1.    Building the System

      1.1 The School-based Component

A.     Enlisting support and participation of key stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, school boards,
         counselors and administrators.
B.     Restructuring Schools around Career Awareness, Career Exploration, Guidance and Career Clusters.

C.     Integrating Academic and Occupational Curricula

D.     Establishing Rigorous Academic Content and Performance Standards

E.      Providing Professional

    1.2   Work-Based Component                                 

A.     Offering a continuum of work-based learning and mentoring
    a. job shadowing
    b. internships
    c. structured work experience
    d. paid work experience
    e. service learning
    f. school-sponsored enterprises
    g. entrepenurial projects

    1.3   Connecting Activities

A.     Enlisting support and participation of key stakeholders (employers, unions, trade and professional    
          association, the business community and other community organizations.              

B.      Developing Collaborative Agreements between Schools, Employers and Unions.

C.     Developing Collaborative Agreements between Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions, Apprenticeship Programs, etc.

D.     Coordinating with existing programs (Perkins, Tech Prep, ESEA Title I, GOALS 2000, JTPA, One-Stop, Job Corps, other)

E.      Ensuring Consistency with State System

F.      Coordinating with Local and Regional Economic Development Strategies

2.      Ensuring Access to the System

A.     For Out of School Youth

B.     For Youth in Alternative Schools/Settings

C.     For Low-Income Youth

D.     For Low-Achieving Youth

E.     For Limited English Speakers

F.     Youth with Disabilities

G.     For Academically Talented Youth

H.     For Youth in Rural Areas

I.     For Young Women to Enter Non-Traditional Employment

   3.     Managing the System

A.     Organizational Structure

B.     System Evaluation, Data Collection, Continuous Improvement

C.     Fiscal Management

D.     Strategies to Make System Self-Sustaining

Key Elements

Current Project Year 1999-2000


Next Year 2000-2001

  1. Building the System

1.1 The School-based Component



Planned for the new year

A.  Enlisting support and participation of key stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, school boards, counselors and administrators.

Support measures which include the following:  ongoing staff development for the teachers at all five sites; job shadowing opportunities for teachers, counselors and administrators, identifying STC leaders at each site; and improving articulation with post-secondary partners.

Met with Calexico Unified School Administrators.  Conducted meetings with principals, assistant principals and staff.  Meet on a regular basis with Heber Superintendent.  Conduct regular meetings with school site leaders, counselors and career staff technicians.

Conducted meeting for parents regarding School to Career activities.  One example – before the regular Open House at William Moreno Junior High School, we had a STC meeting which we informed parents as to our program and to our student job shadow program.  Twenty-four (24) parents attended the meeting.

September 14th and 15th will be our official kick-off for our Parent’s Institute.  Kathleen Harris will be talking to parents as to how they can use everyday events at home to use with their child’s academic work.

Give STC presentations to all staff at back to school in-service meetings.  Ensure STC collaboration with academic programs already in existence.

Every year participate in the back to school night/open house for parents.  Provide information to parents as to how they can incorporate School to Career into their daily schedules.

B. Restructuring Schools around Career Awareness, Career Exploration, Guidance and Career Clusters.

Establish and functioning school-based and work-based activities.

Career Fairs held at each school site, Employability Certificate recipients and recognition luncheon, and One-Stop tours.  Provide special speakers (as related to the specific coursework) to come in and talk with individual classes.  One example is we provided an entomologist to talk with three (3) separate classes on insects.

We have developed a student newsletter called “STC News Wrap.”  This is to inform students of their activities with School to Career.  Each monthly edition  features an employer and a student internship success story.  We provide work tips for students as well as the importance of SCANS.

Career Fairs; increase numbers of Employability Certificate recipients with marketing plan.

Continue to provide special speakers from the business community.

Work to create a classroom environment that blends high expectations, leadership development and social-emotional nourishment while challenging students to develop their critical thinking skills.

C. Integrating Academic and Occupational Curricula

Creation of a Virtual Resource Center to provide on-line access to students, educators and the business community.

Virtual Resource Technology Centers are active and providing career information.  Developed jobs database consisting of 127 job related websites.

Continue providing technical assistance in computer technology and job related software.


Pilot a career awareness camp.

Duration of the camp will be four weeks.

The classes will concentrate on the teaching of reading and writing expository text.

The students will participate in activities that will enhance their awareness of career opportunities.


William Moreno Junior High School and Heber Junior High School used the “Write Time” curriculum published by TIME

for their four (4) week Summer Camp.  The Migrant Education class spent five (5) weeks with the “Write Time” curriculum.  This material helped the students develop skills in nonfiction reading and writing, student read articles and then completed a variety of related writing activities, based on common standards for the language arts instruction, detailed explanations of four writing domains:  narrative, expository, persuasive and visual presentation, reference section on grammar, usage and the mechanics of writing, writing benchmarks, rubrics and assessment tools.


