For the past nearly two decades, Storm Lake High School students have had the opportunity to participate in the League of Schools which provide students with exposure - through hands on training - in such career areas as home building, nursing, cosmetology, auto mechanics and others at no cost to them. Instructors are provided by Iowa Central Community College (and by Faust in the case of the cosmetology classes) and high school credit as well as college credit is given those students completing the courses. Students from Alta, Newell-Fonda, Sioux Central, Schaller-Crestland and St. Mary's have also had the opportunity to take part.
The classes have been divided out to the different districts, requiring some students to travel, during the school day, to the different districts.
The Storm Lake District has realized that this travel to Newell for the nursing course and to Alta for the building and trades program takes too much learning time away from their students.
After much discussion with the administrators of the districts involved in the League of Schools and with ICCC directors, it has been determined that because Storm Lake has the greatest number of students participating, courses should be made available in the city.
Next school year, the building and trades program and the nursing programs will be taught in Storm Lake.
The school board, Monday, signed a 28 E agreement with BB Development (Steve Brashears and James Brown) of Storm Lake.
The Iowa limited liability company which promotes development in the SL community and desires to provide a building project for the school district.
The agreement has been signed for only the upcoming school year. The project shall be a single family dwelling. BB Development will purchase a lot, or obtain rights to a lot, in order to conduct the building project, which will begin no later than the last week of August to allow ample enough time for the students to complete the project.
BB Development will provide project specifications, drawings and blue prints, building permits. The school district shall have no ownership interest in the property, building or materials.
The SL school district will be required to supply at least one instructor, who will communicate with BB Development to determine the tasks, and communicate with the students at all times.
So far, 28 SL students have signed up for the building and trades class, many more than in the past years. "Once we moved this project home," said SLHS Principal Teresa Coenen, "we knew the numbers would go up."
Students work on the project will have the chance to work on the project three hours in the morning or three hours in the afternoon.
Kim Piercy has served as the instructor for the building and trades program for 15 years and each year students have constructed a home in Alta. Students are completing its final project in Alta, a duplex and Piercy will be retiring from the program. A new instructor is being advertised for.
The school district also signed a 28E agreement with TriStar Nursing and Faust to allow students to continue participating in these career areas during the League of Schools program.
In the past, the nursing program was conducted at Newell through ICCC instructors. Principal Coenen said in the past the students have been required to pay out of their own pocket for their CNA test - costing about $120. Many of the students did not take the test for a number of reasons, perhaps mostly, though, due to the cost. The district will now pay for the testing - once. If a student fails the test, and wishes to take it again, he or she will be responsible to pay for it. The same quality instructors for this nursing program will be provided for the students wishing to learn about nursing.