“By providing students with a wide variety of educational opportunities, volunteerism, career exploration and internship experiences Swanton can truly become the district of choice for those seeking to provide their students with real-world preparation for life after school.”

Chris Lake

Superintendent
Chris.Lake@swantonschools.org

Swanton Local School District | Superintendent’s Office

108 North Main Street | t: (419) 826 – 7085 | f: (419) 825 – 1197

Welcome to the Swanton Local School District! The school system has been serving the community of Swanton since 1897. Currently the district serves approximately 1200 students in three buildings which are located in the heart of the community. Here in Swanton, “Our vision is to be the district of choice with an academic environment where student achievement is top priority, community involvement is vital, all individuals are valued and the school is a point of pride.”  

What does it mean to be “the district of choice” in 2019? Six years ago the trend would have been to focus on getting students into college after high school. Today that focus has changed. The opportunities for students after high school in 2019 do not necessarily require a college education. If Swanton truly wants to be “the district of choice” then our mission must include preparing students for the new reality of post high school opportunities which not only includes college, but also a wide variety of career choices that only require a high school diploma and a willingness to be a life-long learner.  

The Swanton Local School District wants to be known for being the district that leaves graduates fully prepared to follow whatever path they choose. When an employer the military or a college sees a student with a Swanton diploma we want them to feel confident that the person before them is fully prepared to be a meaningful contributor to their organization’s success.  

In the immediate future (1 to 2 years) the Swanton Local School District will continue to focus on the goal of preparing students for their future beyond K-12 education by offering unique experiences in career exploration. To accomplish this the following action steps will be put in place:

  1. The district will continue to seek partnerships with local businesses to provide structured internship experiences for students. We will seek to expand beyond the current programs at Swanton Welding and McNeill Chevy into new areas. 
  2. At the middle school level students taking part in the Swanton 7 program will learn valuable professional skills that will provide students with an advantage when they enter the job market in the future. In an effort to further this goal the district will continue its commitment to have all middle school staff members trained at the Ron Clark Academy upon whose principles the Swanton 7 has been modeled. 
  3. The Swanton Local School District will look to incorporate more career exploration curriculum at the middle school level through the use of a Career Coach position. Our goal will be to use this position to meet the ODE’s Middle School CTE requirement. The district is currently working with the ESC to create a job description for this position. We will also take part in the hiring process. This position will be the first of its kind in our area. 

In the long term the Swanton Local School District will work on the following:

  1. Each building in the district will continue to define its own vision of itself. This process has already begun at all levels and will continue to be refined over time. 
    1. The elementary will continue to focus on literacy education and early exposure to different careers.
    2. The middle school will finish training the staff at the Ron Clark Academy and continue to expand their teaching of the Swanton 7.
    3. The high school will create a plan to lead all students to success. “Success” will be a personal metric for each individual student starting with graduating from high school. 
  1. Career exploration will begin in the middle school and carry through the high school experience. Students will use the Career Connections class to research career areas that interest them starting in middle school and begin to compile a career portfolio. As they move to high school students will refine their search to narrow down possible career choices as they approach the end of high school. With the expansion of the school counseling office at SHS more individual time will be given for counselors to work with students on career exploration and post high school planning. 
  2. Internships are vital to career exploration and all high school students will be asked to complete at least one internship before graduating high school. In time we should work to add this to our local requirements for graduation. It is also important for Swanton students to understand the wide variety of jobs available in the local area because we want to retain workers in this area and have them establish themselves as Swanton residents into adulthood. 
  3. Our students are our most valuable asset and our best ambassadors. As such the district needs to develop a plan to promote volunteerism among our students. We need to work to make this part of the middle and high school experiences and in time, make it a graduation requirement. 

By providing students with a wide variety of educational opportunities, volunteerism, career exploration and internship experiences Swanton can truly become the district of choice for those seeking to provide their students with real-world preparation for life after school.  By continuing to create ties to local businesses and working through the Business Advisory Council our students will be exposed to a wide variety of career opportunities that exist right here in their own backyard. Not only do we want students to leave the district feeling fully prepared to follow their dreams, but we also hope to have them come back to join the workforce and contribute to the future of our town. 

Sincerely,

Mr. Chris Lake

Superintendent of the Swanton Local School District