This curriculum is very popular with the students and we plan on using it again next year, as well as incorporating into the current curriculum for the regular school year.



Provide special speakers for career connections.

Teresa Alvarez-Romero, a consultant with the Small Business Development Center spoke at Moreno Junior High School on July 6th and at Heber Junior High School on July 11th.

Mike Burk, the Calexico Postmaster spoke to Moreno Junior High students on June 30th and Heber students on July 7th.    He talked about his duties as a postmaster and skills needed at the workplace.  He is also a dog trainer.  He brought one of his German Shepherds to demonstrate the effectiveness of proper animal training.  He spoke about the importance of academics in preparation for both careers.

Ernesto Castro, a representative from the Private Business Industry talked to students at both schools about the skills that businesses look for in their prospective employees and how they can track labor market trends and apply that information to their career plans.

We will continue with outstanding speakers for our Summer Camp students.

We would like to develop an effective guest speaker program and use some strategies as to how best prepare students to be receptive.


Students have the opportunity of field trips.

We provided an excellent opportunity for the students to make the connection in the “Oceanography” category in their curriculum by providing a field trip to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA.  We were able to provide 1 chaperone for every four students and gave the chaperones written directions on how to interact with the students and use questions and answers at each exhibit.  We also provided the teachers oceanography materials (from the Birch Aquarium) to use for preparation in their classrooms one week ahead of our visit to the institute.

We were able to schedule a learning experience at the El Centro Plunge.  The lifeguard supervisor gave a presentation on the preparation and course work that is needed to become a lifeguard and supervisor.  The supervisor gave a CPR demonstration and talked about water safety.  A lifeguard on staff talked about his experience as well.  After both presentations, students were able to swim in the pool.

Provide field trips for the summer camp students in the area of their study.


Support measure that includes increasing involvement and awareness by parents, students, community leaders, business leaders and educators.  These support mechanisms will generate backing and sustainability for fundamental change in and out of the classroom which will ultimately result in systemic change.  These enhancements will become an integral part of the school to career system at each school site.  These changes will result in better-prepared students that are able to enter high wage careers.

We organized “Partnerships For Our Future” – an Employer Symposium to create and strengthen local partnership for business/industry and educators.

The symposium on March 30th gave the business community the opportunity to share with teachers/educators their perspective on educational needs in the workplace and strategies were discussed for implementation in education, workforce development and job creation.  45 educators and 55 business people attended this conference to work on opportunities for the integration of business/industry workforce development and education.

On September 16th we will have Kathleen Harris, a nationally known speaker to talk about the “Nuts and Bolts” of integration.  She will address combined groups of educators and employers.  We will also have Dr. Federico Zaragoza talk about systemic employer and education connections, which is the key to local workforce development programs.  We will have the Director of the California Center for Border and Regional Economic Studies talk about the function of the CCBRES center and how the center can be used for the educational community.

Continuing Education Credits will be offered for this conference through San Diego State University.

Promote School to Career at community educator and/or employer conferences.

Use community organizations, such as the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and Rotary to provide opportunities for the integration of business/industry workforce development and education.



D.  Establishing Rigorous Academic Content and Performance Standards

To promote student achievement and maximize learning at all levels; strategies and methodologies that encourage applied teaching approaches will be incorporated.  These methodologies and strategies include the application of knowledge across disciplines, integrated curriculum, non-traditional learning styles through hands-on activities and the application of real-world situations.

We have ensured the coordination and integration through the School to Career Education and Articulation Plan.  These occupational standards include resources, technology information, systems, interpersonal, basic skills, thinking skills and personal qualities.

Our School to Career classes are designed to meet college entrance requirements through rigorous academic classes being provided. 

Institute the “Character Counts” program at Heber School District.  Continue implementing the School to Career Education and Articulation Plan.

E.  Providing Professional

Provide professional staff development.

Fourteen (14) teachers from Calexico and Heber attended the Academic/Vocational Integrated Curriculum Conference on March 13th – 16th.

Six (6) teachers along with the Heber School District Superintendent attended the Computer Educators Conference in April 2000.  This conference gave the educators and administrator information on the impact of technology on all career fields and the education needed to prepare for those careers.  It provides the educators tools for assisting students in identifying skills, recognizing career preferences, and applying information to career plans.

Continue to offer to teachers/educators opportunities for professional development.

Provide time for incorporating conference results into staff training sessions.

  1. Building the System

1.2  Work-Based Component



Planned for the new year

  1. Offering a continuum of work-based learning and mentoring:

*job shadowing


*structured work experience

*paid work experience

*service learning

*school-sponsored enterprises

*entrepenurial projects

Expand teach job shadowing opportunities to allow teachers to see first hand, the skills and tasks required of a given job.  Issue an Employability Skills Certificate that will identify workplace skills and occupational competencies.  Increase opportunities for student mentoring.  Coordinate and expand workplace-shadowing activities.  Pilot a career awareness amp.  Learning about careers will be accomplished through hands-on activities, speakers, field trips and job shadowing.  Incorporate Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) competencies into the curricula and instruction.  Create opportunities for students to acquire first-hand work experience through paid and unpaid internships.  Establish advisory committees that will include a broad constituency of educators, parents, business and community members.

