Every year, community members support Frisco ISD students through a variety of avenues. Through academic partnerships, mentorships and tutoring, individuals provide unique development opportunities for students throughout the District.
To kick off the new school year, a breakfast was held at the Career and Technical Education Center to celebrate the importance of partnerships and volunteers in the District.
Community business partners were treated to a breakfast sponsored by Taco Deli and had the opportunity to meet members of the School Board, Instructional Support Team and a few students who have benefited from partnerships.
Superintendent Dr. Mike Waldrip thanked those who donate their time to the District and emphasized that schools cannot do it alone.
“Community and business members provide a wealth of input and knowledge about the changing workplace,” Dr. Waldrip said. “Those in the business community are at the forefront of the changing needs in the skillset of the workforce. We need help as a school system to help prepare kids for their future.”
The District is committed to innovative community partnerships and welcomes ideas on what has worked well in other Districts.
A long-standing initiative in Frisco ISD has been the Independent Study & Mentorship (ISM) program. In ISM, students gain real-world experience under the guidance of a mentor. Students seek mentors for a variety of career interests from tattoo artists to museum curators.
ISM student Tara Driskill of Frisco High School studied psychotherapy last year and spoke about the value of the program thanks to her mentor.
“I learned how to sell myself and my cause in order to find people who are just as passionate about mental health as I am,” Driskill said. “I genuinely had the best experience that I could have asked for. Learning something first hand, straight from the expert is incredible.”
Vijaya Dutt of Heritage High School studied psychiatry and compared the ISM program to agriculture.
“Instead of giving me a finished plant, ISM gave me the seeds. Instead of giving me explicit instructions on what to do and how to learn best, ISM encouraged me to grow,” Dutt said. “ISM gave me the framework for growth and encouraged me to do something in a way that got me out of my comfort zone.”
These students and hundreds more were able to preview the careers they are interested in thanks to the generosity of members in the Frisco ISD community.
With 450 students in the ISM program in the 2019-20 school year, volunteers are needed and encouraged to learn more here.
INCubatoredu winners, Dylan Lam, Bradley Riches and Arshini Suresh of Lone Star High School, spoke about the valuable insight community members provided as they developed their company, CHIP, over the past school year. Under the guidance of business leaders in the community, they devised a device locator app to help consumers keep track of their valuable devices. They will continue to develop their product into the next school year with the guidance of mentors.
Also in attendance was Kelly Hemenway, the newly hired coordinator for academic partnerships. Hemenway aims to solidify bonds with the business community in support of student programs.
Hemenway spoke about the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. AVID provides students who would be first-generation college students support and guidance through mentorship and academic tutoring. These students can grow and be supported on their path toward a post-secondary education as they take advanced coursework such as Advanced Placement (AP) or Pre-AP courses. These students are also in need of volunteer mentors and tutors.
In Frisco ISD, learning extends outside the classroom. With the help of the community, the District can continue to prepare students for the future.
“It is important that community and business members share their expertise in order to prepare our students for the workforce opportunities ahead,” said Allison Miller, director of community relations.
If you are interested in sharing your time, talent or resources with Frisco ISD students, click here to learn more about the partnership opportunities available.