Grant will help HNS develop career education program

HARTINGTON — The Hartington-Newcastle School will be working with six other schools in northeast Nebraska to strengthen the Career and Technical Education programs for high school students.
This past month a consortium of schools in the service area of the Educational Service Unit – One was awarded a $14,000 reVISION Initial Grant for the 2017/18 school year.
The schools listed in the grant are: Allen, Hartington-Newcastle, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Ponca, Wakefield, Winside and Wynot Schools. Bloomfield, and Wausa Schools may be participating in some fashion as well.
The Nebraska Board of Education awarded the reVISION Grant to schools across the state to help develop Nebraska’s talent pipelines for economic growth and workforce development.
Schools received either an Initial Grant or an Action Grant.
The reVision Initial Grant will assist local school districts in completing a strategic planning process for Career Education according to Supt. A. J. Johnson.
Funds from the reVISION process provides the schools with the opportunity to analyze and make changes in their current career education system in order to improve the school’s ability to educate a qualified workforce that meets industry needs within an ever-changing economy.
“This phase is for discovery and planning. No action will be taken,” Johnson said. “We will have monthly meetings. The next meeting will include local businesses.”
The schools will break into local groups to meet. There will be three meetings which will involve the seven schools.
Hartington-Newcastle School already has some steps in place but Johnson believes there will be additional benefits by having the schools work together and put a plan in place.
“Our students already have been doing job shadows. We will be talking about careers that would be beneficial and will be giving our kids more education. We want to help the kids have a stronger feeling on what they want to do after graduation,” Johnson said. “We want the kids to be aware of what is available in our area so they can come back home and live here.”
The four main parts to the reVISION process includes Pre-work Documentation, Planning Meetings, Community Engagement Meetings and a Final Meeting (Results).
All of the schools will work together on the revision process although schools will also work individually on some parts of the process.
Each school district will develop a team that consists of career and technical education teachers, district administrator, school administrator, and a core academic teacher. Schools may also consider inviting additional teachers, school board members or community representatives.
The first step was to bring the schools together for a meeting to start the process according to LCC Supt. Randall Klooz.
“We are excited to work with area schools, ESU #1 and Nebraska Department of Education,” Klooz said. “Our goal in this reVISION process is to increase educational opportunities for our students in Northeast Nebraska. This will also help us build strong relationships with our area businesses resulting from the community engagement part of reVISION.”
There are several education options after high school that students can consider. Vocational and technical schools prepare students for a specific trade or industry. Community colleges offer two-year program where students can earn an associate’s degree. Curriculum includes specialized career training and certifications. Students also have the choice of a four-year college and universities. Universities offer advanced post-educational opportunities such as a master’s degree and doctorial degrees.
Working in collaboration with postsecondary education, the workforce in the area, economic development leaders and community leaders, schools have the opportunity to improve their ability to educate a qualified workforce that meets employers’ needs.
The second phase, which is the reVISION Action Grant, helps school districts implement a plan developed for the reVISION process. Only activities that align with high-skill, high-wage and high-demand occupations are considered for the funding. This year, 29 applicants applied for almost $1.2 million in the Action Grants. The Randolph School, which was awarded $15,900 was among the 14 districts to receive a reVISION Action Grant.