Placed seventy (70) Calexico and Heber students for National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, February 2, 1999.

On February 8, 1999 forty-five (45) Calexico High Schools students participated in the efforts of Tag-a-long Day, sponsored by our staff, the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and the Calexico Rotary.

Spring-break student’s internships numbered 53.    One example of a success story for our spring break student internships is Nora from Calexico High School.  We placed her at the California Center for Border and Regional Economic Studies located at San Diego State University.  Nora performed her internship so well, that the Director of CCBRES hired her for the summer.  She has continued to excel in her work so the Center will provide her part time work while she attends community college.  As of July 29th, Nora will be handling special events for the center.  Part of her training will come from the planning and organization by the School to Career staff for the September 16th event for educators and employers. Teacher internships in the spring numbered 4.  One of our success stories in the teacher category is Tony from Heber School District.  He wanted to intern for web page design, but we were unable to place him.  We sent him to our water and power company, the Imperial Irrigation District.  His fresh perspective and insight to the work brought him an offer of summer employment for the IID.  As of 7/24/00, student internships numbered 153.  Teacher internships for the summer numbered 18.  We expect to complete the remainder of allocated internships by September 30, 2000.  We reserved some allocations for the students at Calexico High School and Aurora Continuation School due to students taking only 1 or two classes per day.  This has been already discussed with both school administrations.


Several hundred students from William Moreno Junior High and Heber Junior High School had the opportunity to attend the School Career Conference at Imperial Valley College in January 2000.  Students have the opportunity to hear and learn about numerous careers including non-traditional.


 Student interns from Calexico High School and Aurora Continuation posed as members of the City Council of Calexico at the Council Chambers to learn about governmental process and also filmed, edited and broadcasted their faux-council meeting on television on FOX Channel 9 on Sunday, July 16, 2000 at 9:00 A.M.  This was part of the UROG video production summer internship program.

Employability Certificates were awarded to Calexico High School students who met the High School Qualification Criteria as demonstrated in a portfolio.  The criteria consisting of basic academic skills of math, reading, writing, computer skills and transcripts of a 2.5 grade point average.  Ninety-five (95%) cumulative full-day high school attendance is required.  Evidence from community or school experiences that successfully documents:  team participation, initiative to teach others and/or customer services, in four of twelve option is also required.  The employment preparation packet which includes the interview experience is the last component of the Employability Certificate portfolio project.

Incorporate student internships into the “work experience” program for Calexico and Aurora High Schools.


Continue the “Tag-a-long Day” partnership with the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and the Calexico Rotary.  Report at their monthly meetings of School to Work successes and upcoming events.


Businesses are interested in helping with the job shadow program or internship program. Connect this activity through the planned Chamber database of employer STC activities.


For Junior High School students attending the School Career conference at Imperial Valley College in fall of 2000, conduct follow-up activities at each school site to give students a new perspective on available jobs that may not have been considered for students from this area.


Increase the attendance of students at the annual School Career Conference.


Provide activities for follow-up to the conference such as special speakers, special writing assignments on careers, etc.


Expand the video production program aspect of our student internship program.


Market the video production internship program to the media.


Increase the number of Employability Certificates at the high school site.

Give teachers and counselors a training session on the Qualification Criteria so they can promote the Employability Certificate for their students.

We intend on having former students that have earned the Employability Certificate give presentations to high school students.

Use our marketing tools to promote the Employability Certificate via personal presentations, the Imperial Valley Press and Calexico Chronicle newspapers.


Include more entrepreneurial components into the School to Work program. 

Discuss with Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program the possibility of an “entrepreneurial program.”


Conduct feasibility study on instituting a student run/Calexico High School Business Department operated Government Agencies Federal Credit Union branch on the high school campus.


The NAFTASHO is an annual manufacturing trade show from Imperial Valley, Coachella and Mexicali.  We would like to see participation via student internships.  These students would be part of their business program from their respective high schools.

  1. Building the System

1.3 Connecting Activities



Planned for the new year

A. Enlisting support and participation of key stakeholders (employers, unions, trade and professional association, the business community and other community organizations.)

Maintain constant communication with the workplace partners and other interested parties.  We have asked for and received regular feedback on the effectiveness of work-based activities from our workplace partners.  Regular visits have been and will continue to be scheduled to workplace partner sites to ensure that students are acquiring appropriate workplace skills and competencies. 

We have made personal visits to employers, phone calls and established relationships with our business community.  We have written thank you notes to employers on behalf of their participation in School to Work activities.

