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Essential Skills Students Shine in Community Work-Based Learning

Essential Skills Students Shine in Community Work-Based Learning

The Mt. Vernon High School Essential Skills Department supports students by teaching them hands-on skills learned at school and throughout various companies in the Mt. Vernon community. The goal is to help prepare these students with job skills for success in their futures. In class, the teachers will work with students up to age 22 throughout the school year to help determine the skills, interests, and preferences of the students and connect possible careers. 


The district currently has developed partnerships for student internships with the following community businesses: Hancock Health Wellness Center in McCordsville, Meijier, Goodwill in Fishers, MVCSC Food Service, and other campus jobs.  

In this program, transportation is provided for the students along with a job coach from Mt. Vernon. The job coach helps to ensure students are successful both in their current jobs and to carry the lessons learned into the future. The Essential Skills students will work approximately 45 minutes to several hours during the school day, depending on their individual academics. 
This program is open to essential skill students from grades nine through the school year in which the student turns 22 years of age (adult learners). Students in 9th-12th grade primarily focus on working with different exploratory activities to discover what interests them and matches their skill set. The students will work on building their portfolios to showcase all of their work and the progress they have made throughout high school. 

Laura Hannah, Mt. Vernon High School Resource Teacher, who also was the building winner for the 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year, explains, “The most beneficial thing about this program is seeing students succeed in the community they live in! It is refreshing to see our community come alongside us and support our students with special needs.” The teachers have seen significant growth with the participating students in their independent social skills on the job site.

The goal of this program is for students to learn job skills that will support their futures. Some students in the program have been employed by the companies in which they worked during the high school program, which is ultimately the end goal.


The essential skills department is always looking for new opportunities in the Mt. Vernon community for students to learn work skills. The goal is to support students in finding and pursuing a job they love and being an asset to that company. The wide array of established community partners supports the placement of students in a known and trusted environment.

If any company or organization within the Mt. Vernon School District is interested in supporting these students in learning new work skills at their facility, please contact Cliff Bailey, Assistant Special Education Director, at