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PREPARING
STUDENTS FOR LIFE

Q&A WITH SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS BARBARA THOMPSON

COVER STORY

Career Academies

Grooming high school students for future employment

November-December 2009

Nearly 350 students are participating in the five Career Academies offered at Montgomery Public Schools. Two more academies are planned for next year.

Students enrolled in the academies take up to seven courses in that field during their high school career to prepare them for both college and jobs in those areas.

The Career Academies are schools within schools designed around a career theme. The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Career Academies Task Force worked with MontgomeryPublic Schools and the business community to develop the Career Academies.

The business/finance academy at SidneyLanierHigh School has the highest participation with 120 students. The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Career Academies Task Force worked with MontgomeryPublic Schools and the business community to develop the Career Academies.

About 80 students attend the teaching career academy at JeffersonDavisHigh School, which is divided into two areas of study: early childhood education and secondary education.

Another 80 students are participating in the health science/medical career academy at the same school. Students will receive hands-on clinical training in physical therapy, radiology, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, surgery, surgical intensive care and after delivery. Students will also learn about safely moving patients, taking and reading vital signs and feeding.

The information technology academy is offered at RobertE.LeeHigh School and about 40 students are  enrolled in the program. Each of those students will have a laptop in class. The mission of the IT academy is to “provide students with the technical, personal, logical and communication skills needed to succeed in today’s digital workforce.”

Almost 40 students participate in the law and public safety academy at Sidney Lanier High School. The career academy has two areas of study: fire and law enforcement.

The two academies planned for next year are hospitality and tourism/culinary arts and advanced manufacturing. Both will be at George Washington Carver High School.

Nancy Beggs, director of education programs for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, said the goal is having 180 students in each academy.

Students must meet admission requirements to enroll in a career academy and maintain a prescribed grade-point average to continue in the course work.

The curriculum and instruction meets or exceeds college entrance requirements. Each academy student takes at least two core academic classes and one career-theme class each year. Those academic classes include math, science, English language arts and social studies. The curriculum is integrated between those academic classes and the career class.

- David Zaslawsky