Regular participation in the Calexico Chamber activities advances the mission of School to Career partnerships.

McDonalds Restaurants in Calexico have entered into discussions with School to Career (UROG) for becoming a full partner with the program.

Continue the participation in community activities. 

Network with other agencies/businesses that may have a vested interest in learning how School to Work can lead to further economic development.

B. Developing Collaborative Agreements between Schools, Employers and Unions.

The mission of the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition is to build academic and career competencies giving all students a foundation for lifelong learning and enabling them to secure a place in the workforce.

Every Coalition member has signed an agreement outlining their commitment to implement the School to Work plan.

Implement strategies for including business such as:  recognizing the contribution of businesses through the media, certificates, plaques, ceremonies; expanding our current mailing list; having members of the steering committee make presentations at service clubs, chambers of commerce, etc; working with the Economic Development groups to avoid duplication of services; using the virtual resource center and web site; sending our regular newsletters; and transmitting information on the television Channel 99.

Collaborative agreements between the schools are accomplished through several areas:  first, the Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant opened the door for more opportunities for the schools to promote activities with School to Work.

Calexico Unified School District holds monthly school to career site leader meetings where School to Work/Career activities are reported to the other members.

Employers have been very open to assisting with School to Work/Career.  They are most enthusiastic about career fairs (provided they are given enough advance notice) and they are most encouraged by attending events such as our Employer Symposium last March.

The City of Calexico Chamber of Commerce has been instrumental in providing opportunities for School to Work to get the message out to the community.


The Business Showcase 2000 is a prime example of how School to Work becomes known in the community.  Last year over 2,000 attendees had the opportunity to visit the School to Work/Career exhibitor booth and learn more about what services we have to offer and how they as employers can participate in the program.


We participated in the Senior Projects at Calexico High School.  The seniors gave a presentation to a panel that consisted of educators, representatives of business and community members.  The interview panel rated each student on their project and presentation.

We expect to increase the momentum as we develop our Educator/Employer conference for September of 2000.

What we have encountered in our relationships with employers is that they all have different expectations in what they can offer to the School to Work movement.  For instance, in job shadowing, some employers only want to have a student for a couple of hours, and one employer told us this past year, that they would like to have the job shadows all day so the students can fully understand the process of newspaper reporting.

Our employers also are willing to make classroom presentations as long as sufficient notice is given. 

Personal contact with the employer seems to be the best method for strengthening the relationship and keeping them involved in School to Work.

Providing employers with documentation, such as invite letters, thank you letters and photo of the School to Work event gives them the leverage that they need to bolster some of their other business projects.

C. Developing Collaborative Agreements between Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions, Apprenticeship Programs, etc.

The Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition has been instrumental in identifying effective strategies for integrating school-based and work-based learning activities and establishing linkages between secondary and post-secondary institutions.  Some of these effective strategies include the following:  mentoring, teach job shadowing, articulation meetings, professional development.

We have been successful in our ongoing collaborations with secondary, postsecondary institution and apprenticeship programs.

Last year in partnership with San Diego State University and the Family Resource Center, a teen conference was held at SDSU highlighting different programs and careers.  Several hundred students showed up for the Saturday event.  Since we provided information on School to Work, we were able to inform the students as to our mission, objectives, and provide them with an opportunity to job shadow.

School to Work meets on a regular basis with representatives from SDSU and Imperial Valley College on how we can build upon the work we have done and eliminate any duplication of efforts and maximize our resources to provide School to Work opportunities for youth.

We have placed job shadows and internships at SDSU.

Imperial Valley College is represented by the Dean of Vocational Education who also serves as a member to the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition.

The strong working relationship with the local community college and the articulation agreements in place help students consider college and/or advanced training.

Imperial County, through the Overall Economic Development Commission is working on revising its strategic plan.  School to Work is represented at the monthly meetings and is working to achieve full integration of this aspect of community economic development.


Discuss with Imperial Valley College re:  educating the next generation of Automotive Service Technicians.  Implement the Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) in conjunction with the IVC Automotive program in order to attract young people to the field of automotive technology and prepare them for entry-level career positions as Automotive Service Technicians.


We expect to continue our partnerships with Imperial Valley College and San Diego State University.


D. Coordinating with existing programs (Perkins, Tech Prep, ESEA Title I, GOALS 2000, JTPA, One-Stop, Job Corps, other)

Some of the existing efforts to maximize funding sources have included using Carl Perkins monies to provide professional development and training to assist teachers in designing lessons, which integrate the academic and vocational disciplines to promote student learning and achievement.  Carl Perkins monies and donation from local businesses have been used to provide support for a non-traditional career conference, which exposes at-risk junior and senior high school students to careers and role models with the country.

State funds from Tech Prep have been used to sponsor teacher job shadowing, curricula revision, and development of articulation agreements with the local community college and staff development. 

