A new focus on Vocational Education in middle school is allowing kids to get a jump start on possible careers and becoming a model for other local schools
At Rafer Johnson Junior High School in Kingsburg, California, students can take several vocational courses in a program throug the Valley Regional Occupational program, and is becoming a model for other schools in the Center Valley.
“Our kids loved it,” said Principal Laura North. She believes the program will give students a jump on possible careers and help them connect what they’re learning in class to real-life settings.
“The new Common Core standards are not only college centered, but it’s college and career,” she said.
The local Valley Regional Occupational Program coordinated applications for career tech grants in the state. VROP already has programs at high schools, so it was a question of tailoring the middle school program to coordinate with the high school courses, said North.
“You had to have a clear pathway into your feeder high school programs, so we worked with our high school to determine what we could do here that goes into the pathways they’re using there,” she said.