New CHS program featured at Cranford BOE – Union News Daily

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CRANFORD, NJ – At the Board of Education meeting on Monday, November 22, Cranford High School Principal Mark Cantagallo and Cranford High School Deputy Principal Justin Roach presented a new CHS program that will allow students to take concentrations and gain more experience in the community. and in colleges in the region.

Cantagallo and Roach discussed the professional academies being established at Cranford High School with Superintendent Scott Rubin and members of the Board of Trustees, particularly vocational and technical education.
“The State of New Jersey has 16 different job groups that they like to identify as focal points for jobs and careers. The vocational technical training opportunity is for students to gain experience in a high school atmosphere through extracurricular and post-secondary internships, ”Cantagallo said during the presentation. “It’s meant to help students make positive decisions instead of (of)… decisions that cost over hundreds of thousands of dollars… just (to) realize… that you spent a lot of money and don’t want to not do this job, because it’s not as fun as you might think or you didn’t have the experience in high school.

“We have 13 of these academies that we’re going to try to launch in 2022, to help students prepare for careers, to make informed decisions. You have the possibility of obtaining university credits, ”he continued. “Right now, we currently have six different articulation agreements with colleges and we’re looking to… build more. … It is important to remember that Cranford High School is for all students, and the CTE program is for all students. In some of these programs, likeness is certainly an attractive quality… to further educate our students.

Cantagallo said that out of 1,030 responses to a survey of career opportunities, students said the careers that would interest them most were architecture and construction, the arts, audiovisual technology and communications, business management and administration, education and training, health sciences. , human services, information technology, marketing and science, technology and engineering.

“To become a certified CTE program, the first thing you need to do is have a CTE program. … There are 16 clusters that the state identifies as career clusters. Within these groups there are 79 different career paths, and we will be offering 14 of these different paths for students at Cranford High School, ”Roach said during the presentation. “The second piece is a sequence of three or more lessons. One of the great things about this program is that a lot of the things that we are already doing and are already in our curriculum fit perfectly into CTE programs, so it’s not really a change. or a change, but it’s just rearranging things in a different way. It needs to be aligned with an extracurricular activity, so our plan is also to take advantage of the clubs, organizations, and teams that we currently have that integrate well with each of these CTE programs.

“(For) internship opportunities, we already have a junior internship and senior service program in place. We have two teachers certified and trained as coordinators (structured learning experience) who would also serve the different academies to provide advice and on-site visits for the different internship opportunities for each academy ”, he said. he continued. “(For) post-secondary articulation opportunities, we have some very good ones right now – Rutgers, Seton Hall, Fairleigh Dickinson – and we hope to expand them. (We are seeking) to make articulation agreements with the NJIT and to expand the articulation agreements with Kean and UCC. … The existing academy of sciences has the final assessment of the test that students take for Rutgers accreditation. The difference with the CTE program is that we can create our own final assessments, either through teacher-created exams, projects or we can seek to extend these external assessments. The best part is that the students come away with something tangible… a certification. It’s not just a piece on a transcript, but it’s something they can walk away with that applies not only to college but also to career.

“Finally, to have a true NJ CTE program, you have to have the staff working with the program to be certified CTE teachers,” Roach said. “There are a number of ways that teachers can achieve CTE certification: one would be educational qualifications and level, the other could be experience in the field. We are confident in looking at these different pathways and then looking at our staff that we will be able to work with to get our staff certified as CTE Certified Teachers. Once we have them in place, we can then apply to the state Department of Education for CTE certification, which has benefits including potential funding from Perkins through grants. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act is the primary source of federal funding for this type of CTE program.

Roach said the proposed academies for the 2022-2023 school year will include biomedical and life sciences; engineering; two academies in the fields of activity – marketing and accounting; computer science; computer website design; culinary arts; education; and a variety of performing arts academies, such as vocal music, dance, instrumental music, theater, technical theater, and interdisciplinary arts. Examples of various NJ CTE clusters were then displayed, along with the course schedule for students by year.

Cantagallo said 140 credits are required for graduation and students are encouraged to attend an academy. For the new class of 2026, students do not have to apply to an academy, as this will be an option for high school students. There are no requirements for most academy options. In the field of performing arts, people will be invited to audition. Interest surveys will be distributed to help plan schedules. Between their freshman orientation on January 11 and some time in February, students will have the opportunity to apply. Students must write a statement explaining why they want to join a particular academy.
Rubin and the board members congratulated Roach and Cantagallo on a job well done.

“I like the idea that students always have the option and, if they want the full traditional experience, they can do it and it’s not taken away from them in any form,” Rubin said at the meeting. “At the same time, people who want to focus on a particular college and career have the opportunity to do so, and that’s good. They end up where they have the choice – they have a degree and the ability if they were to make a career out of getting an entry-level position. … If they want to continue in college, they also have this opportunity. I like the idea of ​​options.

“The good thing is that it’s not just about the content,” he continued. “These are 21st century skills. It’s about solving problems and working with others in a particular area. So all of these skills are transferable whether they decide to stay in that career path or go to another career path. I think it’s exciting in the way it was built and (I’m) very happy to see the students start to select and move the program forward.


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