JTPA monies have also been used by the school districts including the Regional Occupational Program to integrate components of the STW plan into existing programs.  JTPA in-school youth providers have developed a plan to incorporate STW concepts into their JTPA programs through a student employment portfolio and an aggressive staff development program.

School to Cork is continually working with community programs to coordinate their efforts and make good use of available resources. 

The Employment Development Department provides tours of the One-Stop center through our School to Work program for our students.

The Calexico Family Resource Center Collaborative also coordinates their programs with School to Work activities and provides activities and resources for our youth.

Continue to seek funding and resources for School to Career.  Coordinate with other agencies to accomplish goals and objectives.

E.  Ensuring Consistency with State System

Representatives from the State School to Career office were contacted by the Coalition early in the conceptual stages of developing the state proposal.  They urged the Coalition to follow the California School to Career plan.  State representatives also encouraged the Coalition members to continue their STC endeavors that began in the Fall of 1993.  Over the last few years, Coalition members have attended state-sponsored STC forums and assisted the state in the reading of School to Career applications. 

The Urban/Rural Opportunities Grant team – consisting of Rick Johnson, Chair of the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition, Elena Castro, the Academic Specialist, Alex Perrone, the Community Employer Coordinator and Deborah Harrold, the Coordinator of the program presented at the July 19th “Collaborating for Academic Excellence – School to Career Academy in San Diego, California. 

The title of their breakout session was “The Impact of School to Career on Employability.”  The workshop provided an overview of school to career as it relates to local economic development.  Presenters discussed coordination of employer linkages with workforce activities, how they are implementing activities on the local level with collaboratives and the importance of employees needed to hire the most qualified workers, which is essential to business profitability and customer satisfaction.

Plans are to continue to be active in the School to Career movement through conferences and other activities in the coming years.

The School to Work staff would like to have the opportunity to continue to showcase their successes through meetings and/or conferences.


The UROG staff collaborates with the state School to Career staff and will continue to work on increasing the eligibility for the Employability Certificates, the National Groundhog Job Shadow Day and Educator/Employer conferences.  We also will continue to collaborate on notification of procedural systems set by the federal and state governments.

F. Coordinating with Local and Regional Economic Development Strategies

Imperial County’s vision for change includes building a sustainable future that offers solutions to physical, social, economic and environmental barriers.

The Overall Economic Development Commission is a locally initiated planning process designed to create employment opportunities, foster more stable and diversified local economies, improve local conditions and provide a mechanism for building and coordinating the efforts of local individuals and organizations concerned with economic development.

The OEDC is the principal coordinator of the planning process, coordinating the various activities undertaken locally to stimulate new private and public investment, and to provide permanent employment and growth opportunities in the area.

The Imperial County Overall Economic Development Plan for the Enterprise Community and the Imperial Valley College Workforce Development Plan both identify inadequate work skills as a weakness.

 The Southwest Border Partnership was created in response to Vice President Gore’s challenge to the Empowerment Zones to revitalize their communities through regional community development.  The intent of this regional initiative is to build a sustainable economy within a sustainable environment.

Superintendent of the Imperial Valley Regional Occupational Program is the primary member of the Overall Economic Development Commission for the County of Imperial, California.  The School to Work/Career Coordinator is the alternate member to the OEDC.

The School to Work Coordinator is the secretary to the Imperial County Enterprise Community committee.

The School to Work Coordinator attended the White House Community Empowerment Conference in Columbus, Ohio June 27th – 29th.




We have established active community partnerships in our workforce development training programs.  The ROP Superintendent is a member of the Workforce Investment Board and serves in collaboration between public and private partnerships as a means of training and retraining a workforce possessing the skills needed to compete in a global economy.


During the White House Empowerment Conference, the announcement was made by the Vice-President’s office that Imperial County was chosen to be one of four communities that will be part of a pilot program for the Southwest Border Partnership Initiative. 

Continue the work with the Joint Chambers of Commerce and the Overall Economic Development Commission on the County of Imperial strategic plan.


The economy of the Imperial Valley has the potential and the ingredients of fast economic expansion.  The keys to its success will be a concerted and unified effort on the part of different segments of the community and the state’s willingness to meet its obligations to provide the citizens of the region with needed services, most notably education.  If these two conditions are met, the Imperial Valley’s economy has the potential of having one of the highest, instead of the lowest, per capita income in the state.


Coordinate and work with the locally led efforts to elevate the standard of living and overall economic profile.  The School to Career Coordinator is meeting with representatives of the Joint Chambers of Commerce, the California Center for Border and Regional Economic Studies and the county to establish a strategic visioning conference for January 20th, 2001.  Many attendees will have also attended our September 16th event with Kathleen Harris and Dr. Federico Zaragoza,  so we will be able to sustain and build upon the successes that we have already established for School to Career.

