The Pattonville School District has been awarded a $500,000 competitive Innovation High School Grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for a program titled “Pattonville’s Pathway to Success.” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced the award on Feb. 7.
Funding for the grant comes via the Community Development Block Grants funds, administered by the Department of Economic Development (DED) as part of a Pathways to Prosperity pilot program. Pathways to Prosperity, initiated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is focused on helping schools create pathways that combine rigorous academics with strong technical education and lead to success after high school. Missouri is one of six states chosen by Harvard University and Jobs for the Future to participate in the pilot.
Pattonville’s program is designed to increase the graduation rate and success of students after graduation by creating career options and encouraging students to enter career paths within the areas of advanced manufacturing, health/medical professions and information technology. A focus is placed on increasing the percentage of low- to medium-income students who enter those high-demand fields.
Through the grant, Pattonville and the St. Louis County Economic Development Council will create and support these three career pathways by working in collaboration with St. Louis Community College (STLCC) and local businesses. STLCC will offer both on-site and satellite campus associate degree-level courses, creating an opportunity for dual enrollment allowing Pattonville students to earn both high school and college credit. Further, students will be provided work-study and internship opportunities with cooperating area businesses, creating real-world learning experiences. Students involved in the program will have individual educational plans developed for their chosen career paths.
In addition to the St. Louis County Economic Council and St. Louis Community College, other partners who will work with Pattonville on the Pathway to Success program include Ameren Missouri, the city of Maryland Heights, DePaul Health Center, Eagle Consultants, Fred Weber Inc., North County Inc., the Northwest Chamber of Commerce, the Pattonville Fire Protection District, Schattdecor Inc., and World Wide Technology Inc. The business partners have all committed to collaborating with Pattonville to develop work-study and internship opportunities for students ranging from job-shadowing to hands-on experiences under direct supervision.
Missouri’s Innovation High School Grant is an opportunity to provide resources for education and training with the ultimate goal of job creation and retention through a partnership between the Pattonville School District, local businesses and the St. Louis Community College. This competitive grant is designed to ultimately increase jobs in high-demand businesses and industries; enable students/trainees to earn certificates, associate degrees or other credentials aligned with these jobs; reduce the costs of education/training through a combination of early college credits and private business underwriting; increase the use of high-impact apprenticeships with prospective employers as an integral part of training/educational curricula; and improve the preparation of students/trainees for employment in the high-growth business and industries.