Pratt High School students learn to work together as they prepare for jobs after graduation.

Pratt Tribune: Jennifer Stultz
September 20, 2019

Pratt High School has become known through the past several years for providing students with the skills, tools and classes needed to be job-ready or college-ready upon graduation. Part of the preparation available to USD 382 students includes the Jobs After Graduation (JAG-K) class or club available to qualifying students.

“We are more than just a class offering work and study skills,” said JAG-K career specialist Shaphan Staats. “We are a career association
club. We work on team-building skills, we actually function like a family but elect a president, secretary and other officers. We concentrate on relationships and do a lot of community service projects. We constantly promote interaction skills.”

Staats said that students who enroll in JAG-K are required to do 10 hours of community service in order to complete the class. Some of those hours tend to be used on job shadowing experiences, working for local charities or taking field trips to see different careers in action.

There are currently 49 students at Pratt High School enrolled in the JAG-K program, divided into four classes.

“My educational philosophy is based on building positive relationships, not only student to student or student to teacher, but also student to community, “Staats said. “Our first name is jobs and we work on team-building skills and successful job attitudes that lead students to success after they leave here.”

Skills like applying for a job, going to an interview, retaining a job, even resigning from a job properly are all taught under the JAG-K umbrella.

Last week, the Pratt JAG-K program received notice that their 2018 Career Association Club won a statewide “5 of 5 Award.” USD 382 was one of 31 other schools across the state to achieve the highest award based on graduation rate, successful outcomes, employment, post-secondary enrollment and job placement.

Funding for JAG-K programs comes from a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant administered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF).

The Pratt High School JAG-K classes have an Initiation and Installment (I and I) event on Saturday, September 28 at the Front Porch.

Club officers, state representatives, state directors and school administrators will all be in Pratt for the special occasion.