  1. Ensuring Access to the System



Planned for the new year

A. For Out of School Youth

Our School to Work plan is designed to address the needs of our high poverty at-risk students.  It promotes the inclusion of all students whether they are college bound or out of school.  Students are provided with a full array of options, which assist in their preparation for a wide range of career fields.

Dropouts will have the opportunity to reenter through a number of available avenues, such as independent study, adult education, CalWORKs program, teen mothers, and Regional Occupational Programs.

We work closely with the school counselors to target those students that may be considering dropping out of school and provide the student with the opportunity to job shadow or intern in a field of their choice.

We also work with employers to talk with students as mentors to encourage them to continue their education and give them real-life experience as to the dismal future they may encounter if they do not finish school.

We expect to incorporate School to Work in the back to school planning component of both Calexico High School and Aurora Continuation School.  We feel that if students are challenged to go out into their community and partner with a business mentor, and then they will develop a different perspective on the importance of their coursework.

B. For Youth in Alternative Schools/Settings

To promote student achievement and maximize learning at all levels; strategies and methodologies that encourage applied teaching approaches will be incorporated.  These methodologies and strategies include the application of knowledge across disciplines, integrated curriculum, non-traditional learning styles through hands-on activities and the application of real-world situations.

We have been successful in several aspects of our School to Work program at Aurora Continuation school.

One is the summer student internship program where students from both Calexico High School and Aurora Continuation School worked on the video production component of our program.

As part of our summer media apprenticeship program, the students posed as the City of Calexico council members, not only to learn about the governmental process and what the City Council actually does, but also to learn to film, edit and broadcast their faux-council meeting on television.  The students saw their work hit the airwaves at 9 A.M. Sunday, July 16th on FOX Channel 9.

Since our students at the Aurora Continuation School are not eligible for the Employability Certificate (due to attendance records and the minimum GPA), we are coordinating with the school staff to have the students prepare a personal career portfolio and shadow a career mentor. 

We will continue to provide job shadowing and internship opportunities for the students.

We will increase the participation in the School to Career video production aspect of our program.

C. For Low-Income Youth

The population of Imperial County is extremely poor.  According to the 1990 census, almost 24% of all residents were below the poverty level, compared to only 13.5% for California as a whole.  The county’s per capita income was only $8,606, almost 40% below the corresponding statewide level.  23% of all Imperial County children live in single parent families.  The county is designated as a federal Rural Enterprise Community.

Rather than perpetuate young peoples’ feeling of segregation through an isolated project, we have built and enhanced upon the existing efforts of the framework and structure provided by the Imperial County Business/Education Coalition School to Career partnership.  This project has allowed us to direct and concentrate resources through the creation of meaningful curricula and activities that will enable young people in most need to access School to Career opportunities and be prepared for high-wage, high-skill careers and higher education.  Some of these activities include job shadow opportunities, student internships, career fairs, summer junior high school camp, teen conferences, special speakers and field trips.

The Employability Certificate is an instrument that will increase the self-confidence of students.


We plan to offer through our programs, opportunities for developing interview skills, communication skills, work ethics and cooperation.  We will coordinate with other programs such as the Family Resource Center Collaborative to offer interview clothes, job coaches and transportation.

D.  For Low-Achieving Youth

School to Career through its School to Career Education and Articulation Plan will ensure the coordination and integration of those components such as basic skills, thinking skills, and personal qualities, thereby increasing the student’s options for work opportunities.

School to Career has impacted through direct classroom instruction and field trips to the One Stop center at the Employment Development Department in Calexico to prepare special needs students for meaningful employment after high school.

We would like to institute some project based learning in the classroom.  We plan to make this part of our in-service agenda with teachers and staff.  School to Career would be able to provide opportunities for business and the classroom to develop a working partnership where both business and students are benefited.

E. For Limited English Speakers

In the targeted areas, 27% of our students are identified as migrant students and qualify for migrant services, including a work study program, which at present, makes no connection to what the student wants to do in the future.  This program will be changed to help students make connections through job shadowing and other activities which prepare them for workplace requirements.

We have been able to provide our limited English speakers with job shadowing opportunities.  During our application process, we place them with an employer who will help guide them through their workday in English and Spanish.  We also provided summer camp for the migrant education class at Heber School District and they participated in the field trips and attended the meetings with the special speakers who spoke in English and Spanish.

All of the participating schools have an extensive bilingual program which includes primary language instruction (Spanish) in core classes, Sheltered English and English Language Development classes.  These classes support the successful transition of Limited English Proficient students into the regular English program. 

Increase the numbers of Hispanic role models for our speaker’s bureau.

F. Youth with Disabilities

Calexico is served by the Family Resource Center which serves as a centralized service area for almost every public agency within the County. The Center works with the local school district, department of social services and other community service organizations to identify youth and others in need of services.  Staff at each of the school sites is trained to effectively use this center and are encouraged to assist students to make self-referrals when necessary.

