An inviting, attractive storefront greets students at Bradley Central High School's busiest hallway, and what's inside provides a great lesson in business and design.
The school's Marketing and Business Department instructors began meeting two years ago, discussing the possibility of opening a School Based Enterprise that would focus on school spirit apparel, school supplies, and healthy snack options. The concept was simple; allow upper level business and marketing students the opportunity to manage all aspects of the store while earning class credits. Under the direction of marketing teacher Heather Bischof, business teachers Brittany Cannon, Patrick Spangler, and Amy McIlvain the newly-opened "Cave" offers students a fresh, clean school store environment.
Students in Angela Kersey's Interior Design class were given the opportunity to design the school store. The design was to be a "Modern -Sleek" design and the students were required to draw a scaled space plan that included display shelving and a new sales counter. The design also addressed the walls, flooring, use of new and current items, and future plans for the store. The students worked together to create a design that incorporated the elements and principles of design. Another requirement was to stay within perimeters of a budget. Several local businesses provided donations and resources to complete the store project.
With the help of Judson Barber's Construction Core class students, the remodel project moved along quickly. Business and Marketing students realized that store security was going to be an issue, so they enlisted the help of Greg Kersey's Criminal Justice class. Upper level students from the Criminal Justice department performed a security assessment on the store and for their final exam project presented two scenarios to keep the store secure.
Coca-Cola provided a cooler which holds federally approved beverages, IPT Cellular donated a kiosk that now serves as the service counter and a neon open sign, and Perry Suits of The Flooring Center worked with Mrs. Bischof and Mrs. Cannon to ensure the new flooring stayed within the budget for the remodel.
"The entire remodel project is an extraordinary example integration among programs," said Principal Todd Shoemaker. "This is a primary example of project based learning at it's finest."
Aside from the physical remodel, a Point-of-Sale system was purchased earlier this year so that students can run managerial reports regarding inventory and sales.
Another significant addition the store was the expansion of the school-spirit products to include Nike gear. Market research indicated students and faculty were willing to pay for the brand name and sales have skyrocketed since Nike was incorporated. "The Cave" currently has Nike Dri-Fit long and short sleeve t-shirts, Nike fleece pullovers, and Nike toboggans; all bearing the Bradley Bears logo.
Students who work the school store receive a Work Based-Learning credit in either business or marketing depending on their focus elective. Next year, the school is partnering with Cleveland State Community College to offer the School Based Enterprise program as a dual credit where students will earn a college credit in Entrepreneurship. Students will complete online course modules through Cleveland State while working at "The Cave".
For the 2014-2015 school year, the goal will be to get the school based enterprise certified.
Since the remodel project, "The Cave" has increased in weekly sales by about 75% from last year.
One future plan is to include two college application stations in the store where seniors can come and complete scholarship and college applications. Another plan is to purchase mobile computer and iPad labs for teachers to use in classrooms.
"One of the biggest rewards of this collaborative effort is seeing how independently motivated and driven each student has been," claimed Patrick Spangler, "We have seen students leave their comfort zone to reach their utmost potential. "
"The Cave" is open during normal school hours.