School board gets preview of new careers curriculum at KHS

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – Plans to offer students – especially those who probably are not college bound – a new curriculum and courses for a more direct pathway to careers immediately after graduating high school, was unveiled at a recent Kalkaska Public Schools Board of Education meeting.

The update on Feb. 11 followed a unanimous, 5-0, vote by the school board in December to give administrators at Kalkaska High School the “green light” for a potential restructuring proposal of the curriculum at KHS and the Kalkaska Alternative Program (KAP).

A trio of KHS administrators presented the proposal to restructure KAP and create a more relevant curriculum for non-college bound students in hopes of retaining a higher percentage of current high school students and create a program that’s unique in the region to attract current out-of-district students through Schools of Choice.

KHS Principal Chuck Sorentino and athletic director/KAP Principal Justin Thorington outlined new course offerings that will be available this fall with the start of the 2020-21 school year.

The courses included Computer Assisted Drawing, Agriscience, Introduction to Electronics and Robotics.

“These classes will be offered,” Sorentino said. “Registration is beginning.”

Thorington said the focus when developing the course offering was the potential for students to get jobs once they have graduated from high school.

“Our focus was on opportunities and jobs that are in demand,” he said. “And, what’s available in our community.”

Thorington noted that the new curriculum could also include apprenticeships, in partnership with local business, in such areas as automotive technology, senior care, child care and IT.

“There have already been businesses contacting us,” he added.

According to Sorentino, the new courses will be made available to a limited number of students, at least at first. But, KPS Superintendent Terry Starr said he sees the new curriculum growing and evolving to meet students’ needs.

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