Students and community partners plan future CTE programs

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 7:45am

More than 90 participants take part in CTE program and facility planning

More than 90 students, staff, parents and community partners worked with Adams 12 Five Star Schools and Cuningham Group Architecture Sept. 20-21 to formulate next steps in planning for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming and expansion in the Five Star District.

Thanks to the 2016 Bond Program, the Five Star District will invest more than $24 million into the development of a second CTE campus as well as improvements and renovations to our existing CTE facility, the Bollman Technical Education Center. Over the past five years, the Five Star District has turned away 25 percent of high school students interested in CTE courses due to lack of space. By expanding CTE courses to a new site and updating the current location, 80 percent more students across the district will have the chance to participate in CTE opportunities.

In order to determine which existing program options to expand and what new opportunities to offer, the Five Star District spent the previous nine months listening to parent and student feedback, as well as six different engagement sessions this summer with local industry partners from plumbers and carpenters to graphic designers and nurses. Feedback was used to ensure the creation of new and expanded programming that provides Five Star students the right skills, opportunities and learning environments to access in-demand careers. The sessions provided valuable information in three areas: what students and parents are looking for in the future; what the county is projecting in future careers; and what industry partners are needing to hire in the next five to 10 years.

Building upon this data, the district hired  Cuningham Group, an architecture firm experienced in building CTE centers for school districts, to form preliminary design concepts for an additional CTE location and the remodel of the current Bollman Technical Education Center located next to Thornton High School.

A key component of their process is to hear feedback from key stakeholders to inform their design. The Five Star District invited nearly 100 invested community members, including educators, parents, industry partners and over 35 students to two half-day planning sessions hosted by the Cuningham Group. Participants had the opportunity to develop a vision for CTE and provide valuable feedback on future courses and program needs. In addition, the sessions provided hands-on activities in designing the building space with options such as open work spaces, outdoor labs, student lounges and more. View photos of the productive sessions.

Through both phases of engagement, the Five Star District, in partnership with the Cuningham Group, is excited about the future direction of CTE opportunities to provide rigorous academics with technical skills in hands-on learning environments for all high school students. The district is finalizing plans for the location of the new site, while the Cuningham Group continues its designs for the new building and BTEC remodel. Both projects are proposed to be finished by 2020.

Future opportunities to contribute to future CTE programming may exist. For information, contact Mark Poshak.