Career Tech is a unique partnership between Lincoln County School District and Community Services Consortium, designed to give student "employees" guided practice in basic career survival skills by providing a simulated workplace environment, complete with time clock, work centers, and business-level expectations regarding attitude and behavior.
Although this program is open to any student who demonstrates a willingness to participate in the workplace simulation, it's not for everyone! Prospective student "employees" should visit the program to see how the "company" operates before they start the application process.
Through the Career Tech program, student "employees" learn to be motivated, self-directed and prepared to follow basic employer expectations. Student "employees" are encouraged to view their schoolwork as a job for which they are paid in credits toward graduation. Work contracts with specific goals for attendance, behavior and productivity are negotiated with staff at yearly intake interviews and revised at quarterly performance reviews. Just like "on the job", student "employees" are rated on a variety of "real life" skills, from general appearance, aptitude, and commitment to productivity, attendance and behavior.
Student "employees" are "hired" for this program and may be "fired" for not meeting program expectations. Terminated student "employees" who demonstrate they are ready to try the program again may be re-instated on academic probation. To remain in the program, student "employees" must demonstrate willingness to get serious about the world of work.
If you can follow a few simple rules and if you are willing to get the job done correctly and on time, Career Tech may be your ticket to success in the job market!
Enrolling at Career Tech
The first step in becoming a student at Career Tech is to visit the program to see how it works. Then, there is the application packet to fill out. When the application packet is completed and received at Career Tech, the applicant will schedule a day to take the Test of Adult Basic Education and a quiz on Career Tech policies. When these are completed, an intake interview appointment will be scheduled. If the applicant is under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must also be present at the interview.
Intake interviews are much like a job interview. Staff members meet with the applicant (and parent/guardian) to discuss the applicant's history in school, work and other areas. The applicant's willingness to cooperate will be a major factor in considering his or her application.
Following the interview, the staff will discuss whether or not attending Career Tech is an appropriate placement for the student. The student will then be notified regarding his or her status.
Students who are accepted enter Career Tech as "probationary employees". Their first class will be Orientation followed by a series of introductory classes that will ensure that students have the basic academic and technical skills necessary for working in the program. Probation lasts one quarter.
Career Tech serves a limited number of student "employees" every year. Student "employees" must defend their place in the program by attending regularly, following the rules and being productive, or their seat will be given to someone on the waiting list!
Policies and Procedures
Every company has policies and procedures, which must be followed if you expect to remain employed. At Career Tech, you must be familiar with all the rules and regulations included in this handbook. And, you must follow them if you want to remain "employed" at Career Tech!
There are three main policies to be aware of: Attendance, Behavior and Productivity. Attendance involves being here regularly and on time, or calling in if you won't be here (and bringing in a note). Behavior refers to your ability to follow the rules. Productivity means getting the job done regularly, correctly and on time.
Excused Absence and Tardy Policy
Student "employees" must maintain 92% attendance at Career Tech. This means that each year a student will be able to take no more than 16 excused absences in one school year. This breaks down to 4 excused absences in each of the 4 quarters. If a student exceeds 4 excused absences in one quarter, a Level 1 meeting will be scheduled to address the problem, and to reach a solution. Consequent excused absences within that quarter will be dealt with via a Level 2 meeting. If the problem is not solved during the quarter, a Level 3 meeting will convene to find a more appropriate educational placement for the student.
Students will be accountable to the same procedure in relation to lateness. If a student is more than five (5) minutes late, it will be counted as a Tardy. Each student will be allowed no more than 16 tardies in one school year. This breaks down to 4 tardies in each of the 4 quarters. If a student exceeds 4 tardies in one quarter, a Level 1 meeting will be scheduled to address the problem and to reach a solution. Consequent tardies within that quarter will be dealt with via a Level 2 meeting. If the problem is not solved, a Level 3 meeting will convene to find a more appropriate educational placement for the student.
