High school students looking to gain real-world banking experience may soon get the opportunity as they learn to operate one inside their school.
"As we built the new Thunder Ridge High School, we built in a special office for a credit union," Superintendent Charles Shackett tells EatsIdahoNews.com.
Thunder Ridge High School has put out the call to partner with a local bank or credit union to have a branch on campus. This is the first concept of its kind in eastern Idaho.
Shackett said the Bonneville Joint School District 93 was inspired by schools in the West Ada School District. Idaho Central Union has a branch inside Mountain View High School in Meridian that serves students, staff members and retirees in the area.
"It's a service for teachers and students as far as banking, but yet it's an opportunity for students to learn real-life skills, (and) employable job training," Shackett said. "It's just like any branch that would be out in the community."
Shackett said the bank would be located near the student store and office area. Patrons can cash checks or withdraw money if they have an account.
Doug McLaren, who will serve as the principal for Thunder Ridge, said he hopes the on-campus bank can help the younger generation gain more financial experience.
"We hope to both benefit and help the credit union by having the partnership," McLaren said. "The one way that we hope the credit union can be a value added to our school is by providing financial literacy."
McLaren said outgoing seniors may be able to gain a better understanding of debt, credit cards, the meaning of their credit scores and securing loans.
He said the bank will initially be operated by professionals and, as time goes on, administrators hope to have more student involvement.
"Down the road, we would like to build it up to the point where our students are acting as tellers in that space as well. I don't know that we'll be capable of doing that right away," McLaren said.
McLaren said the vision would be for students to participate in the operation of the bank as part of a curriculum, such as a marketing course.
The deadline for a partnership proposal is April 13 at 2 p.m. Interested parties should submit to Bonneville School District 93's office at 3497 North Ammon Road. A decision will be made at the May 9 board meeting.
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