Getting Down to Business

A partnership with high school business educators can be a win-win collaboration.

Six years ago, when Jean Schneider, MEd, PMP, became Director of the High School of Business program at Prairie View High School in Colorado’s District 27J, she knew that operating the school store would be among her responsibilities. Schneider was prepared to build a sustainable retail space run by her business students. Recognizing that food and beverages would be in high demand among student customers, she reached out to Director of Nutrition Services Tony Jorstad, RD, SNS, to explore a partnership.

“I could have the students selling t-shirts and other fundraising items, but those don’t create traffic,” she notes. “Food creates traffic.” Jorstad was immediately on board. The Smart Snacks-compliant vending machines installed across campus were not performing particularly well, and he was seeking an alternative.

He realized that partnering with a school store could generate increased revenue for the Nutrition Services department with minimal impact on staffing and other related expenses. In the plan they developed, the students do most of the work, selecting the product mix, ordering, stocking and selling items. They have their own POS software that provides Schneider with detailed reports, and a simple revenue transfer from Schneider’s department to Nutrition Services each month completes the process...