Hayden-Winkelman School District changes requirements for graduation

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Pam Gonzales2.JPG

Pam Gonzales discusses the proposed changes in HHS graduation requirements. (Nina Crowder photo)

By Nina Crowder

Hayden-Winkelman High School held a public hearing on April 17, 2013 regarding the proposed change of graduation requirements to help students prepare for career readiness through the Career and Technolgy Education (CTE) program.

Jeff Gregorich opened the meeting, indicating the exciting opportunity for the possible change at Hayden-Winkelman High School. The school has been working to increase the enrollment in the CTE classes like industrial technologies this year and Hayden-Winkelman has an early childhood education program that they offer. They would like to expand the program to require that all the students participate in one of the two year CTE programs, but the need to expand the offerings to added professions in the teaching field, business field and an arts program in addition to the early childhood program and the technologies program.

Hayden will provide transportation to Globe where they can take a number of other choice programs.

The students would be required as freshmen to take a Career Exploration class by the time they are sophomores and they would need to select one of the five CTE programs offered or one of the courses offered in Globe. The five CTE programs Hayden offers would be Early Childhood Education, Marketing/Business, Construction Technologies/Cabinetmaking, Education Professions or Art Education. The CTE programs offered in Globe are Medical Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Fire Science, Welding Technologies, Law Enforcement, Graphic Design or Pre-Engineering Geology (in Superior).

Most of the courses will be offered as school credit so that not only are the students able to walk out of high school with their high school diploma but with a certificate in the field they have chosen, with college credits. The chosen programs were selected by students per their current interest.

This opportunity can help students to obtain a job out of high school that will enable them to help pay for college. Pam Gonzales has been working on this for about three months. Gregorich said there has been a lot of communication with staff, parents and students.

He said this purposed change would bring additional funds to the district and would help the district in the current programs.

Gonzales said Hayden-Winkelmen has been a part of the Cobre Valley Institute of Technology (CVIT) for approximately eight years now. The students at first were worried that they were going to be losing electives, but she explained that this program will actually offer them more electives. The students were then excited about the new requirements.

The students surveyed had an interest in every program that Hayden has elected for the added programs. Gonzalez truly hopes this strengthens the school, opens the door for additional opportunities and challenges the students academically.

The schools involved with Cobre Valley Institute are Hayden, Superior, Miami, Globe and San Carlos. CVIT was established in 2000 it is one of 13 Joint Technical Education Districts (JTED) in Arizona. The JTED system, along with community colleges, universities and primary and secondary schools, is one of four pillars of Arizona’s educational system. Each JTED takes on the challenge to prepare Arizona students for a highly competitive workforce.

As a result of the efforts of the JTED system, more than 100 school districts have the opportunity to provide innovative Career and Technical Educational programs for students.

CVIT receives funds and distributes them based on the two program delivery methods: satellite and central programs. Satellite programs are taught on the campus where students regularly attend and are approved by the Arizona Department of Education. CVIT financially supports those programs to ensure that students gain vital technical knowledge and skills in the state of the art facilities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Standard’s projections, 8 out of 10 occupations with the largest job growth through 2014 will require an associate’s degree or vocational training. High School students who graduate with a career and technical education concentration is 2.5 times more likely to be employed while pursuing postsecondary education then the college prep students.

For additional information about the CVIT and the programs they offer, visit their website at: CVIT81.org.

The regular Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District Governing Board meeting commenced after the hearing. The High School graduation requirement changes were approved to include participation in a two-year CTE Program with a 4 to 0 vote (1 board member was not present). This new change will be in effect for this school year.

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