District Administration July 2018 - 45

Companies in the Classroom
Topeka Public Schools
Topeka, Kansas
CHALLENGE: Topeka Public Schools has a high rate of
at-risk students, with more
than 70 percent receiving
free- or reduced-price lunch.
Statewide funding cuts have
limited resources for food,
clothing and mental health
care.
INITIATIVE: Companies
in the Classroom brings in
community partners and
business dollars to meet
student needs. Businesses
"adopt" schools-so far, new
shoes and coats have been
provided for more than 200
preschoolers, a food pantry has been stocked, and
a clothing bank has been
established. Partners also
mentor students and stage
financial planning seminars

for parents. The program has
covered costs for students'
ACT tests and prep courses,
and has also sponsored college visits.
IMPACT: Led by Advisors
Excel, which has invested
more than $1 million in
the program, companies
have provided students
with many basic necessities.
"When barriers are removed
for our students, they can
better focus on their academics," says Misty Kruger,
director of communications.
ADVICE: Companies of
all sizes can participate, so
"think outside the box," says
Kruger. "Ask for more than
you think you will get, and
then work from there."

LENDING A HAND-With more than 70 percent of
students classified as at-risk, Topeka Public Schools
has reached out to local companies to "adopt" schools
to provide coats, shoes and other clothing.

Warriors BEyond

Mariemont City Schools
Mariemont, Ohio
CHALLENGE: Administrators sought to provide more
experiential learning opportunities because graduates
were declaring college majors with no experience within
the associated career fields. "Discovering what you don't
like is just as important as discovering what you do like,"
says Brent Wise, director of technology and strategic
initiatives.
INITIATIVE: Warriors BEyond allows students to explore
career paths. Elementary students, for example, select
four ungraded, weekly explorations in areas such as
karate, robotics or makerspaces. Junior high students can
choose woodworking, baking from scratch or exploring
Cincinnati, among other subjects. High school students
can shadow local professionals or explore college campuses. They can also a enroll in teacher-led courses in

www.DistrictAdministration.com

subjects such as rock climbing, community service or
computer game development. High school students also
can travel to Iceland, Costa Rica and New York, among
other destinations.
IMPACT: More students have been enrolling in college
programs and starting careers in fields they experienced
through Warriors BEyond. Participation in student travel
has increased from near zero to 10 percent. Additionally,
the after-school enrichment program has grown to more
than 600 students.
ADVICE: Identify a gap in the opportunities and experiences being offered to students. Identify student interests
and design an accommodating schedule. Start small-do
not try to replicate the entire program in one year.

July 2018 45


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration July 2018

District Administration July 2018 - 1
District Administration July 2018 - Cover1
District Administration July 2018 - Cover2
District Administration July 2018 - 1
District Administration July 2018 - 2
District Administration July 2018 - 3
District Administration July 2018 - 4
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District Administration July 2018 - Cover3
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