School board updated on upcoming CTE program

The Willow Springs school board received an update on the district’s new career and technical education program at its regular board meeting on Monday, October 10.
The program is set to begin with the 2023-2024 school year, and will be housed in the former Missouri Department of Transportation Headquarters buildings. Last month, the district purchased the building from the city of Willow Springs for $1.
CTE director Josh Owens told the board they recently conducted a survey of high school students, primarily freshmen and sophomores who will be eligible to enroll in upcoming classes.
“We first wanted to evaluate what other (districts) are doing, and then we developed an online survey for high school kids,” said Owens. 
He said the survey included courses already available to students by whatever means, like attendance at the South Central Career Center in West Plains, along with new options. Owens said they looked at possible classes including things relevant to the community, topics of interest to students, and what programs could garner public support.
As a result of the survey, the programs being planned for the district include construction technology (carpentry), criminal justice and law enforcement, and aviation and drone technology. 
Owens said the construction program will be a two-year, hands-on program including facets of construction like roofing, siding, and more. While the program will likely evolve to include residential construction within the community, Owens said that to start, they’ll focus on the facility itself.
“We do need to do some work on that,” he said, adding that SCCC students have worked on their facility. “The students took a lot of ownership and pride as they were building their program.” He said this “will let us polish the program” before moving to any residential construction. 
Owens said they “got a lot of response” on the potential criminal justice and law enforcement class. 
“This came as a little bit of a surprise to me,” said Owens. The class will cover many topics, and while students might not be able to be officers immediately after graduation due to age, the courses would let them pursue other employment within the law enforcement field, such as dispatching.
The basic aviation and drone technology program also would likely be a two-year program, though Owens said he’s uncertain presently how many hours will be included. 
The criminal justice and drone classes likely will be limited to 15 students.
Superintendent Dr. Marty Spence said they won’t know fully the level of student interest until students begin enrolling in the spring. Once student scheduling has been done, Spence said Owens will be able to return to the board in April to let them know how many students are enrolled.
“It’s hard to put numbers on it yet,” said Owens. “It’s an awesome opportunity for our kids and our community.”
In other business:
• Spence reported that the bid date for the new athletic facility has been moved to Oct. 21. The board agreed at the September meeting to seek bids, and had hoped to open them in October. Spence said those timelines just weren’t met. He also said the building has been lengthened by 10 feet, making it 50 feet wide by 110 feet long. The ceiling height also has been increased to add a batting cage that can be raised. At an estimated $385,000, he said the building still is estimated to come in under the amount of school relief funding available. “Hopefully, we’ll have bids next month.”
• The board agreed to stick to its schedule for roof replacement and repair. Spence reported that while there’s not a roofing project slated for this coming summer, the cost for the three-year plan increased significantly from about $1 million to $1.5 million due to an increase in materials. “My advice would be to follow the plan,” said Spence. “We don’t have to like it, but I think that’s where we’re at.”
• The board approved the following substitutes: Lisa Sherwood, Olivia Darnell, and Inocencio Leija. The board also approved hiring paraprofessional Cody McDermitt. After closed session, the board approved resignations from Vince McCrosky, high school social studies, and Gerald McGownd, high school physical education.
• The board heard administrative reports from the elementary, middle, and high school, along with special education. The high school speech, debate, and drama program also gave a presentation to the board.
• The board approved the purchase of a school vehicle for $50,500 from Bailey Chevrolet, and approved the policy agreement for updates from the Missouri School Board Association for $3,479.
Content Paywall Trunction: 

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

Comment Here