Many times in school our students question the “why” behind learning. This is a good thing as it keeps educators accountable for explaining the why.

As a student you will get to be involved in so many projects and experiences that will help explain the why behind what teachers are teaching you. The why may lead you to answer the question on your own.

For example, "Why do I need to know math equations?"

  • Because I plan to be an engineer and I need to be accurate in my calculations on this structure I’m building.
  • Because I plan to be a health care worker, and I need to be accurate in calculating dosage or strength of medicines.

What better way to understand the why than by exploring career paths in elementary school, igniting a passion for your natural skills and abilities in middle school, or by experiencing real world learning in high school. Doing so, will let you graduate with the Diploma Plus. What is the “plus” you ask? It is the diploma plus a marketable asset, such as work experience, extensive college credit, industry certification, or entrepreneurial experience.

“I definitely think this position has made me more comfortable in making big decisions and decisions that impact a business.” - Madison Goff, manager of the Lee's Summit North High School store, Mane Street Station 



“This is a great opportunity for me to learn and just grow as a critical thinker, as a person in love with learning and wanting to grow as an individual." - Dera Okafor, Innovation Track student






“I liked that it’s all hands-on. I don’t really see myself as someone who could work a desk job.” - Colton Owen, Career and Technical Education student with a full-time carpentry apprenticeship








“Work is fun. The job community is fun." - Tommy Webb, a student working in retail through the Community Based Instruction program 






Elementary schools will support RWL through self-awareness, career exploration, and curricular connections. 

Through a possible partnership with World of Work, an integration framework, the elementary schools will implement the RIASEC model for exposure to career development and self-exploration.



Middle schools will be exploring the addition of a design-thinking course offering or units to help students ignite interest in thinking creatively to discover their unique pathway.  Design thinking, which is a dynamic, creative and collaborative approach to problem solving, presents a unique model for educators who wish to facilitate from within the class, rather than impart knowledge to it. In addition, the middle schools will increase utilization of Naviance as a career development and self-inventory tool for students.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in authentic real world learning experiences that support specific industry sectors and career readiness in high school allowing them to not only graduate with their diploma but to also leave with employer recognized skill sets.


Programs that contain MVA:

Career and Technical Education

Innovation Track

Summit Technology Academy

International Baccalaureate Program

IB Career-related

Project Lead the Way

Missouri Innovation Track