Cass County Democrat Missourian

Ray-Pec seeks community partners for ‘Real World Learning’

Jake Wingo
Jake Wingo

To better prepare students for life and the workplace, the Raymore-Peculiar School District is expanding its Real World Learning program with the hiring of a community partnership coordinator. Jake Wingo has been chosen for the role.

In addition to the coursework now being offered, the district wants to expose students to community organizations and businesses.

“We want them to acquire marketable skills that will help them regardless of their chosen college or career path,” Superintendent Kari Monsees said.

Wingo is developing partnerships with local businesses and community leaders to provide diverse learning opportunities like company tours, student internships, job shadowing, externships for teachers and participation in career fair events. Any community member interested in participating should visit, to find program details and a form to fill out.

Ray-Pec is among a group of Kansas City area school districts that are working with the Kauffman Foundation on Real World Learning. The foundation has awarded grants and is providing programming assistance for the initiative.

According to the Kauffman Foundation website, a high school diploma is not good enough for today’s workplace because employers want job-ready workers. They’re looking for industry-recognized credentials, on-the-job experience or a degree.

“Rather than adapting the educational model to align with a changing workforce and modern times, we’ve instead asked students to fit into a system that doesn’t prepare them for success beyond the classroom,” the website states.

“Quality education should lead to career success, and thus, financial independence, self-sufficiency, and character. But until education evolves and adapts to the current state of work, students will continue to be left behind.”