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Archive for Saturday, April 10, 2010

District seeks input on program expansions

The district wants the community's help on how to spend federal funding it received. It wants to improve the career and technology education programs.

April 10, 2010

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The Lawrence school district wants help from business leaders, parents, students and the public in deciding how it expands its career and technical education programs.

District leaders are asking for community input through an online survey as the district writes its Carl D. Perkins federal grant for next year. The district receives about $100,000 in Perkins funds a year, and the money is used to expand the district’s career and technical education offerings.

Typically, administrators completed the survey internally, but Patrick Kelly, the district’s curriculum specialist for career and technical education, wanted more input about what programs the district already offers and what it should offer.

He said he especially wanted input from business leaders and those involved in post-secondary education.

“It’s important that we’re choosing pathways that there’s a demand for, that there’s an interest for, and so we’d like the community’s input on it,” Kelly said.

Input from students about courses the district offers is critical, he said, because the courses are intended to prepare students for post-secondary education and careers in current or emerging sectors.

As career and technical education evolves, the district has created curricula in “pathways,” like in the agricultural field. This year the district is also changing certain programs into pathways, such as architecture, construction and health careers.

Others are coming, including law and public safety.

“We’d like to hear community input of whether that’s a good use of our Carl Perkins dollars,” Kelly said.

The grant funds allow the district to spend money on curriculum and professional development for staff, including externships with businesses to give teachers more work experience in certain fields to teach students.

Kelly said the 10-question survey should take less than five minutes to complete. It is available online at usd497.org/TeachingAnd Learning/Curriculum/Career TechnicalEducation.

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