- Health sciences and culinary arts are common themes for high school career academies, but students at a Decatur, Alabama, high school this spring will learn what it takes to organize, promote and hold a rock concert, according to The Decatur Daily.
- The Decatur City Schools' board approved a contract with nonprofit Reach and Teach, which a marketing teacher in the nearby Colbert County School District launched in partnership with Cameron Flener, who sings lead for Louisville, Kentucky-based '80s style rock band Velcro Pygmies.
- Students at Career Academies of Decatur, one of the district’s three high schools, will be involved in multiple phases of planning the shows, which will feature Velcro Pygmies and will take place at the schools. But students in the other academy programs will also have roles in the operation, with culinary arts students setting up a hospitality room, students in construction working on the stage and students in electrical engineering learning how to operate the sound system.
Students often aspire to be professional athletes, performers or other high-profile stars who garner the most attention in their line of work. But football games, for instance, don’t happen without another person or group maintaining the field, and rock bands depend on road crews, lighting technicians and other behind-the-scenes professionals to keep productions and tours running smoothly.
Schools are increasingly depending on community partners — even rock musicians — to not only give students a glimpse into career pathways, but to also create authentic opportunities for them to be involved in that work. The Decatur district’s new endeavor also shows school and district leaders might want to consider non-traditional partnerships as they look for ways to keep students engaged and show them how academic knowledge connects to the workforce.