The Edmonds School District Board of Directors has adopted a new plan to address inequities in the district’s vocational and technical education (CTE) curriculum.
The CTE program provides high school students with the opportunity to explore their interests, discover career opportunities, earn college credit, and develop meaningful and relevant study programs that lead to success in high school and beyond. of the. CTE courses can also be used to meet graduation requirements for Art, English, Health, Math, and Science.
At its business meeting on September 14, the board approved a new four-year plan that includes ensuring that students in each high school have equal access to the same courses and expanding the curriculum that will be offered in colleges. Prior to the vote, district staff also briefed the board on how the program handled a distance learning setting during the 2020-21 school year.
Each year, staff update the district CTE program after reviewing data from the previous year to identify areas for improvement. Last year, the district piloted a CTE computer course at Alderwood Middle School, which had 90 students. This year, staff plan to expand to other middle schools starting with College Place Middle School. Staff also approached Lynnwood High School to offer a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) course that would be similar to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program offered at Mountlake Terrace High School.
When the district switched to distance learning in the 2020-21 school year on the advice of public health officials, the program saw fewer student enrollments. Still, more than 580 students qualified for graduation in 2021 after taking CTE courses while in high school.
Although the past year has seen a reduction in the number of CTE clubs and organizations, several – like the Meadowdale High School Automobile Performance Club – have remained successful.
At this year’s SkillsUSA, the district won the top four places in the automotive service technology competition. This was the second year in a row that participants in the school district’s program won the region’s top four spots.
“Considering the circumstances we were facing, I think this is an even more formidable achievement,” said CTE Director Mark Madison.
While school buildings were closed to in-person learning, the district was able to update several CTE program facilities, equipment and technologies. At Mountlake Terrace High School, renovations were made to the STEM, Carpentry and Journalism labs. Improvements were also made to the culinary labs at Edmonds-Woodway, Lynnwood, Meadowdale and Mountlake Terrace high schools as well as some student stores.
The CTE double credit program – which allows high school students to earn college credit through a partnership with Edmonds College – saw an almost 50% reduction in enrollment with just 261 students. Madison said many of the reductions were due to courses requiring in-person performance reviews, but staff are predicting an increase in enrollment this year. In addition, 92 students received industry-recognized certifications under the program.
Madison also briefed the board of directors on the district’s T-Mobile High School internship program. The Full Stack Web Developer Internship is a two-year engagement for high school students that offers a paid internship during the summer after their junior and senior years. In their final year, students can earn a Web Development Certificate through Edmonds College. Accordingly, after completing their second internship, they are eligible for direct entry into the field of full stack development.
The first cohort consisted of seven students who have just completed their second summer internship and there are 10 in the second group, who completed a virtual internship this summer. The program began in the Edmonds School District and has expanded to the Seattle School District and schools in Kansas.
“It’s a really special program for us because it’s the first in the country with T-Mobile in terms of a paid high school internship program,” Madison said.
During the CTE review process, staff discussed ensuring that each school offers the same courses, so that students have equal access to what the program has to offer. However, Madison added that staffing and demand issues need to be addressed before they can offer all classes at each school.
An example of an inequity issue is Scriber Lake High School, which is smaller than other district high schools, making it difficult to offer the same number of CTE classes, Madison said.
In the discussion following Madison’s presentation, Ritika Khanal, Senior of Mountlake Terrace High School, who is a student advisor to the Board of Trustees, praised the CTE program. Khanal is part of his school’s student newspaper, The hawk eye, and said she appreciates being able to see her education translate into a real world job.
“There isn’t a day that I don’t leave the Mountlake Terrace Hawk Eye thinking ‘Wow, that’s… the kind of thing that really teaches me how this can go forward,’ ”she said.
In other cases, the council delayed voting on a contract with four professionals who would be dedicated to helping students with addiction issues.
In partnership with Northwest Educational Service District 189, the board is considering hiring four Student Aid Professionals (SAPs). The new employees would work with middle school and high school students struggling with drug and alcohol use and would also offer student support groups. Each SAP would provide support to a middle and high school in each quadrant as well as to Scriber Lake High School and e-learning. They would also be available for classroom presentations on topics related to substance use and abuse.
The Contract would be funded by a grant from NESD 189 and funds previously used to pay for the School Resources Officer program. However, Director Katims said she was concerned about the wording of the contract that favored NESD 189, including a clause that allowed NESD 189 to cancel the contract at any time. The item was postponed for a future meeting.
Also during the meeting, staff responded to questions from community members regarding the district’s response to confirmed COVID-19 exposure at school. During the meeting’s public comments, a parent asked why the policy is the same for vaccinated and unvaccinated students.
Mara Marano-Bianco, district student health services manager, explained that students or staff who show symptoms of the virus are isolated in a designated containment area. During isolation, the symptomatic person is offered a COVID-19 test with their consent. Test results usually take between one and three days and the patient must quarantine at home while awaiting the results.
If the result is positive, Marano-Bianco said the patient should self-isolate at home for 14 days and / or 24 hours after symptoms improve. They can return to school with proof of a negative COVID-19 test result and after being fever-free for 24 hours. The same procedure is required for anyone who refuses to take a test.
“We have seen cases where people test positive, but their fever can persist beyond the required (14 days) of isolation, so this is one of the cautions that a person should be fever-free. for 24 hours and symptoms improve to return to school. “said Marano-Bianco.
Marano-Bianco also explained the contact tracing by coming into contact with a positive case. “Close contact” refers to anyone who was within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 cumulative minutes or more throughout the day. In classrooms, if students are seated within 6 feet of each other, additional precautions, such as increased ventilation and testing programs, should be in place to ensure that the following apply:
- if two people are within 3 feet of each other and one person tests positive while both people are masked, both should be quarantined.
- if two people – one positive – are within 6 feet of each other and only one person is masked, both should be quarantined.
- If both people are masked and only one person is vaccinated, that person should watch for symptoms for three to five days after exposure. Quarantine is only required for the vaccinated person if they show symptoms.
The district encouraged families to refer to the graphic below:
Also during public comments, a parent suggested the board consider moving lunch time outside to prevent the spread of the virus. She said it was unfair that her daughter – who is not eligible for the vaccine – and other students to be put at risk during meals, which she says happens in the classroom.
“It is unreasonable to ask an unvaccinated child to do this,” she said. “They’ve sacrificed too much in the past year and a half to ask them to do this in order to go to school.”
During the public comments, council also heard several requests from district para-educators for the same additional pay that certified teachers receive for teaching during the pandemic. Para-educator Kelley Reeves said they deserved the same $ 1,250 compensation as certified teachers and pointed out that many of them stay on site to teach in person while certified teachers teach remotely.
“No, we are not certified teachers and we do not take away the hours they devote to it, but remember that we too are under the stress of completely relearning to do our job in just a few days and alongside of our teachers, we are daily exposed to potentials. debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, ”Reeves said.
–By Cody Sexton