Last week I was in Rapid City, South Dakota and had the privilege of attending the press conference where Rapid City Area Schools Superintendent, Lori Simon, and community partners announced the forthcoming development of Career Academies and related Career Pathways in the district’s two comprehensive high schools. The high school’s work is part of a full pathways system approach.
This approach includes career development across all grade spans, developing and acting on the Profile of a Graduate, Engaging Employer and Community Partners, Investing in Teaching and Learning, and building strong Cross-Sector Collaboration.
I’ve had the privilege of working with the leadership team and the pathways task force in Rapid City for almost exactly one year. They have done some really amazing work developing a thorough pathways implementation plan with the help of a community-based Pathways Task Force that met monthly, as well as created several pathways planning teams of teachers and community members.
This press conference was the opportunity to formally announce the work to the broader community and move into the early phase of implementation. The next phase involves specific curriculum development for the pathways, creating new academy advisory committees, continuing to ramp up employer engagement, and prepare the new freshman seminar and high school Grad Time (an advisory program). I give kudos to the many staff and community members who are making the work real in Rapid City!
Here are some links to the press release and some local news coverage of the press conference.
Hans Meeder is President of NC3T, the National Center for College and Career Transitions (www.nc3t.com). NC3T provides planning, coaching, technical assistance and tools to help community-based leadership teams plan and implement their college-career pathway systems and strengthen employer connections with education.