Unexcused absences are not tolerated. A Level 1 meeting will be scheduled at the first infraction. Subsequent meetings, Level 2 and 3, will follow as additional unexcused absences occur.
Leaves of Absence, or Pre-Arranged Absences
Upon request, leaves of absences due to personal reasons may be granted. Student "employees" need to request a conference with teaching staff to arrange leave of absence, and to develop a contract to make up the missed hours and assignments.
1. Students at Career Tech must participate in the workplace simulation. Students must view the school staff as they would view their employers and behave as if they were in a work environment.
a. Socializing is disruptive and must be limited to work in progress.
b. Appearance must be appropriate for a work setting.
c. Attitude must include:
- Ability to accept and follow direction from staff.
- Willingness to accept individual and work group assignments.
- Willingness to get on task as soon as possible.
- Willingness to stay on task for the entire work period.
- Willingness to get the job done correctly and on time.
- Respect for others, for the equipment, and for the school building.
2. Student "employees" must be willing to follow all the rules, guidelines, and general information explained in this handbook. (See Rules section.) There are a lot of rules to remember. That's why we give out this handbook. All students, therefore, are required to read and be familiar with this handbook. Yes, there will be a policy quiz before an applicant will be accepted!
3. Students who do not follow these rules and guidelines will be in violation of the Behavior Policy.
Productivity is measured in credits. Students must earn 1½ credits per quarter or 3 credits per semester. Students that fail to meet the productivity policy will be subject to the Policy Violation Procedure.
At Career Tech, you have been "hired" to do school work. When you complete a class, you are "paid" with credits toward graduation. Just like any job, if you don't complete your work, you won't get paid!
At Career Tech, you are expected to complete 1 ½ credits each quarter. In order to meet these requirements, you will need to turn assignments in regularly.
Most work assignments at Career Tech are project-based. This means, you will be doing research on topics and creating ways to show what you've learned. You might be working alone or as a member of a team.
When you are working on projects, you will work out a project plan, which will be filed with your teacher/manager. Your plan will include deadlines, which you (or your team) will set. It is up to you to get your work done by the deadline, or re-set the deadline if you find that you need more time.
Team projects are an important part of the Career Tech program. As a team member, you will be rated both by your teacher/manager and by the other members of your team.
Career Tech uses the higher-order thinking model put forward by Benjamin Bloom to assess student work.
You are also expected to learn the information in the subject that you are working on and to produce a product that shows what you know. You will be assessed on the quality of your work as well as on how much you know about the topic after finishing the project.
Tests may involve rating your knowledge and understanding of the data using multiple-choice, essay, and true/false questions, as well as, demonstrations.
Quality checks involve rating the product that shows what you know based upon your demonstration of application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
You are expected to complete work by the set deadline.
Policy Violation Procedure
In a traditional school program, students who break the rules may get a referral, be assigned detention, be suspended or expelled, depending on the offense. Because Career Tech is more like a job than a school, discipline is handled differently.
Career Tech has a 3 level procedure for working with student "employees" who do not follow major policies regarding attendance, behavior, and productivity. Criminal acts including violence, drugs/alcohol, or weapons automatically begin at Level 3.
This process is viewed as a safety net to help students remain in the program. At each stage, effort is made to connect student "employees" with the resources they need to meet program requirements.
Staff meets with student.
Parent/guardian may be notified.
Policy is reviewed.
Specific violation is discussed.
Barriers (reason policy was not followed) are identified.
Plan is developed to meet policy.
Date set to check if policy is being met.
Employee Assistance Program referral may be made.
Staff meets with student and parent or guardian.
Policy is reviewed.
Specific violation is discussed.
Plan for meeting policy is reviewed and modified.
Date is set to check if policy is being met.
Reminder: next violation results in removal from program.
Employee Assistance Program referral will be made.
Staff meets with student, parent, and EAP counselor.
Representative from other pertinent agencies may be invited.
Policy is reviewed.
Specific violation is examined.
Discussion of other possible alternative placements begins.
