From the Superintendent's Desk
By Superintendent Leonard P. Lueck
Brodhead Students Prepare for the Workforce
A few months ago there was an article posted in the newspapers about how the School District of Brodhead prepares our students for college/technical school. This article will focus more on the students that choose to go straight into the workforce. Like the students that plan to go on to higher education, students that choose to go straight into the workforce also set up a four-year academic plan. During their Middle School years these students investigate what careers they may be interested in. Once they enter the High School, they choose academic classes that will lead them to the career they have identified. These plans have the flexibility to change throughout a student’s school career.
Our High School “Program of Studies” identifies 16 different paths that a student may want to follow to get the education that best fits their needs. These “Career Pathways” were identified by the state and are used to determine an individual’s learning plan. These plans are flexible and interchangeable. That means a student always has the option of changing the plan if their interests change. Career exploration is a primary focus when students are in Middle School. While careers are talked about in all content and vocational areas, 8th grade students all participate in a 9-week course called Careers. The focus in High School switches from exploration to planning. Students entering the High School set up a four-year academic plan that aligns their classes with their chosen career. Many of the classes offered relate to different careers and fit into multiple academic plans. This allows the flexibility to change an individual plan.
All classes taught in the schools relate to skills/knowledge that can be used in the workforce. There are several classes that relate directly to a certain career. Cooperative education programs (work experience) allow students to earn credit while learning on the job. Agriculture classes relate directly to many areas, but especially to farming. Our Ag co-op class places students right in the farming industry so that they can gain firsthand experience with this career choice. Students normally work on a local farm and learn what is involved in a farming career. Our Metals class teaches students many different aspects of working with metals. The Family and Consumer Science class teaches students about Child Care and the food industry. These students are also able to volunteer at some of our local child care centers. We have several classes that teach the skills needed to go into the construction business as well. Through our Youth Apprentice program, students can work with local companies to gain experience in a career as a welder or metal fabricator, finance, nursing, agriculture, and other careers. Our Youth Apprenticeship program allows students the opportunity to experience real world jobs. This opportunity helps students decide if that is the right career for them. Brodhead Schools work to prepare our students for either higher education or direct entry into the workforce.