Academies on track to give students a running start toward their future

Jefferson City school board members met tonight and listened to a presentation about the future of career-driven academies in the high school.

The fall of 2014 will mark a special time for Jefferson City students.

Starting in middle school, students will have the opportunity to choose a field they're interested in studying, and learn skills they can take with them after graduation.

Skills that are vital in today's increasingly competetive job market.

There will be seven academies to choose from; including fine arts, health services, global studies, business management, industrial engineering, agriculture, and natural resources.

Core academic classes will be integrated into each program, but will be relevant to each career path.

Shellie Goodin, a registered nurse, is the health science instructor at the high school.

"They will be getting maybe an English class that's embedded in arts and communication. Or they may get math for meds, for example, and learn how to calculate medications and get their math while doing that."

All of the academies will be inside the high school, and counselors from the Nichols Career Center have paired with the schools to provide advisement for each student as they begin their path into each one of the academies.

Jefferson City Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Myron Graber said, "There will definitely be some extra preparation because the model will be changing...the teaching model will be changing to more of an integrated, project-basd model of education. Rather than a lecture mode, it will be more of an interactive mode."

Members of the academies committee are working on a plan to arrange space for each academy in the high school. While some slight renovations and additions will be needed, all of the funding will come from the current budget.

The committee will approach the board again in November for an update on the plan's progress.