Onboarding New Schools/Districts

When a new school district has agreed to participate in a regional Inspire deployment, there are important standards that should be met before the district is activated. Individual Inspire deployments may develop more rigorous requirements if and when it’s appropriate. These basic standards—based on best practices—for activating a new school and/or new district are guidelines intended to ensure success for school disctricts participating in Inspire. Find the document here: School Participation Document or read as follows:

Identify a main Inspire contact within the district.


–This individual will serve as main contact and will provide leadership for the direction the school(s) take in utilizing the Inspire portion of Career Cruising.


–Communicate to Inspire admins how educators and students access and utilize the Inspire/Career Cruising tools over time throughout the district.

–Ensure there is someone available to respond to work-based learning requests as laid out in #2 below in the case of someone retiring or having a leave of absence.

–When appropriate, may appoint someone to create and/or maintain an Inspire profile or profiles for the school district (or do this themselves) and recruit potential online career coaches within the schools to represent educational occupations for the future workforce.

–May provide or organize professional development for other teachers who would like to learn about Inspire.


–The main Inspire contact could be a school-to-career coordinator, head counselor, director of curriculum, high school principal or the lead member of the school ACP team.

–In some districts, these duties may fall to the person also serving as the Inspire Work-based Learning Activity Coordinator as in #2 below.

Identify the Work-Based Learning Activity (WLA) Coordinator for each middle and each high school in the district that plans to participate. In addition, if the school has student advisors, the school district and/or school must decide whether or not to link student advisors to the WLA process so that they also can receive and respond to requests generated by students. (Sample Protocol Ideas Here)


–Provide a point of contact for work-based learning activity requests between students and employers.


–The WLA coordinator and/or advisors will monitor the work-based learning inquiries and requests from students to employers, and develop a protocol for responding to requests in a timely manner.


–The WLA coordinator could be a counselor, teacher or other staff from the school.

Identify the entity or individual who will take ownership of the employer recruiting process within that district’s community. While a collaborative approach works best, the actual owner of this process may be different in each community. In some cases, Inspire admins may ask the district to provide a list of potential business/employer contacts for recruitment into Inspire. Alternately, a district may make introductions for Inspire admins and/or take ownership of the recruitment process. In other cases, it could be the local Chamber or other business entity who manages business recruitment. It may also be a combination. The important thing is to identify the owner or owners of this process in a community and ensure that it is getting done.


–The purpose for this exercise is to a) grow the Inspire deployment b) ensure that local students have access to nearby businesses and c) to ensure that local business partners gain access to the Inspire tools and the future workforce locally and throughout the state.


–Recruitment owner(s) contact and work with interested employers and organizations to help them become Community Business Partners on the Inspire platform.


–School personnel, Inspire admin in collaboration with schools, the local Chamber or similar Business association or the Lions Club/Rotary/etc.

Determine what the district’s policies are surrounding liability issues relating to WLAs. DPI will provide a sample of a legal standard agreement for work-based learning activities where students will be volunteers or employees.  Likely by the end of 2018 associated with the new Employer Guide.


–To align expectations and policies between Inspire deployments and schools in relation to work-based learning activities and potential liabilities.


–Inspire deployments all must perform background checks for anyone who wants to serve as an online career coach, provide WLAs and/or send messages to students via the Career Cruising platform.

–It’s important to be clear with schools that Inspire deployments cannot guarantee that a student participating in a WLA will only be with those individuals who have been cleared by the regional Inspire team during the activity.

–Inspire admins should already have in place a policy on the types of offenses that show up on a background check that would bar a potential Community Business Partner from gaining access to Inspire features that allow contact with students that they can share with schools.


–Agreement on policies and procedures should be made with main Inspire contact/school administration officials.

Adequate training should take place for any staff who will interact with Inspire. The training process and plan for Inspire-specific portions of Career Cruising may be delivered by the regional Inspire Admin team although CESA representatives may also deliver this training when appropriate. Adequate Educator Training will demonstrate:

–How to use the Inspire tools within a Career Cruising CAMS account from the perspectives of WLA coordinators, counselors, teachers and any other staff who will be using Inspire.

–How to use the Inspire tools from a student’s perspective.

–The process that takes place for the student, the WLA Coordinator, advisor and the employer/Career Coach when a request is made or a question is asked by a student.

–Recommended ways to utilize Inspire in classrooms, counseling sessions and other times throughout the school year. Introduce relevant resources and materials that will help schools to use Inspire effectively.