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9th graders take part in career day

When out and about in Alexandria and the surrounding area on Wednesday, May 9, you may notice something a bit out of the ordinary.

It may be a Discovery Middle School (DMS) 9th grader who greets you as you drop into a local business.

The DMS freshman class will be out experiencing all that the world of work has to offer during a job shadow day.

The students have undergone a lot of planning and preparation for this day. As 8th graders they took an "Explore" test; a portion of that assessment inventoried their various interests and suggested potential career options that aligned with those interests.

Upon entering 9th grade, students had gone through career components in several classes and had discussions about their future.

They attended transition sessions that, with help from community members, presented them with a variety of information including job readiness, interviewing skills, the importance of education and getting involved.

Through social studies classes, students were introduced to the Minnesota Career Information Systems website. With this tool, they were encouraged to research different areas and identify possible shadowing sites.

In April, all 9th graders received a Shadow Agreement document and were sent out into the community to find someone in the career of their interest to shadow.

"The community at large has embraced the opportunity to have 9th graders for a day," noted 9th grade dean Sarah Reif. "I would like to say a personal thank you to all who have accepted a 9th grade student into your world to share a true 'real world' experience."

Two students will be shadowing staff at the Echo Press, and will prepare a follow-up to this story.