The Washington School District will take part in Mercy’s Pathway to Employment Pilot Program for the 2014-15 school year.

Dr. Rachael Franssen, special services director, discussed the program with school board members last Wednesday.

Franssen said the program offers a unique opportunity for students with IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) to work at Mercy and receive high school credit.

There are three positions available for the pilot program. The work areas include environmental services, food service and imaging clerical.

“We have one student accepted and could possibly have one more,” Franssen told the board.

Students, who must be in their final year of high school, will spend time both in the classroom and at the hospital working under the supervision and support of a job coach, teacher and paraprofessional.

Franssen said the expectation is for these students to obtain employment at the end of the school year at Mercy or elsewhere.

The Franklin County Special Education Cooperative partnered with Empac Group, Vocational Rehabilitation and Mercy Hospital Washington to develop the program.

Details are still being worked out, said Franssen. There will be a cost to the district, she said, but it can be absorbed within the budget or through state assistance.