The Rochester City School District is launching the Rochester PENCIL Partnership Program to bring a wealth of resources and expertise from the business community into its public schools to help transform the learning experience for students.
How do PENCIL and RCSD define "partnership"?
A cosmetics company has partnered with a local high school. The company has recruited a team of employees from across departments to get involved in a variety of school-based projects including a unique career awareness program that enables students to design a mock business campaign.
A partnership is a relationship between a school principal and a business leader (or team of business leaders) that lasts a minimum of one school year. Successful partnerships set goals and strategically develop projects and initiatives to have a measurable impact in one of more of the following areas: developing strong leaders, building school capacity, or enhancing the learning experience for students.
What is the process for participating?
Business leaders are asked to apply for the Rochester PENCIL Partnership Program by completing an application. Matches are then made based on the resources of the business and the needs of the school. Once matches are made, businesses leaders will receive preparation materials including details and contact information for their schools.
What does a partnership entail?
Partnerships are launched during the Principal For A Day event during which business partners spend a morning visiting their new school partner and getting to know the school community. The principal and business partner then determine the structure of their collaboration: the time and resources they are willing to commit, and the method and frequency of communication and involvement that will be most effective.
How can a school benefit from a partnership?
A principal has the opportunity to bring a wealth of resources into his/her school through involvement in a partnership including: access to new networks; access to a diverse set of skills and expertise; expanded opportunities for students; professional and leadership development for staff; and curriculum enhancement opportunities.
How can a business leader benefit from a partnership?
A school-based partnership enables a business leader to invest in the future of Rochester; provide an opportunity for employees to share their skills and expertise to make a difference in student success; to receive recognition of their company's efforts in the community; and to become part of a network of business leaders who are working together to improve our city's public education system.
Examples of PENCIL Partnerships:
A small design firm began a partnership with a high school to help convey the school's unique identity through a successful branding campaign. The principal credits these efforts with attracting more applicants, bolstering student and staff pride, and reinforcing the school's community service mission.
A small law firm is working with an elementary school to develop a fifth-grade student council. The firm organized court visits for the students to learn about courthouse careers and gain insight into the judicial process.
A partner from a financial firm is working with an elementary school with a significant special needs population. He led a fundraising initiative to outfit a "Home Career Lab" to support life skills classes; held professional development sessions for school staff; and provided work experience for eight students through steady employment in the company's cafeteria.
A small business owner is partnered with an elementary school, enlisting his employees to speak with students about the transition from school to work. His team is also creating a new website for the school and training students to assist in maintaining the site.