Many Ways to Get Involved

  • The goal of each Olathe 21st Century High School Academy community partnership is to enhance student learning and the quality of the future workforce. Uniquely designed to meet the needs of the partner and the partnering academy (or academies), there are a variety of partnership areas offered by the Olathe Public Schools. If you would like more information on how to get involved, please email the 21st Century Academies office

    Gift-In-Kind Donations

    Gift-in-kind donations allow the 21st Century High School Academies to introduce students to the equipment, software and materials that are standard in your industry.

    Guest Speakers

    Guest speakers help reinforce program lessons and bring relevance to the program curriculum. Guest speakers visit classrooms, give program-wide lectures and participate in expert panels. Speaker guides are available to assist with planning.


    21st Century Academies logo Mentors serve in a variety of capacities throughout the academies. From mentoring students through competition preparation to working one-on-one with a student for his/her senior project, the level of involvement is determined by the individual and program.

    Shadowship Sites

    The opportunity to tour a business for an hour or spend a limited amount of time learning from professionals allows students to connect their classroom learning to their future goals. Shadowship site arrangements vary by academy and site location. A handout is available to assist with planning.

    Teacher Externship Sites

    Teacher Externships give program instructors an inside look at how their curriculum is applied in various industries. Teacher externs have the opportunity to work alongside business/industry professionals and take their experiences back to the classroom. Businesses and organizations have the opportunity to have a direct impact on what is being taught in the classroom to the future workforce.

    Client-Connected Projects

    Client-connected projects (CCPs) are authentic problems which students solve in collaboration with professionals from industry, not-for-profit, or community-based organizations. Client-Connected Projects are MVA-level (Market Value Assets) experiences when they are sourced (or at least sponsored) by the client, supplementary to students’ professional network, resume-worthy (meaningful), at least 24 hours of work, with at least four hours engaged with the client, and jointly evaluated.


    Internship sites serve as an opportunity for businesses and organizations in the community to connect with what students are learning in high school to add value to the educational experience. Internships serve as a capstone experience for the 21st Century High School Academies. Students benefit from workplace experience and exposure to real-world projects, while businesses and organizations gain valuable talent and are able to grow their future workforce. Internships are a WBL experience that places students in a real workplace environment to develop and practice career-related knowledge and skills for a specific career field related to the student’s career interests, abilities, and goals. This is typically reserved for our high school seniors. Most students will have at least one to two hours within their school day to attend their internship. Students will attend an internship bootcamp with our district Career Pathways facilitators before beginning their placements. The following outlines the details of qualifying internships.

    • Students will complete a minimum of 120 hours per year of on-site experience.
    • Internship hours can take place outside the school day or during summer. USD 233 cannot require students to attend during non-school days or inclement weather days, but we do encourage them to attend if it is safe for them to do so and their worksite supervisor approves.
    • Internships may be paid or unpaid. If paid, they must be in compliance with federal and state labor laws.
    • Students completing unpaid internships will be covered by Olathe’s liability insurance.
    • Students must have taken at least 1.0 credits of coursework that aligned with internship experience.
    • All stakeholders — business, students, parents, school/district — will agree and sign Olathe's Work-Based Learning Agreement form.

Guidance on Getting Involved

  • The Olathe Public Schools offers 21st Century Academies, Career & Technical Education (CTE), and Olathe Advanced Technical Center (OATC) students an opportunity to participate in a Work-Based Learning experience. The WBL experience will help connect technical skill development at the application level to authentic industry-related experiences for the individual student learner across all fields and pathways. These opportunities give student learners a real world learning experience related to their career interests and secondary level technical and professional training. We trust their experience will develop broad, transferable skills for postsecondary education and when entering the workplace.

    The goal for every Olathe District Student is to use their secondary experiences to further define their post-secondary plans. Through involvement in one of Olathe’s 21st Century Academies, CTE, or OATC programs, we offer students WBL courses to enhance skill development, and experience greater student success in the 21st century workforce.

    Within the framework of Olathe’s career-focused pathways, we know that business and community leaders are looking for individuals with appropriate employability skills who are critical and independent thinkers, risk takers who are creative, personable, able to work well with others, and exhibit a strong work ethic.