The Elkhart Difference: Partnerships

Elkhart Community Schools works to facilitate a variety of formal and informal opportunities for businesses and non-profit organizations to become actively engaged in partnerships that help students and partnering companies.

School-business partnerships are critical for developing relationships that help build strong schools, highly performing students, and an actively engaged community. Many businesses are committed to enhancing the quality of education in Elkhart by providing contributions toward instructional programs and activities, volunteers for projects and mentoring, and direct donations. These school-business partnerships add significant value to the school district and community.

Internships and Job Shadows

Many partnering businesses offer our students the chance to complete an internship or job shadow. Internships and job shadows can be advantageous to both the student and the employer. These programs offer our students a chance to experience a real-world work environment to see if it is a career they’d like to pursue. For the employers, these programs offer them the opportunity to find potential candidates for future job openings, refine their training programs, help complete tasks, and give back to the schools and students.

Work Ethic Certification Program

Beginning with the class of 2018, Elkhart Community Schools will be offering Work Ethic Certification to our senior class. Students will receive a Work Ethic Certification upon graduation if they meet the following criteria: higher than 98% attendance, no more than four tardies, six hours of community service, no more than one office referral, must have work-related experience (internship, job shadowing, business tour, etc), must achieve staff approval on their PRIDE commitment (persistence, respectfulness, initiative, dependability, and efficiency), and a “C” average or higher. Elkhart Community Schools has partnered with all other high schools in Elkhart County to ensure criteria is consistent across all districts.

Work Ethic Certification provides an opportunity for businesses to see the commitment made by our students to work hard, have good attendance and behavior, and demonstrate persistence, respectfulness, initiative, dependability and efficiency. In return, businesses are asked to recognize the value of an applicant or employee who carries the Elkhart County Work Ethic Certification, through creative incentives, including guaranteed interview, hiring bonus, hourly wage increase, or other incentives.

Supporting ECS Schools

There are many opportunities for businesses, non-profits, and individuals to help support students at Elkhart Community Schools, including:

  • Volunteer in a classroom
  • Offer student rewards and/or incentives for achievement goals
  • Offer an education program for students (e.g. banking, finance)
  • Serve as a professional mentor
  • Facilitate company tours/field trips for groups of students
  • Support scholarships for students
  • Support athletic, music and/or theatre programs
  • Provide job skills training for students
  • Tutor or mentor a student
  • Display student artwork
  • Serve as a judge for student contests (science, writing, etc.)
  • Assist with technology needs
  • Cash or in-kind support of an event/project
  • Purchase advertising in an event program
  • Offer discounts or special promotions for students and school employees
  • Support teacher recognition programs
  • Sponsor and facilitate teacher externships
  • Fundraising programs or donations for schools, specific departments or PTOs
  • Adopt and support a specific school