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Dec
2017
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Graduation rates up; vocational career pathways underway

Plans in the works to add specialty science, technology, engineering and math career pathway programs at each high school

graduation rate comparisonOver the past 15 years, methods for calculating graduation rates have changed and become more precise.

High school requirements have changed. Students must earn more credits in different classes, including math and science, than they did 15 years ago. The tests used to measure student learning have changed; passing some of those tests are now requirements for graduation – another change from 15 years ago.

Also changed are the graduation rates. Since the graduation rates first inched above 90 percent for the class of 2015, the district has incrementally moved closer to its vision of a 100 percent graduation rate.

Superintendent Gary Cohn credits the partnership efforts of staff, parents and community for “doing what it takes” to meet the academic and social needs of each student in the district. “The result is more students crossing the graduation stage career and college ready.”

Changes in the works include plans Cohn says will “even more deeply enrich each high school student’s college and career readiness.”

Cohn explained that during the November 21 school board meeting the board will consider whether to ask residents to approve a construction bond in 2018. “The bond proposal the board is discussing would renovate high school facilities to add a specialty STEM program at each high school for vocational career pathways.”

The bond projects, as explained by Cohn, would include transforming the entire Everett High vocational building into a center focused upon health and medical careers. Cascade High’s science building would be modernized into an aerospace and advanced manufacturing learning complex. Jackson High would include learning facilities for communications and information technology. The district’s fourth traditional high school (construction of which is one of the bond projects) is designed with learning labs focused on energy and sustainability.

As Cohn explained, “Our region’s job growth will outpace the nation, according to the Washington Round Table. Today, businesses in our region are hiring workers from outside of our neighborhoods. Working with local businesses, we have designed ways our high schools can incorporate science, technology, engineering and math into career pathways so students can choose to live and work right here.

“At their next meeting on November 21, the board will decide whether to ask voters to approve a bond making these STEM/vocational career pathways possible.”

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