How the bond issue would improve career education
An addition of a new wing at Summit High School is part of the Summit School District’s $34.5 million bond referendum question which appears on the Nov. 2 ballot as question 3B.The majority of the $5.4 million earmarked for the high school would be directed toward the construction of 13,000 new square feet.Knowing that the high school just turned 8 years old this year, members of our community may wonder why new construction is already being suggested.It is important to note that the original plans for the high school included this additional space to accommodate student enrollment growth when needed. During the 2004-2005 school year, the enrollment at the high school has reached 867, the largest student enrollment in the school’s history. As the student enrollment has grown, it has become increasingly challenging to find sufficient classroom space needed to offer expanded courses and programs for students.A program that has grown in popularity among Summit High School students, and that is supported by research for contributing to the life-long success of graduates, is Career and Technical Education (CTE).The school district has hopes to expand the CTE program at the high school into the proposed new wing. Programs that are currently offered and that would be expanded include culinary arts, video production and design, business technology and construction technology. We are exploring the exciting possibilities of adding a pre-engineering program and a medical preparation program in cooperation with Colorado Mountain College and other community partners.The benefits of CTE for both students who continue on to higher education and those who enter the workforce are prevalent within the research and in studies of graduate success. The hands-on nature of CTE activities and the opportunity to apply academic learning to authentic projects are often cited as contributing to increased levels of student motivation and engagement (Brown, Bettina. “The Benefits of Career and Technical Education.” ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, June 2004).Further, studies show that students who participate in CTE and then go on to higher education are more likely to graduate from college because of their clear focus on an anticipated career (Gray, Kenneth. “Is High School Career and Technical Education Obsolete?” Phi Delta Kappa, October 2004).One of our most important goals for all of our students is high school graduation. Imagine the possibilities for success after graduation that CTE programs afford all of our students. Superintendent Dr. Millie Hamner can be reached at (970) 668-3011. Regular Tuesday columnist Jim Morgan is taking the day off.
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