Partners in Education
A Project of the Baytown Chamber of Commerce
Through the Partners In Education (PIE) program, businesses are paired with Goose Creek CISD schools to plan a number of activities for the students each month, ranging from tutoring and mentoring programs, to perfect-attendance incentives, to academic incentives, and lunch-buddy programs, to field trips and guest speakers. The businesses make it possible for the employees to be volunteer tutors and mentors to countless children throughout the Greater Baytown Area. Partners In Education exists for the support & enrichment of the educational process and benefits both the school & the business. It is sometimes hard to put into words the impact that the business representatives have on the children and the children have on the business representatives.
Definition of the Program
- Partners In Education (PIE) is a joint program sponsored by the Baytown Chamber of Commerce & Goose Creek CISD. We must work closely together in administering the program to ensure success.
- For a business to become a partner with a school, it must be willing to have a commitment for the entire school year. The partnership may be renewed a the close of the year, however a program which does not last for the entire school year is not considered a partnership. For example, a one-time presentation to a school or a single field trip is not a partnership.
- When a business becomes a partner with a school, it must assign a primary contact for the school to communicate. It is suggested that a business have a PIE Committee so that several people can share the load of organizing and administering programs for the school.
- Each school must designate a primary contact person who has the time and the enthusiasm to administer the PIE program. The business should only have to communicate through one school contact. This ensures a consolidated and well-monitored program.
- Both the school and business representatives will be required to serve on the Chamber’s PIE Committee. This committee meets four times throughout the school year. The committee gives updates on the program at your campus.
- More than one business may become partners with a school, however each business is responsible for their own activities, but they may want to combine their efforts for the betterment of the campus and they may do so. It is important for the school to have a designated person who records all activities and communicates them to the Chamber. This person is often an assistant principal and he/she is responsible for publishing activities in the school newsletter/website as well.
- The actual role of the Chamber is to facilitate the Partnerships in need of help, recruit new partners, and recognize outstanding programs via awards and publications for the purpose of promoting the program to the community.
- When a large business becomes partners with a school, it is important to have full support of the CEO (or equivalent for that business). At the beginning of the partnership, the CEO should communicate his support to the employees to become involved with the PIE activities. Everyone in the business should be aware of and have the opportunity to participate in the partnership on a volunteer basis.
- If a small business does not feel they can become partners with an entire school, they may choose a program or a classroom with the school. For example, a business may choose to pair with a 6th grade science class.
- The relationship between partners is a two-way street and examples of what students can do for businesses are: host singing programs at the business, provide art work for the lobby decorations, pen pal programs and much more.
- Goals should be mutually beneficial & acceptable and relate to the goals of the school and the school district.
- Realistic and attainable goals should be set by both partners working together.
- Both partners should gather input from their respective employees before making commitments.
- Both partners in the program should be cautious in making promises which may not can’t be kept.
- Money and/or material items SHOULD NOT be the major factor!
- The PIE program should be over and above current school activities provided b existing program, projects, PTA funds, etc.
- Be sensitive not to overburden each other with requests that would jeopardize the program
The Foundation – Common Principles
The following points should be considered carefully:
- The emphasis should be on utilizing the human resources of the business organization: Time, Expertise and Experience!
- There must be a voluntary commitment on the part of the business and the school to the involvement in a partnership. This means a PHILOSPHICAL COMMITMENT as well as a commitment of resources.
- The partnership must be undertaken by both parties with the understanding that the main goal is the enrichment and support of the educational environment of all students.
- The partners should adhere to the program objectives and guidelines.
- The partners must recognize that the school administration and staff are primarily responsible for the students, their education and their well-being. It must be understood that the school has final approval on all decisions.
- Both partners should attempt an understanding of each other’s institutions.
- Each partnership should be autonomous and free to develop projects based on identifiable needs and resources.
- The program developed by each partnership should be goal oriented with a built-in evaluation. Each project undertaken by a partnership should have clear objectives and ongoing evaluation
- Projects should be designed to support the total development of all children: Culturally, socially and economically.
- The business partners should be viewed as an integral part of the school and should be included in the partnership program planning
- A system of sharing information among partners should be employed to ensure full utilization of available resources.
- Business partner should be open to identifying and soliciting the help of other community resources that can provide special assistance in the area of need.
- The school/business partnership is limited only by imagination!
- The commitment to work in a partnership, once it is agreed upon, should be made for a period of one school year and reaffirmed each year thereafter. It is up to each partner to communicate with the Baytown Chamber PIE Liaison if /when a problem comes up in regards to the program!
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Principals will serve or appoint a local school planning coordinator and/or committee.
- Schools, working jointly with the Public Relations, will publicize the activities of their PIE programs, providing recognition to the business organization and the Chamber for their efforts.
- Keep students, teachers and parents aware of the partnership and its progress. The school should have visible signs of their partnership and their partner. Give recognition on social media for all major activities, purchases, sponsorships, donations, etc. If you are sending sponsored shirts, equipment, etc.—send it home with a note that read: Sponsored through our Partner In Education: The Company Name! With the same message on your website!
- The principal/designated contact will have the responsibility of ensuring ongoing communication between the school, the business and the Chamber.
- A school that is strongly committed & has an enthusiastic staff who understands the partnership is a key ingredient to success.
- Keep lines of communications open among all participants in the partnership including the Chamber.
- Promote the partnership though participants recognition when appropriate.
- Locate places in the school where volunteers can work with students.
- See that volunteers are welcome in the school and notify them of schedules which might affect their services.
- Relay information to the business representative in a timely manner.
- Coordinate schedules with the staff!
- Communicate the efforts/funding/all they do for you whenever possible – through newsletters, websites, press release, using appropriate verbiage – especially on large items (ie. Field trips, t-shirts for major events, etc.)
- Keep speaker lists handy for entire faculty to utilize – on bulletin boards.
- Include them on your ILT, so that they know more about your campus and your campus knows more what they are willing to do for you.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Managers will appoint a planning coordinator and/or committee.
- Keep chamber of Commerce informed by-annually on PIE activities by submitting articles and pictures in December & march to the Chamber for the PIE Newsletter.
- Submit annual report article to the Chamber.
- Work with the school representative to develop a program of work.
- Direct the assessment of money, manpower and time.
- Assure that employees are aware & familiar with the partnership.
- Utilize a variety of resources in helping make the partnership successful.
- Prepare press releases on PIE programs to assist in the recognition of the program.
Chamber of Commerce Responsibility
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- To serve as a resource for the business and the school
- Coordinate new partnerships
- To serve as the liaison between the Partnerships and the Business Community
- Prepare the Newsletters and Annual Reports
- Continuous coordination of the PIE Program, schedule the meeting, update the rosters, etc.
All meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the months of September, October, January & March at a different location at 4:30 p.m. They are set a school year in advanced – hosted by partners. All meetings normally last around one hour and very informative. All partners share (update) what their partnership is doing and it is “okay” to steal ideas from one another. The meetings are open to participants of the program, but even without a partner – would encourage all education principals to attend. There is a recognition luncheon held for the participants in May.