Lebanon School District Announces Center for Student Success

Center for Student Success

December 15, 2021

Lebanon School District Announces Center for Student Success

During the December 14th Board of Education meeting, the Lebanon School District announced plans to open a dedicated early childhood and student innovative learning center in partnership with Jordan Valley Community Health Center. The District’s vision for the new facility includes an early childhood education center, a health clinic, and an innovative learning center for high school workplace experiences.  

“The Center for Student Success will serve as a catalyst of innovation; combining Lebanon School District learning experiences, local businesses and entrepreneurs, and community health services,” said Lebanon Schools Superintendent Dr. David Schmitz. “This collaborative space will allow the Lebanon community to embed relevant and engaging career experiences for high school students while providing education, health and hygiene to our youngest Yellowjackets and their families.” 

Early Childhood Health and Learning Center

A dedicated early childhood center is a powerful step toward creating a strong foundation for our community’s youngest learners. Early childhood education has been a renewed emphasis on the national, state and local levels, and in the past several years, the Lebanon School District’s early childhood programming has grown tremendously. The District currently serves 314 preschool students with additional students currently on a waitlist. Unfortunately, additional classrooms cannot be added to the Early Childhood program due to lack of space at Esther Elementary. In May 2021, the District shared plans to actively pursue a space for an early childhood facility due to these space constraints and the desire to serve more children, including preschool for three-year-olds.

Additionally, the District and local healthcare have identified a need in our community to provide preventative healthcare and other services starting from birth and through a child’s early years. The goal of the Early Childhood Health and Learning Center will be to support medical, nutritional, dental, mental health, social service and educational needs in a central location for our community’s early childhood families. The center will also provide community-based support for parents through services and education, such as Parents as Teachers, aimed at equipping parents with what they need to feel and be successful.

Jordan Valley Community Health Center will be expanding its partnership with Lebanon Schools by establishing a women’s and children’s clinic with the primary goal of providing direct services and supports to Lebanon R-3 students. By offering health and dental care, and other services like occupational and physical therapy all under one roof, it makes resources more readily accessible for our youngest children and their families. 

“We want to expand our impact by reaching children at a younger age to start building healthy habits and a high level of care,” said Melissa Wehner, Executive Director of Regional Services. “It’s important to give them the best educational start possible by making sure their health and hygiene needs are met. We’re hoping to build good habits so down the road we can change the cycle of health in our community.”

“Our wish for our early childhood students is for them to have a strong, healthy future,” said Early Childhood Director Becky Simpson. “They are our workforce; they will be our community leaders one day. By providing them with the best quality education, healthcare, and other support, we can provide a healthy foundation and future for these students and our community.” 

Lebanon Innovative Learning Center

The Center for Student Success will also be home to the Lebanon Innovative Learning Center, which will offer a collaborative work environment for high school students with personalized, real world career experiences through partnerships with local business and industry. This will give students more opportunities to explore, discover and pursue individual passions and interests through GOCAPS and other experiences.

“GOCAPS and programs like it provide students with a very unique experience,” said Lebanon High School Principal Dr. Kati O’Quinn. “It’s a great opportunity for students to see not just what they want to do, but also to see what they don’t want to do. It’s setting them up to be successful not only personally, but within the community.”

Students will be able to connect their passions and interests with hands-on experiences in the areas of:

  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Medicine and Healthcare
  • Teaching Professions
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management

Partnerships with locally owned and operated businesses and industry will be at the forefront of this expansion, providing relevant career experiences and mentorships, while also promoting local economic growth. In fact, many of these career immersion opportunities can take place directly in the Center for Student Success through shadowing and working in the Jordan Valley clinic, early childhood classrooms, food service facility and more. Teachers will work alongside business and industry experts to create learning experiences that are relevant to students’ individual passions and interests. Students will in turn learn valuable life and work skills to better prepare them for success after school, and to help them graduate with a clear plan for their futures.  

“We are our future, we are our community’s future, we are Lebanon’s future,” said LHS senior and GOCAPS student Karagan Bean. “Having this professional program, allowing students to build professionalism and gain confidence, is only going to help Lebanon in the future.” 

Next Steps

The District is in the process of purchasing the facility currently known as “The Mall,” which will be renamed the Robert W. Plaster Center for Student Success. The purchase of this facility was made possible by a $1 million donation from the descendants of Robert W. Plaster and through a $3.5 million lease-purchase agreement. The design and renovation of the early childhood space is expected to cost approximately $4.5 million. The receipt of approximately $8.6 million in federal funds have made funds available for this project, which will impact our community for many generations. The space will include the District’s early childhood education center, as well as a Jordan Valley health clinic, student experience spaces including GOCAPS classrooms, and room for future expansion and entrepreneurship opportunities. Design and renovation work will be divided into two phases. The first phase will begin in January 2022 on the early childhood center and health clinic with the intent of opening in 2023. The second phase will include design and renovation for the student experience center. Lebanon Schools will be seeking community input throughout the process.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.