District procedures for suspension or expulsion begin, if necessary.
Set the conditions to be met before student "employee" may reapply.
Students may be "fired" immediately if certain situations occur:
Weapons, non-prescription drugs and/or alcohol brought to school
Intimidation of any kind.
City Building Rules
The following rules apply to the entire Lincoln Square building, which includes the parking garage, both the lower and upper parking lots, Driftwood Library, City Hall, and Price 'n' Pride:
Enter from and exit to the parking lot atop Price 'n' Pride. Use of the freight elevator is limited to disabled persons and/or those with expressed written permission.
Be Quiet. VERY IMPORTANT! This means inside and outside the building. No swearing, spitting, or shouting on City Hall premises. You are setting the example for the school.
No Smoking. No smoking anything. Anywhere. Anytime. Any age. No smoking.
Do Not Loiter. In other words, no hanging out around the building or blocking stairwells. If you have to wait for a ride, please do not sleep or stand on the picnic table on the rooftop parking. Arrange your transportation so that the waiting time is brief.
Drive Safely and Responsibly. DO NOT EXCEED the 5 mph limit! Park above Price N Pride, follow the arrows, and go slowly.
Respect the building! This includes the surrounding grounds, the people, the elevators, the furniture, etc.
Career Tech is not a place to socialize. It is a place to work. We expect you to behave responsibly and professionally.
Attend Regularly. You must meet your required hours every week to remain enrolled at Career Tech.
Be Productive. You only get credit at Career Tech if you hand in work.
No work = no credit.
Follow the rules. All the rules in this booklet.
Be Quiet. Student "employees" are working, minds are thinking. Noise disrupts this. This is very important.
Clock in and out for your session. This is how we monitor your attendance.
Sign out whenever you leave the room. There's a sign out sheet for this purpose.
Phone use for Emergency only. Personal calls may be made at the staff's discretion. No cell phone usage during your session.
Conference room is reserved for special classes and meetings.
Ask questions. If you do not understand something, it is your responsibility to find the answer. Just Ask!
Sign out books for classroom use. Enter your name and the date on the card in the book and give it to your teacher.
Books stay at Career Tech. Do not take books home without expressed permission from staff.
Additional Rules and Guidelines
Career Tech hours of operation:
Morning Session: 8am to 11am
Closed for Lunch: 11:15 am-12: 45 PM
Afternoon Session: 1pm to 4pm
11 am and 4 PM are open for scheduling meetings and special activities
Upon entry, remember to clock in for your session.
Remember to clock out in the same fashion as you leave.
The time clock is your record of attendance.
If you forget to clock in or out, notify the staff as soon as possible
For staff to return assignments to student "employees" for correction
For student "employees" to store notebooks, pens, and pencils
Staff areas are off-limits to student "employees" unless permission or invitation is given.
Course Cover Sheets:
Follow the directions on the cover sheet
Staff has an official copy in your file
Student should use cover sheet to monitor progress
Do not take tests home!
Request a test from staff.
Sit at designated testing area to complete the test.
Return test to staff when completed.
Student "employees" must receive 100% on tests that require mastery.
Some on-line curriculum will allow you to pass with less than 100%.
Re-doing tests to reach mastery is common practice at Career Tech.
Only credits of 1/4 or greater only are awarded.
Grades are issued when work is completed. When . . . Then.
All Lincoln County School District guidelines on dress will be followed
No offensive decorations or wording allowed.
Nothing advocating the use of alcohol, drugs, or weapons or no illustrations of pornography or violence.
Clothes must be appropriate for our workplace, clean, and safe.
If a student reveals in confidence information that indicates they are endangering themselves or others, Career Tech staff is legally obligated to notify the proper authority. Confidentiality is assured in all other cases.
The Career Tech program relies on your desire to learn. Cheating rather than learning is unacceptable. To ensure properly monitored tests, take them only at designated testing areas. Any cheating in or out of class will result in a suspension. A second offense will result in suspension and removal from the program.