Special education junior and senior high school students are provided with career awareness and exploration activities along with an opportunity to work through the county-wide Workability program.


For the Heber School District School to Career summer camp program this year, we had a special education class accompany us on the field trip to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography.  The special education teacher was provided the curriculum material so she was able to inform and discuss with her class regarding oceanography and careers related.

We will continue to work with our youth with disabilities and provide them with the resources available through School to Career.

G. For Academically Talented Youth

Provide School to Career recognition, medals and savings bonds to outstanding students in a specific career strand.

School to Career (through the UROG grant) was able to honor students at each of our school sites at the special recognition ceremony at the Imperial Valley Expo.  Parents were able to attend the special event with their children.  The students received a certificate, a special medal and a $100.00 savings bond.

We also have been able to offer the academically talented youth a chance to job shadow or intern in the career field that they are most interested in.  Employers are interested in having students that are academically talented so they can participate in more responsible projects at the workplace.  For instance, a student that shows academic promise in a particular area may be able to use and showcase their talent and possibly obtain part time or summer employment.

We will continue our special recognition of those students that best exemplify the outstanding attributes connected to our School to Career program.


As we begin our new year for School to Career, we plan to make this an agenda item for our in-service time with educators.  We will be able to target students that will benefit from connecting with an employer that is in the same career field in which a student expresses interest.

H. For Youth in Rural Areas

The county is designated as a federal Rural Enterprise Community. 

The population of Imperial County is extremely poor.  According to the 1990 census, almost 24% of all residents were below the poverty level, compared to only 13.5% for California as a whole.  The county’s per capita income is almost 40% below the corresponding statewide level.  23% of all Imperial County children live in single parent families.

Youth living in the tract zones experience a 40% poverty rate with a minority population of more than 85%.

Consulted and coordinated activities with schools, community leaders and business.

Provided opportunities for youth to take advantage of after school activities, such as after-school tutoring, using the computer lab or for older students or parents, taking a ROP computer class at the neighborhood school, such as Heber School District.

We have applied for partial funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set up computer technology centers at Mains Elementary in Calexico and Heber School District.  The goal of our program is to provide residents their own surplus computer to take home after successful completion of the requirements of the class.  These surplus computers will be donated by businesses and agencies. Staff will teach students how to assemble and check hardware so the computers will be fully operational.

Work with community members, school districts and agencies to build a sense of community.  As the School Modernization Proposal initiative helps to repair and renovate existing schools, we hope to make our schools a community resource center.  Our goal is to provide information and incentives that will create an environment of opportunity and hope for families and youth.

I. For Young Women to Enter Non-Traditional Employment

Our students are provided with a full array of options which assist in their preparation for a wide range of career fields.  If we are to be successful, no student will be left out.  School to Career gives all students numerous choices and opportunities through academics, career pathways and specialized courses of study.  It also provides for the development of clear set of standards for skills that will enable our students to move successfully between school and work.

School to Career was able to accomplish this through providing connecting activities for our students.  One example was through the UROG funding, we provided the opportunities for students to attend the Women’s Leadership Coalition program that highlighted women’s occupation history and achievement.  The theme was “Women, Working Their Way Through History.”  Women’s occupations were presented in various formats, including “living history” and local women presenting their unusual occupations.  High School girls throughout the county were recognized for their leadership skills.  The keynote speaker was Laurie Champion, a professor from San Diego State University.


Another opportunity we provided for students was at the annual Earth Day Festival on April 22nd.  School to Career was an exhibitor and talked with students (and gave out materials) regarding specific careers in environmental studies.

We hope to help young women succeed in technical career paths such as in math and science, how to recruit them for male-intensive Tech Prep programs and how to retain them in nontraditional programs. Connecting activities are offered throughout the community in various ways and through various agencies and/or business.  Time and coordination are needed to make the best use of these activities known to the school districts.  With the technology that we now have, we are able to broadcast special events through several media components.  One is through the ICOE sponsored Channel 99, another is through our regular weekly Fox-TV “Imperial Valley Kids News” program.  Calexico High School also offers daily announcements through their audiovisual system.

We will continue to exhibit at the Earth Day Festival each year and assist students and parents in thinking about careers in environmental studies.

  1. Managing the System

A. Organizational Structure



Planned for the new year


Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition

Coalition Chairperson

School to Career Steering Committee (action teams include business leadership, occupational standards, curriculum and training, communications and marketing and operations)

Fiscal Agent is County of Imperial

UROG Partnership consists of an academic specialist who works with instructors and students to make education much more relevant and to improve academic skills.  A community employer coordinator works to involve more employers in School to Career in order to provide increased opportunities to youth so that they are better prepared for work.  The School to Career coordinator will work with students and staff at the participating school sites to assist with STC school-based activities.

The introduction of the UROG staff to the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition was at their monthly meeting on December 13, 1999.

