More than 100 Timpview High School students reporting to school this fall also will be reporting to work in the new Executive Technical Center in the "heart" of the school.
They'll be expected to dress up for work, call in sick if they can't be there, fine-tune their people skills and make up the work they miss if they're out."It'll be just like a job," said Anne Decker, project director. "Except our product is an employee who can fit right into an office setting."
Students enrolled in the venture will learn word and data processing, office management and communication skills.
Some 140 are enrolled for the fall semester. They'll spend two periods daily in the class.
When they start they'll find a brand-new office center in what used to be history classrooms. Before that, the space was used as a mini-auditorium with a stage. The center will feature 38 partitioned student stations and an office-type reception area where guests and visitors may wait.
Just off the center are rooms for multimedia presentations and pull-out sessions and training. The center is also adjacent to classrooms that offer complimentary courses.
Special attention will be given to English and oral and written communications, including training in resume and application writing.
"This will serve as a hub," said Decker. "Students walking by will look in the glass windows and be able to see activity, things happening. We hope they'll be intrigued."
Decker said the center fulfills what President Clinton is asking for with his "School to Work" programs.
"At the end, our students will have a portfolio with certificates of competency in a variety of areas, as many areas as they can cover. And we'll have an intern who understands what the workplace demands."
After initial training at the center, students will serve internships at local community businesses, while continuing to receive support through the center.
Often, interns from high school fail to make the transition between school and the office, said Decker. Sometimes employers are then frustrated because the interns don't seem to take their work seriously."
"Here, the job waits and so does the work," she said. "That's one way our students learn how it really is. The work doesn't go away. It still needs to be done."
Students involved in the Exec Center will be expected to set three goals a week and see them through to completion. They'll be introduced to the Franklin Quest Time Management system and expected to use a planner.
The program will be open to juniors and seniors who want a career in business, desktop publishing, graphic presentations, office management, even computer repair and networking engineering.
Students will need to have taken a basic computer class and algebra and eventually, a grade point average requirement will be set.
Cindee Hansen will work with each student on the internship program, helping them find which area they want to work in and seeing the internship process through.
Deborah Drummond will focus on English and communication skills. Matt Urban is a certified Novell engineer who will work with students interested in MS/DOS repair.
The center was created through the use of Centennial School funds and educational grants as well as with donations in money and equipment from a variety of local corporations including WordPerfect, Novell and Dynix that total more than $200,000.
The PTA and individual teachers have also contributed financially.
"The beauty of this is that there is no sacrifice in academic quality for the students," said Randy Merrill, Timpview's principal, "while they actually are being placed out on internships."