The elevator music greets you as you walk into the door and for a brief moment you forget that you’re at a Dallas ISD high school.
The idea of banking can seem foreign for some high school students. However, at Emmett J. Conrad High School, banking is becoming a part of everyday life.
The school’s Academy of Finance recently opened the Bank of Conrad in the heart of the school where everyone can take advantage of the services offered.
Complete with elevator music, neatly dressed academy student attendants, and a customer sign-in area, the Bank of Conrad welcomes many students to their first banking experience.
The goal is to model banking concepts where students can experience firsthand making deposits, withdrawals, saving, and earning interest, as well as some valuable lessons about the working world.
“I would like for students to learn the importance of good work ethics, such as being on time, taking a job seriously, and performing duties to perfection,” said Euladia Gilbert, Career and Technical Education (CATE) teacher.
Students use Conrad Cash, something Principal David Hamilton put into place for students as an incentive. Students earn Conrad Cash for doing well in class and can use it to buy snacks in the DECA store on campus or gain a coveted spot in the lunch line.
For now, students use Conrad Cash, but the long-term goal of the bank is to “have it opened by a major bank or credit union where students can open accounts and make deposits and withdrawals,” said Gilbert. “Also we would like for parents and the surrounding community to be able to perform full service or at least some limited banking transactions.”
The Bank of Conrad is open from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m., Monday through Friday, with plans to extend the hours as more students start opening accounts.