Boyle County offers numerous workforce development programs

September 27, 2004|HERB BROCK

Teenagers who work after school are just one part of a larger story about the relationship of area high school students to the workforce.

Of course, regular classes at area middle and high schools are meant to form a foundation for not only post-secondary education but also for the workplace. But in addition, all of the eight school districts and Kentucky School for the Deaf offer a variety of special classes and programs, both in-school and after-school and on-site and off-site, to prepare students for work.

Boyle County is an example of an area school district that has developed numerous workforce development programs for its students, primarily at Boyle County High School and Boyle County Middle School. BCHS is ranked 42nd out of 156 high schools in Kentucky, and BCMS is ranked 28th out of 154 middle schools in Kentucky based on 2003 CATS academic data that reflect on the overall high level of preparation of students for the workforce as opposed to a narrow college preparation focus; all students are held to high standards.


Compiled by Paul Elwyn, communications director for the Boyle district, here is a list of the classes and programs offered by the district:

* Elementary students apply keyboarding skills and Microsoft Office applications that continue through the middle grades to enable students to enter high school ready for more advanced study of mainstream computer software common in the workplace.

* For the past three years Boyle has implemented standards-based literacy instruction at our three elementary schools to strengthen the learning foundation for students.

* Reading First continues the literacy improvement initiative with a continuation of standards-based instruction at the elementary schools; federal funding supports Junction City and Perryville schools.

* BCHS has been a High Schools That Work site noted in national publications as a model school for its practices to help young people prepare for the workplace.

* BCHS students declare in their freshman year a career major as part of their requirement for graduation.

* Class offerings in general at BCHS have been redesigned to strengthen content for all students regardless of whether or not they are college-bound.

* BCHS students experience applied economics through a partnership with R.R. Donnelley & Sons.

* The Community Based Work Transition Program at BCHS places special education students in a workplace to prepare them for work following graduation from high school.

* The Pennies, Nickels, and Dimes Student Bank teaches customer relations, accounting and bookkeeping skills in an authentic learning environment sponsored by Farmers National Bank.

* Career Work Experience provides a sharp focus on workplace preparation leading to a work release program that allows students to work part-time during the day; approximately 60 business partners participate in the program in which students receive both academic credit and pay.

* Whole-school writing portfolio scoring and a focus on writing in all content areas emphasizes literacy skills and directs course content to "transactive" real-world writing challenges to nurture well-rounded students who can articulate what they know.

* An advisor/advisee structure provides close attention to student graduation needs throughout the four-year experience at BCHS.

* A Tech Prep grant provides additional resources to assist with staff professional development and workforce preparation.

* The Technology Education Department features an experience based pre-engineering career exploration lab designed and funded in partnership with local industries and businesses to integrate real-world applications into the classroom and introduce students to industry-related skills and careers in demand.

* A modular Technology Education exploration lab at the middle school provides an introduction to technology-rich career experiences and acts as a bridge to the Technology Education course offerings and opportunities available at the high school.

* Students learn traditional and Computer Assisted Design drafting skills which they practice in the context of workplace applications.

* Agriculture students access market analysis through computer applications.

* Business classes provide advanced Microsoft Office instruction.

* Computer Technology offerings include Web Site Design employing Web design language and the design of multimedia pages through the use of scanners, digital and video cameras.

* Computer graphics and animation applications give students experience focused on a wide range of technology-based career paths exploiting artistic abilities.

* Computer repair and network troubleshooting through A+ Certification preparation recognized by industry.

* A Student Technology Learning Program gives students practical experiences in maintaining computers and producing technology projects.

Central Kentucky News Articles