by Mike Overbey, Chief Operation Officer
West Clermont Schools
Partnerships Key to Developing Learning Ecosystem
At West Clermont, we recognize that schools are one piece of the puzzle to educating students in 2022 and beyond. Over the past decade, a renewed emphasis has been placed on developing impactful partnerships with families and the community.
One of the benefits of these partnerships is that our students have opportunities to learn, grow and network outside the four walls of a traditional school. After the opening of West Clermont High School and Middle Schools, we accelerated our work to create new and different partnerships with local hospitals, businesses, universities, the Business Advisory Council and many others. We have branded this work WCYourFuture. WCYourFuture provides our students opportunities to shadow, intern, find employment, visit and learn from professionals during and after the school day.
One of our new partnerships is The INTERalliance which strives to grow the IT pipeline in the Greater Cincinnati area by partnering with high schools, businesses and universities. American Modern Insurance Group (AMIG) approached us with the idea of sponsoring a chapter and we jumped at the opportunity. West Clermont High School teacher Ryan Conley is leading a group of students, who placed first in two recent competitions focused on assistive technology and incorporating art, business and technology . Mr. Conley is also leading our new West Clermont High School Early IT program for the 2022-2023 school year.
At our middle school, students and staff have been incorporating ARC (authenticity, relevancy, community) learning. They have worked with a consultant to engage students through student-centered projects. Michael Hamilton, seventh grade science teacher, has embraced ARC in his classroom. Students have worked on passion projects, revamped the middle school courtyards, utilized the outdoor classrooms/trails to understand abiotic/biotic factors, and completed STEM projects.
In the spring of 2021, Summerside Elementary partnered with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to bring the goIT program to fifth graders. goIT challenges students to solve real-world problems by utilizing the design thinking process. Students collaborated with one another and the TCS team to create “wireframes” of apps to solve student generated problems such as safety, equity and water quality.
In October of 2021, we invited community members to map community assets available to our students, families and staff. Community Asset Mapping as defined by our consultant, Tim Kubik, is harnessing the power and documenting the following to strengthen community collaboration:
- Gifts, talents, and skills of the residents
- Network of relationships, connected gifts or “associations”
- Institutions and professional entities
- Physical assets, such as land, property, buildings, and equipment
- Economic assets, such as the productive work of individuals, consumer spending power, and local businesses
- The culture and stories of your community
A follow-up meeting was held in mid-January to bring the community asset map to life. Community members collaborated with students, parents and teachers to develop engaging projects that allow students to interact with community experts in the classroom and beyond.
West Clermont continues to develop a student-centered learning ecosystem through opportunities such as The INTERalliance, ARC, goIT and community asset mapping. By leveraging technology and partners, West Clermont students and staff will continue to bring our Portrait of a Graduate skills and attributes to life!