Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work They Go

Co-op students earn graduation credit while earning paycheck


photo submitted by Aasheeta Junnarkar

Senior Aasheeta Junnarkar works to make unique concoctions during her shift at Dutch Bros last holiday season.

IRA’s, 401k’s, and deductions, all of which are a jumble of letters and numbers to a typical high schooler. 

Students who are juniors or seniors can become familiarized with these terms by taking part in CTE teacher Brenda Sims’ Work Co-op Program.

Students in this program learn to properly prioritize their responsibilities and manage their time which benefits them for all the years to come,” Sims said. “Expectations are to remain employed, be present in class daily, keep absences to a minimum and maintain a passing grade in the class.”

It is expected for students to maintain a minimum work week requirement. Job changes are allowed, but if the student is fired or quits, they have two weeks to find a new job. They must  be employed by the 9th day of class as students gain early release to be able to go to their prospective job.

“The Work Co-Op Program has given me more time between work and school to focus on finishing homework and resting,” senior Aasheeta Junnarkar said. “My schedule now is exponentially easier compared to last year’s schedule where I would be left doing the majority of my homework after shifts that ended at 10:30 pm-11:30 pm. The class content is all relevant and easily applied to real world situations I’m faced with.”

Within the classroom portion of the class, students are learning what is it like to be part of the workforce as well as the transition to adulthood out of high school. Some examples of topics covered include proper resume writing, interview skills, how to properly resign, importance of proper body language, working with mixed generations, and more. While other imperative aspects of adulthood such as how to file income taxes, the importance of maintaining a good credit score, and deductions from paychecks are also covered. 

“I constantly seek a variety of topics of interest to working students and I enjoy sharing and exploring ‘career’ and ‘adulting’ skills with those about to begin that stage of their life,” Sims said. “I do my best to market the course as it has an abundance of working students who can benefit from the program.”