Career Pathways - Concept Proposal
Over the next two years, Ruidoso High School must change to adequately prepare our students to be successful in the 21st Century. This challenge is based on many issues and concerns including: changing world competition and global economy, demands from community and businesses, directives from federal and state education agencies, poor student attendance, high student dropout rate, new student standards and high expectations, student needs, etc. Our students deserve the best possible programs to enhance career opportunities and/or further academic opportunities. Ruidoso High School shall guide students to choose a course of study or Career Pathway that is interesting, challenging and relevant to their future.
Restructure and revitalize Ruidoso High School utilizing the following guiding tenets:
- Establish high expectations for all students and staff.
- Prepare all students to be successful in an ever changing society.
- Offer students as many quality educational opportunities as possible.
- Research best possible means to build on current strengths.
- Utilize community, businesses, partners, and other outside agencies to enhance student educational opportunities.
Short Term objectives (Can be completed with our current resources within the next two years)
- Provide a wider variety of academic and vocational opportunities for our students to meet 21st Century challenges.
- Expand vocational course offerings to reflect relevant Career Pathways and national certification.
- Provide more effective support system for each individual student.
- Utilize current personnel more efficiently to support Ruidoso High School students and programs.
- Expand professional development opportunities to support staff in implementing Ruidoso High School programs.
- Meet the needs of students failing classes and potential dropouts.
Long term objectives (requires in depth planning, restructuring and additional resources)
- Research and develop a Ruidoso Career Pathways model that reflects our unique local needs, input from various stakeholders and high standards. Career Pathways could include Arts and Communication; Health and Medicine; Business and Marketing; Science, Engineering and Technology; Social, Personal and Public Services, etc. This vision demands a revitalized school mission and restructuring of programs, staffing patterns, instructional strategies, evaluation, etc.. Virtual classrooms, applied technology, community and higher education partnerships, community internships, concurrent enrollment, workplace experiences, and other similar strategies shall be researched and incorporated as appropriate.
- Incorporate vertical teaming within all core areas of instruction.
- Implement national certification exams as culminating outcomes for appropriate programs.
- Require an additional math/science class for graduation.
- Implement a supported, sequential, and revitalized honors/advanced placement program.
- Establish career portfolios as part of graduation requirements.
Activities to Date
- Plan Career Preparation class. ENMU provides teachers for English and Math classes. High school instructor monitors student schedules and on the job training experiences. Twenty students identified as potential dropouts enrolled in program, 15 completed first semester. English IR class planned for incoming freshmen that were identified as low achievers in Reading and Language Arts. This class is taught within the English department and the goal is to prepare students for English II.
- Reading Tutoring course established. ENMU provides instruction/direction for students with reading disabilities. Seniors and juniors are trained as tutors utilizing a nationally recognized program. Cisco Networking Academy program developed. This is a four semester cooperative program with ENMU culminating in internationally recognized Network Administration Certification.
- August - Implement/monitor Career Preparation program, English IR class, Reading Tutorial program, and Cisco Networking Academy.
- October - Career Summit I convened with 25 secondary staff members attending. Carl Perkins Grant, careers, clusters, national certification and need for restructuring were all discussed. Possible short term and long term changes for vocational classes reviewed.
- November - Department chairs asked for input on school improvement and ways Ruidoso High School might change for the 21st Century.
- November - Career Summit II convened to solidify goals and plan for the future.
- November - Assignment/challenge: Ruidoso High School 21st Century Career Pathways plan to be developed and implemented with a final set of recommendations prepared by November, 2001.
- November - Administration sets aside funds for meetings, observations, etc. in support of change process.
- December - Staff visited two high schools in Texas that have already implemented Career Pathway concepts. Materials brought back, reviewed, and shared.
- December - Modified class schedule proposed to meet short-term objectives and to reflect staff suggestions.
Time Line for Career Pathways Plan
- This draft "plan to plan" for Ruidoso High School 21st Century Career Pathways developed and distributed to Ruidoso High School staff and School Board for discussion and review (January 8-9, 2001).
- Steering Committee established including representation from businesses, parents, RHS staff, RMS staff, elementary staff, ENMU, School Board, and students (January 15, 2001)
- 1st Steering Committee meeting scheduled with Lena Trujillo-Chavez, Assistant Superintendent, New Mexico State Department of Education as facilitator (January 23, 2001). Subcommittees established as appropriate and following tasks completed.
- Review current accountability data (February, 2001)
- Develop Ruidoso High School philosophy or mission statement (February, 2001)
- Research various Career Pathways models (February, 2001)
- Select 1-3 models to explore in depth (March, 2001)
- Identify schools utilizing models, and organize team site visitations (March, April 2001)
- Based on tasks above, develop draft Ruidoso High School 21st Century Career Pathways model (May, 2001)
- Identify potential concerns and barriers (resources, facilities,accountability, logistics, etc.) (May, June 2001)
- Conduct public forum(s) to present draft Ruidoso High School 21st Century Career Pathways model and solicit input (August, September, 2001)
- Review and revise model based on public forum(s). Develop solutions to identified concerns and barriers (October, 2001)
- Finalize Ruidoso High School 21st Century Career Pathways model for presentation to Ruidoso School Board in November, 2001