WASHINGTON–Are you a representative of a school, school district or company that has formed a school-business partnership that’s making a measurable difference in the academic, social or physical well-being of K-12 students? If so, your partnership may be a competitive candidate for the 20062007 National School and Business Partnerships Award. The Award is presented by The Council for Corporate & School Partnerships. The Council is chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley and includes national business leaders along with representatives of major education organizations.

The Council will present the Award to six exemplary school-business partnerships–each winning partnership will receive $10,000 along with national recognition. Winning partnerships serve as “best practice” models for schools and businesses newly engaging in partnership efforts or for existing partnerships focused on continuous comprehensive improvement. Applications are available at www.corpschoolpartners.org and are due no later than January 30, 2007. Applicants are urged to submit early.

Each application for the Award will be judged on how well the partnership demonstrates success in four categories, including:

*foundation–how the partnership was initially established;

*implementation–how the partners work together on an ongoing basis;

*sustainability–how the partners work to sustain the partnership over time, and;

*evaluation–the impact the partnership has on the business and school communities.

“School-business partnerships are vital toward preparing students for the challenges of higher education and the 21st Century workplace,” said Secretary Riley. “Effective, evidence-based partnerships lay out a carefully constructed plan with mutually agreed upon goals and objectives that include a shared understanding of approach. Well-designed, thoughtful partnerships improve student achievement and better prepare our nation’s future workforce.”

The Council created the Awards program in 2002, and last year received 330 applications from communities across every region of the U.S. The Award applications typically come from public elementary, middle and secondary schools in urban, suburban and rural areas. Business partners range from small businesses to large corporations and usually represent a range of sectors, including health care, technology, automotive and energy companies and the financial services industry. Many partnerships also have involved Chambers of Commerce and business coalitions.

Timeline for the 2006–2007 National School and Business Partnership Award

October 31, 2006: Applications available at www.corpschoolpartners.org

January 30, 2007: Applications due

March 9, 2007: Application review period ends

April 6, 2007: Winners notified

April 25, 2007: Public announcement of winners

Last year’s Award recipients included, among others, Lake Highlands Junior High School and Richardson (Texas) Independent School District and Texas Instruments, a partnership that leveraged technology to achieve solid gains in mathematics achievement among 7th and 8th graders; Pittsville, Wisconsin’s Pittsville High School and Gardner Cold Storage and Trucking, student-led tours of a working cranberry farm that enable science students–80 percent of whom are now headed to college–to build academic knowledge and workplace skills; and the Anchorage, Alaska School District and Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, an expansive network that enabled 49,000 students to learn more about opportunities in the local workforce through 450 partnerships between schools and area businesses.

“Schools and businesses are very different places, but there’s plenty of common ground when it comes to the desire to deliver a rigorous and rewarding educational experience,” said Carlton Curtis, Vice President, Industry Affairs of Coca-Cola North America. “Seasoned business executives, middle managers and entry level workers all feel an enormous sense of ownership in these partnerships and greatly value their experiences with educators and students of all ages.”

Founded by The Coca-Cola Company in 2001 to identify, create, recognize and support exemplary partnerships between businesses and schools, the Council serves as a forum for the exchange of information, expertise and ideas to ensure that partnerships between schools and businesses achieve their full potential for meeting key education objectives.

To assist schools and businesses in engaging in partnerships based on a shared understanding of values and culture, the first initiative of The Council for Corporate & School Partnerships was to create Guiding Principles for Business and School Partnerships. This report describes the qualities of some of the most successful school and business relationships and provides direction for schools and businesses that are interested in forming, maintaining or improving successful school-business partnerships.

A second core initiative was to create A How-To Guide for School-Business Partnerships, an instructional booklet designed for school officials and business leaders who are interested in engaging in school-business partnerships. Both documents can serve as guides to applicants for the National School and Business Partnerships Award. They are available at the Council’s Web site at http://www.corpschoolpartners.org

Members of The Council for Corporate & School Partnerships include:

Chairman
The Honorable Richard Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education and former Governor of South Carolina

Members

Dr. Anne L. Bryant,Executive Director, National School Boards Association

Mr. Ronald Blackburn-Moreno, President & CEO, The ASPIRA Association, Inc.

Ms. Warlene Gary, Chief Executive Officer, National Parent Teacher Association

Dr. Paul Houston, Executive Director,American Association of School Administrators

Mr. Stephen Jordan, Vice President and Executive Director, Business Civic Leadership Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Terry Peterson. Director, National Resource Network for Afterschool and Community Education

Dr. Larry Price, Superintendent, Wilson County Schools

Dr. Mel J. Riddile, Principal, T.C. Williams High School

Dr. Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals

Ms. Brenda Welburn, Executive Director, National Association of State Boards of Education
Dr. Judith Young, Vice President for Programs, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

For more information on The Council for Corporate & School Partnerships’ National School and Business Partnerships Award or other Council activities or resources, please contact Lisa Bushey at 202.667.0901 or visit www.corpschoolpartners.org.

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