Career Readiness and Tech. Ed.

Good morning, Parents.

I wanted to share with parents the vision for our Tech. Ed. department as it relates to providing a good foundation for students who will enter technical training programs or quality careers after high school. As I shared in last week’s blog, we recognize there are a lot of great career opportunities for our current students that will not require a college degree. These are not fall back careers, they are careers that are very rewarding—both in terms of the potential for advancement and financial rewards. We also understand that according to workforce development projections, a wide range of these technical careers will have very high demand for workers as the baby boom employees retire. Our local economy, and our local companies, will be in need of graduates that have quality skills and training to replace the large group of skilled workers that are beginning to retire in large numbers.

As a school, we must recognize these workforce realities and the very exciting opportunities many of our graduates will have following high school. We have to do more to show that we value these post-high school career choices. And as a result of that recognition of workforce opportunities, we must also do our best to prepare students to successfully take advantage of these workforce opportunities. We have to prepare students to be ready to enter technical training programs without having to take remedial coursework, and we have to provide as many learning opportunities as possible to expose students to skills that are very valuable in our job market going forward.

Therefore, a big part of our vision in designing our two teacher Tech. Ed. department, and in selecting classes to offer our students, is to provide as diverse and quality offerings as we are able. The more our Tech. Ed. department can reflect the wide range of opportunities our graduates will find after high school, the more impactful these classes and learning opportunities will be for our students. Because we share both of our teachers with the middle school, we are able to offer ten high school Tech. Ed. classes. Our plan for next year is to offer: Woods/Metals x2, Construction, Advanced Metals, Drafting, Robotics, Composites and Polymers, Science and Technology, Design and Engineering, and Dutchmen Enterprises (manufacturing and business). You can see from this list that we are attempting to provide a wide range of offerings to serve our students. I remember hearing at a conference a couple of years ago that if your course offerings are driven by what students need to prepare for their futures, you won’t be offering four sections of cabinet making classes that represent half of your Tech. Ed. department offerings. Instead, we have tried to maximize our offerings with the faculty we have available to us.

The primary reason we are planning to combine Woods and Metals into a single course that has one semester of each area is because both Mr. Boenisch and Mr. Poppe feel this approach expands the experiences of young students in less time, so that they can then make better choices of subsequent courses within the Tech. Ed. department. If they really enjoyed the metals semester, they can take a full year of Adv. Metals. Likewise if they were drawn to Woods, the can move on to Construction.

I hope this message helps parents and students to see one of the areas that we are focused on preparing students for success in careers that do not include a four year college degree. And we also want you to know that we recognize that there will be a lot of great opportunities for students who are interested in pursuing technical careers, and we want to be able to prepare students well to take full advantage of those opportunities.

Have a great week.

Boy’s BB v. SF (home)
Girl’s BB v. HG (home)
Report cards
were sent home in the mail on Friday, 1/30, so you should have received them
by this date.
Boy’s BB v. RL (home)
Wrestling CLC @ CG
Boy’s BB@ Ply.