Season 2 Episode 2: Exploring the Academies of Grand Island, Nebraska

In this episode, we learn about the Academies of Grand Island School District in Western Nebraska.  I’m speaking with Jeff Gilbertson, Executive Principal of Grand Island Senior High and Daniel Phillips, Director of Career Education for the Grand Island Public Schools District.

Grand Island is a thriving small city in western Nebraska.  The city itself has an official population count of about 50,000 residents, and with the surrounding counties, the metropolitan area has about 85,000 residents.

Jeff and Dan have been integrally involved in leading a transformation effort for Grand Island’s Nebraska’s large and growing single high school (2500 students) into a series of Career Academies that include 20 college and career pathway programs.   Every student in the school is enrolled in an academy.  There is a Freshman Academy for 9th grade students, and five upper-level academies as follows:  The Academy of Law and Public Safety, The Academy of Engineering and Technology, The Academy of Business and Communications, The Academy of Technical Services, and the Academy of Medical Services.   Given the school’s size and close connections to the community, it has expanded to three total campuses, including a technically focused Career Pathways Institute, and other programs offered at the Wyandotte Learning Center.  And. while the academies function as small learning communities for the students, the school still operates as one organization under the leadership of Executive Principal Gilbertson.


Grand Island, Nebraska (Wikipedia),_Nebraska

Grand Island Public Schools Academies

Overview of the Academies (Video)

Exploring the Academies (Video)

The Academy of Law and Public Safety (Video)

The Academy of Engineering and Technology (Video)

The Academy of Business and Communications (Video)

The Academy of Technical Services (Video)

The Academy of Medical Services (Video)

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