Work Experience Program
High Plains Educational Cooperative has put together a work experience program for students, ages 14-21 years of age, with current IEP's. Students participating in this program will receive minimum wage. In the transition planning process for students14-21 years old, the preparation for employment and independent living are key components. Building student self esteem through the transition process and developing self-advocacy skills through challenging work experiences is a primary purpose of the work experience program. Gaining knowledge and understanding of the employer and community expectations will lead to good citizenship from students.
What is the process to begin work experience activities?
When developing the course of study during the IEP meeting, the team will address work experience as a part of the sequence of courses the student will take to graduate. Work experience objectives/benchmarks will be a part of the goal page to measure employability skills developed. Students' interests and preferences in types of employment opportunities, as well as team recommendation, are elements for work site selection. Work sites should challenge the student but not create a setting, which causes the student to lose confidence. After the IEP team has developed the course of study and a work experience has been made a part of the plan, a work site needs to be determined. For all students less than 18 years old, work experience sites must follow Child Labor Law guidelines, which are included in this packet. The team must follow wage and hour guidelines when selecting a site. Students 16 and older have more options, but wage and hour guidelines must be addressed when looking at the work site. The team can't put a student in a hazardous work site where the student might be harmed. High Plains Educational Cooperative and the employer will sign work experience agreements. HPEC's Director will be High Plains Educational Cooperative's contact since they are most knowledgeable of wage and hour rules and regulations. Please be sure everyone signs the agreement before the student starts work. This work agreement will explain the 'insurance responsibility and worker comp obligations of the employer. Some students may require a job coach at first; this should be determined at the staffing.
What should be used as documentation for work experience?
Work experience doesn't require a separate goal page but if work experience doesn't fit under a goal already in place, then write a goal page. In most cases the objectives/benchmarks will fit into a goal on education, social, and cognitive activities as well as transition. An important aspect of documentation of work experience is employer and student feed back. In some situations the student gets high marks but the employer wouldn't hire the student on their own. So factual data on student performance is necessary in order to prepare students for work and community settings. A job performance checklist can be developed from local district outcomes or from objectives the team develop for the student. This data can be charted on the goal page or made part of an existing IEP goal.
How will students be paid?
A time sheet, like the paraeducators fill out, will be used with "Work Experience" written at the top of the time sheet. Students will follow the same pay period as all hourly employees.
How will students get to work?
Work experience transportation is just like any other special education transportation; the district will provide transportation so it must be written into the IEP.
Who do I call to get more information?
HPEC Director at 620-356-5577
An Equal Employment/Educational Opportunity Agency
The High Plains Educational Cooperative does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, disability, or age in admission or access to, or treatment or employment, its programs or activities.  Any questions regarding HPEC’s compliance with Title VI, Title IX, ADA, or Section 504 may be directed to the Coordinator, who is the Director of the Cooperative.  The Director can be reached at (620) 356-5577 or at 621 E Oklahoma, Ulysses, KS 67880.  The Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education is also available.
Application Agreement Parent Permission
Time Sheet Job Performance Rating I-9  updated 1/30/17
W-4 (FY 18) Child Labor Laws K-4 updated 1/24/14