The academic specialist joined the UROG staff on March 3rd.   There were changes in staff during this short period of time.  Edwin Obergfell, the STC Coordinator resigned to take a position as Project Director for the Project Power program.  Effective June 12th, Deborah Harrold, previously the Community Employer Coordinator became the STC Coordinator.  Effective June 19th, Alex Perrone became the Community Employer Coordinator.  Being a resident and businessperson in the City of Calexico, Alex easily assumed the position of Community Employer Coordinator and brings much expertise to his position.

Alex Perrone and Deborah Harrold report directly to Mary Camacho, the Superintendent of the IVROP.  Elena Castro reports directly to Paula Wilkerson, the Federal and State Projects Director for the Calexico Unified School District.

We will continue our organizational structure under the umbrella of the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition.  This coalition also oversees the STC state grant functions of the Imperial County Office of Education.

Currently, the IVBEC consists of nineteen (19) members who meet on the third Monday of each month at 4:00 P.M. in the Imperial County Office of Education conference room.

B. System Evaluation, Data Collection, Continuous Improvement

Our School to Career plan includes feasible, measurable goals and collection.  A process component of the evaluation will focus on what the project does and how each task is accomplished.  The outcome component will assess selected project outcomes.  Data will be gathered throughout the project period.  Data gathered during the initial few months will serve as a comparison baseline at project end.  Observations and findings will be summarized and presented semi-annually to the Coalition.  An annual review will be made and data will be compiled and a statistical analyses will be made.  A final evaluation report including a project history (process record) summary of findings (outcome record) and a synthesis of learning and recommendations will be made to the Coalition.

The School to Career Coordinator and the Community Employer Coordinator monthly attend  the meetings of the Imperial Valley Business/Education Coalition and report on the activities for their grant.  We also provide handouts of materials for them to review and discuss.

For the UROG staff, we recognize that is our responsibility to competently evaluate and document what we have learned so we can disseminate and replicate when appropriate.  For these reasons, we identified ongoing evaluation as a priority goal.  And all evaluations results will be coordinated with state and federal evaluation efforts.  Our staff has  attended presentations, workshops and staff development at the national, state and local levels.

Continue to focus on the big picture of using various assessment methods in career education.






Continue our communications process with other School to Career programs. 

C. Fiscal Management

The County Administrative Office serves as lead agency and fiscal agent for this project. 

We have submitted our quarterly reports to the CAO office that forwards them to the Department of Labor.

We invited the previous UROG Project Director to attend the Heber School District Career and speak to several classes on her knowledge of public administration.

The CAO gave tours of their offices to some of our students.

We will continue to work closely with the CAO representative and apprise them of our activities through official reports and other means of communication.


We hope that they will be able to continue to participate in some of our School to Career activities, such as job shadowing and career fairs.

D. Strategies to Make System Self-Sustaining

Solicit input from the Coalition on development of School to Career plan.

Continue to develop effective strategies for working with at-risk youth.  Share developed strategies and material with other local and regional school districts.

Through our efforts of the Overall Economic Development Commission, the Enterprise Community committee and the Workforce Investment Board, we share the responsibility to create an environment, which supports teamwork and innovative new partnerships.  The partnership approach with School to Career has given way to a better understanding of the interrelationship of Imperial County’s physical, social, economic and environmental strengths and weaknesses.

Our partnerships with McDonalds Restaurants, Wal-Mart, Western Auto, U.S. Immigration, U.S. Border Patrol, City of Calexico Police Department, Imperial Irrigation District, Clinicas de Salud, the Calexico Chamber of Commerce and many others have been valuable to their programs/businesses as well as ours.

We have developed a Speakers Bureau database that we will continue to use for the schools to call upon when they need a special speaker in a particular area.

Our concept of partnership and sustainability is simple, work together instead of pulling apart.  We will go beyond our direct supporters and include any groups, organization or agencies in our mission.  We will be a catalyst to the efforts of other effective organizations.  This will be accomplished by working together  (as in an educator/employer conference) to define our common vision and goals, purpose, the timeline, our existing resources, gaps in resources, ways to reduce unemployment through education.

One way to accomplish this is through our vision of developing a system of using the Calexico Chamber’s database to involve their members in educational programs.  We plan to meet with the Calexico High School technology department to ascertain the feasibility of their organizing the facets for this software development.  The database would list the members that are interested in different aspects of School to Career and list them on their contact information.  An example would be:

McDonalds Restaurant

720 Imperial Avenue   357-6309

232 1st Street                357-4730

Calexico, CA   92231

Contact Person: Tony Gonzales

STC Activities:  student internships, teacher internships, mentoring, speaker’s bureau, employer conferences, and career fairs.

The result will be a broad-based coalition built on trust and common goals, not whether each player has a vested interest.  A common thread to our sustainability is an idea that cooperation will bring dividends for every partner, especially as we view our long-term goals and strategies for School to Career.