Penta tries to prepare students for careers
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor
Friday, 16 August 2013 08:55
PERRYSBURG - Penta Career Center continues to look at what it is accomplishing and what still needs to be done to educate students for future careers.
At Wednesday's board meeting, Scott Carpenter, Penta's High Schools That Work (HSTW) coordinator, and Debra Schneider, project manager for the Northwest Ohio HSTW regional office, gave board members an update on the site review process for the program during the 2012-13 school year.
High Schools That Work is the nation's first large-scale effort to jointly engage the cooperation of state and school leaders, teachers, students, parents and the community. The goal is to improve how high school students are prepared for work, careers and further education by enhancing curriculum and instruction at high school and middle-grade levels.
The site review helped identify what the school has done and what it plans to do to implement the 10 key practices through HSTW.
Key practices that have been implemented include extra help for students during the school day and assisting them in passing the Ohio Graduation Test; having teachers work together in developing end-of-course exams; and implementing the Sophomore Exploratory Program.
Ninety-four percent of students stated that courses taken in high school successfully prepared them for a career or further education.
The school also should develop a professional development calendar to track district goals and the use of technology in the classroom.
"It's important to increase and improve the use of technology in the classroom across the board," Carpenter stated.
Schneider said the review also included an internal and external team. Coordinators had career tech teachers visit the academic classrooms, and had Penta's academic teachers go into career tech programs.
"It was a lot of work but it was worth the time," Carpenter said about the review.
The review team has prioritized four key practices to be addressed in the next three to five years.
They are high expectations, extra help, career-technical studies, and academic studies.
Penta already has achieved an "intensive" performance of these key practices, the highest rating available. But team leaders recognize that continued focus is needed in these areas and is highly linked to improve student achievement, the report indicated.
Superintendent Ron Matter presented the goals for the school, based on information from Carpenter and Schneider, which included:
• Increasing opportunities for planned and purposeful staff collaboration with emphasis on instructional quality that increases student achievement.
• Through collaboration, providing sustained professional development based on district goals and the use of technology in the classroom.
• Adopting a master schedule to provide for increased student achievement aligned with Penta expectations, Ohio Department of Education expectations, and aligned with current research utilizing best practices.
The board unanimously approved the goals.
The board also recognized Kendra Wolf, a 2013 graduate from Penta and Perrysburg High School in the small animal care program. She was recently selected as a 2013 Career-Technical Success Story by the Ohio Department of Education's Office of Career-Technical Education in the agriculture and environmental systems career field.
Wolf plans to study equine science and photography at the University of Findlay this fall.