aurora School to Career (UROG) students and Papa John’s Pizza will be working together on an entrepreneurial project/fund-raiser. Mr. Bob Murphy will develop required staff for this project from the STC pool of students. He will go through the same hiring process that his business performs to hire a prospective employee. He will required each student to fill out an application and submit a resume. The selection process will divide the students into two categories, management and marketing. After the selection process is completed, he will train students in all aspects of management or marketing. All funds generated by this project will be designated to the Aurora High School Associated Student Body.

Aurora High School has also partnered with the Calexico Chronicle, a local newspaper that will cover student stories (student issues, politics, student work experiences.)

Ms. Lupita Rodriguez of the Calexico Chronicle will be working with the STC site leader, Ms. Jodi Johnson and Mr. Alex Jaime, the computer instructor on this project. The STC students will learn to write and edit their stories and will also have an advertisement team that will sell ads for the newsletter. The first issue will be ready for print on November 3, 2000.

Job Placements

We have had success with job placements through our student internship program. Two examples include Nora Sandoval who has been employed since her UROG internship in April, 2000 with the California Center for Border and Regional Economic Studies. She continues to work at CCBRES and attends classes at Imperial Valley College. Nora will be traveling to the San Diego 5th Annual School to Career conference with the STC staff to help present the internship program. An attorney has hired David Frazier, a Calexico High School UROG student intern; both David and his employer will be presenting their experience at the annual Calexico Partnership meeting on October 26th.