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Articles: Vocational

Robert Urzillo is a retired superintendent and now director of the graduate education program at Rosemont College.

I believe in the validity of vocational programs. However, I do have concerns about the context of what is being taught to these students in a rapidly changing economy.

Aresta Johnson, superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, has restructured her administrative team.

Aresta Johnson, superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, has restructured her administrative team to provide continuity for students progressing from elementary to high school.

Vocational education used to be considered low-tech and non-academic. Career and technical education now requires nearly as much ELA and math as any other degree.

Here are five strategies that school administrators are adopting to support the rising demand for special education.

A renovated auto repair garage now houses Maryville High School’s growing culinary arts program as well as Café Le Rêve, a dining enterprise that caters to the local community.

A new facility designed around an airplane hangar prepares students for new heights at Sterling Aviation High School, a magnet school.

After the Great Recession, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis knew it had to prepare students for a new world of work skills and knowledge.

Fifteen outdoor field trip days are built into the academic year at Plumas USD school district.

Plumas USD, a rural district tucked away in the rugged terrain of northeastern California, uses its own backyard for its “Outdoor Core” K12 curriculum.

MUCKING STALLS IN THE BIG CITY—Agriculture students at John Browne High School care for livestock, maintain a flock of laying hens, and grow food and ornamental plants when they’re not studying the details of agriculture. (Julie Fritsch)

Schools are increasingly adding agriculture education, or “ag ed”—about 12,000 agriculture educators teach programs in the U.S., says a National Association of Agricultural Educators survey.

In the latest round of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam, given to more than 500,000 15-year-olds in 72 nations, students in the U.S. once again scored in the middle of the pack—and below average in math—raising concerns and sending educators looking for answers.

The maker movement is poised to transform K12 learning. Makerspaces—workshop areas that provide tools and raw materials for students to invent, create, collaborate and learn—reinforce STEM skills and enable more authentic learning. While there are a variety of ways to design and build makerspaces, there are some key strategies administrators can employ to ensure their program is successful.

Ritch Ramey is the RAMTEC coordinator at the Tri-Rivers Career Center.

Local companies told the Tri-Rivers Career Center, a voc-tech high school in Ohio, there weren’t enough skilled workers entering the trades, especially manufacturing. So the career center launched the Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative to help meet skilled labor needs.

Kaya Henderson lead District of Columbia Public Schools for more than five years.

Kaya Henderson will step down in September as chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools after serving in the position for more than five years.

She says she will spend time with family before considering other offers in education, published reports state.

The way schools across the country use space has changed. The growing number of administrators now building and renovating education spaces have made student experience a top priority. Educators seek new designs that accommodate collaboration along with 1-to-1 programs and other technology initiatives

Sheila M. Harrity is superintendent-director of Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District in Massachusetts.

When Sheila M. Harrity became superintendent-director of Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District—better known as Monty Tech—she hit the ground running, transforming programs and searching out partnerships to ensure her students find good work right out of school or attend college.

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