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Charter Oak has several pathways programs that intent to give students a head start in careers or college programs, but most of them need more space and equipment to give the students all they need to be successful. Grants from California could make some of the pathways’ dreams come true, if they are approved.

Four career technical education pathways–Engineering, Biomedical, Information Technology, and Business and Finance–applied for the grants, which were offered by the state. The teachers from the pathways, as well as Mrs. Lisa Berry, vice principal, and Mr. Joey Strycula, principal, worked with the district employees in October and turned in four CTE grant applications by Nov. 29, 2017.

According to cde.ca.gov, the grants “provide aid to local educational agencies (LEAs) to reconfigure, construct, or modernize Career Technical Education (CTE) facilities, and/or purchase equipment for CTE programs and to joint powers authorities (JPAs) to modernize CTE facilities and/or equipment.” The purpose of the grant is to help improve schools CTE programs to make them current and up-to-date.

Mrs. Laura Roy, Biomedical teacher, said, “We all submitted a proposal, dreaming big, like really like-dream equipment.” She included in her application a proposal for a $60,000 virtual autopsy table that would make the class even more educationally enriching.

Mrs. Roy put in not only the application for equipment, but also plans for a new building to be added on to the E-Building for the Engineering and Biomedical pathway programs. She had an architect come out and work out plans for where it would be.

Marissa Gonzalez, sophomore, said, “I like the idea of having advanced equipment in the class. Even though I might not use it, the future classes will be lucky.” She is currently in Human Body Systems and believes the grant would be helpful even if she is not the one to benefit from it.

Mr. Strycula said, “We found out last week that only the Business and Finance got through to the second round for the application process.” Although Engineering, Biomedical, and Information Technology did not receive the grant, hopefully in late June the school will find out if they are awarded any funding in the Business and Finance pathway.

Charter Oak and schools in the United States used to have more career-based classes, like wood shop and auto mechanics, but over the years they have gone away. Hopefully, pathway programs will restore hands-on learning for the twenty-first century.

 

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Innovation opportunity