Many high school students have after-school or weekend jobs, but students at Fosston High School in Northwest Minnesota can work during school hours--and get educational credit for it. Fosston is home to Tunes N Technology, the only student-run RadioShack franchise in the world.
The idea arose when the school district's Educational Visions Committee recommended that students be provided with both entrepreneurial and employee work opportunities. A survey of students indicated that a RadioShack franchise would be very popular, but convincing Ft. Worth, Texas-based parent company Tandy Corp. that it would work was another story. "Their initial reaction was `You want to do what? Where?' But after they found out how thoroughly the kids had researched and planned this, they sent some people to talk to us," says Sandy Steile, the teacher who led the effort.
After obtaining funding, the store opened for business in October 1995. Although the student workers make minimum wage, a major perk of their employment is a wealth of knowledge. "I've learned a lot from working there," says Patrick Schmidt, a Fosston freshman. "Managing money, doing security and customer service [is] good experience."
Steile agrees: "It may not be a typical classroom, but the learning I see these students achieving is monumental."