Increasing tech education opportunities
West Linn High School is in for a treat: The school received a $422,715 CTE Revitalization Grant from the Oregon Department of Education Monday, Dec. 4 — money that will greatly impact its Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs.
"One of the things CTE is all about is preparing kids for high wage, high demand jobs in the technical field so that's where this money focuses," said teacher librarian Stacy Erickson, one of four teachers involved in the grant proposal at WLHS. "What it's going to do is increase opportunities for our kids, so all the sudden now we'll have more options in CTE offerings and it will increase the quality of experience too because we will have state of the art equipment."
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District was one of 32 districts to receive the CTE Revitalization Grant, and WLHS was one of 101 schools in Oregon to receive the grant which totaled $10.3 million.
The grant is broken down into separate parts — $328,215 will go toward a multimedia production studio and amplifying the robotics and engineering area, and $94,500 will go toward a technology-based summer camp program.
"The multimedia production lab is going to be awesome," said Erickson, adding that they will be purchasing broadcasting sets and other equipment to benefit the growing broadcast and multimedia programs.
Part of this money will also go toward the development of a CAD class — a computer-aided design course — next school year that will allow students to model and make things, gaining industry experience. The remaining $94,500 will go toward a CTE summer camp that will be available to WL-WV seventh- and eighth-graders.
"The summer offerings that have been in our district up until this point have been really focused on science and these (camps), due to the nature of the grant and CTE, they will be focusing on giving exposure and experiences to kids so it will draw interest," Erickson said.
During the camp, students will be able to work with equipment like drones, virtual reality and 3D printers.
"The summer program grant is to help middle schoolers get to experience technology and to help recruit for high school programs," she added.
Overall, these grants are meant to help students prepare for college and career readiness, and help students gain industry experience.
"I'm very appreciative of the team who put the proposal forward and did some great work in identifying courses and pathways that will best fit kids in our community and our school," Principal Kevin Mills said. "I think what's going to open up is opportunities for kids to find things they're passionate about and things to get engaged in, so when they leave high school they have some skills they can readily put into action."
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