At the end of each quarter, you and your teachers will meet for a Performance Review to evaluate your success at meeting attendance, behavior, and production goals. If you are falling behind in credits, have exceeded the limits for absences/tardies, or have a pattern of unprofessional behavior, you may be placed on a work plan or be transitioned to a more appropriate educational setting.
Food and Drink
Food and drink are not permitted in the classrooms. Plan to eat before or after your session. Water is only allowed in restricted areas for safety reasons.
A school calendar for Career Tech will be provided, and changes will be announced as they come up.
In case of bad weather, please listen to radio reports for the regular school closure notices. If Taft High School is closed or opening late, Career Tech will follow the same guidelines. If you cannot make it to school, for this or any other reason, please call the school.
Language used at Career Tech should resemble that appropriate to a business that deals with the public. Obscenities, threats, insults, rudeness and/or inappropriate tone and volume are unacceptable.
Invading others' physical space against their wishes is inappropriate. Hitting or threatening gestures, throwing objects, etc. are illegal. Violence and the possession or use of weapons will result in immediate dismissal as well as appropriate legal intervention.
Affectionate displays such as kissing, hugging, holding hands, and other intimate gestures are also not appropriate in our workplace. All federal guidelines regarding sexual harassment will be followed.
Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco
If tobacco, drugs or alcohol have been an issue for you, we need to discuss their influence on your life as a part of this program. However, the same policy regarding the use and/or possession of tobacco, drugs or alcohol applies here as at Taft High School and at any employer. You may not use, possess, distribute or be under the influence of illegal drugs, alcohol or narcotics on or near school grounds during school hours or at school sponsored activities. You may not smoke or use any tobacco product on campus. Please do not use tobacco products anywhere on or within 1000 feet of the grounds of Lincoln Square or its parking areas.
If you are suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your parent/guardian will be notified and you will be asked to leave your session. You may also be searched. The police will be called, if it is apparent you are in possession of a controlled substance or a weapon. You will be subject to suspension or expulsion according to Lincoln County School District regulations. If the behavior continues, you will be dismissed from Career Tech.
Your body must be appropriately covered. Clothing must not contain images of violence, sex, drug or alcohol use and must be of appropriate fashion such that it does not present a hazard to you or others. Specific dress code questions can be directed to staff.
All visitors must be approved by staff members in advance. Just as you would not expect to bring a friend or relative to work, don 't expect us to allow visitors at Career Tech. The Driftwood Library is a great place for friends to wait for you. So is the Mall.
Career Tech adheres to LCSD's "zero tolerance" policy 5103 regarding weapons in the school. You probably recognize that bringing guns, switchblades or heavy chains would be against the rules, but also remember something as simple as a pocketknife is considered a weapon under this law. And, since Career Tech is located in an official building with city offices and where court is held, violators of the weapons policy may face additional penalties. Career Tech is a place of learning. Weapons are not appropriate.
Community Services Consortium
CSC, partners with LCSD in the creation of Career Tech, offers many other specially funded programs to qualified individuals. They can include the following:
Paid Work Experience/Mentorship
Paid Pre-Employment and Customer Service Training
Help in overcoming barriers to employment and/or education
Please talk to Staff if you are interested in these.
Early Graduation (Fast Track)
Student employees requesting early graduation must comply with Lincoln County School District regulations. First, a plan must be drawn up in the first week of the first quarter of the junior or senior year that explains how and why the early graduation will be accomplished. The plan must be approved by the teaching staff, and the student employee's parent/guardian.
Fire Drills occur once a month, at random. The exit pattern is: down the stairs to the roof parking lot, following the edge of the building, and out to the side of the street, off the roof. Individuals should listen carefully to any additional directions given by school staff. Do not leave the area until dismissed by school staff.
No policy included in this handbook is intended to abridge any school district, state or federal law. Each student is required to be familiar with this information and any changes or additions we may announce during the course of the school year.