- Atlantis Charter School Associate Executive Director Michael Lauro details his high school’s innovative educational model, which places students in one of five school-to-career academies, in a District Administration article.
- To better prepare students for their futures, the school guides them to one of five such academies, created with input from local colleges and industries: Business and Entrepreneurship; STEM; Arts, Culture & Design; Teacher Development; and Health, Med-Tech & Sports Medicine.
- Classes are taught on on block schedules with help from adjunct instructors and professionals in each field, and the courses also take advantage of higher education and industry partnerships to provide college visits, job shadowing, internships and the creation of curriculum used at the school.
In the past, students had the luxury of waiting to decide their future course of study, and high school was seen as a time of general learning and exploration. But most jobs now require more specific training and focus than in the past. In a competitive marketplace, students who have those specific skills straight out of the gate have an advantage.
At the Atlantis Charter School, students are placed in one of five career tracks from the beginning of high school. They may not know what specific job they want in the future, the general tracks set them on an educational pathway tailored for their future goals. Schools can benefit from such an approach, whether they be traditional public, charter, private or even home schools. Some now begin career planning in earnest in middle school, an approach that can help students better plan their high school career no matter where they attend.
Another key component of this model is the close collaboration between the high school, local institutions of higher learning, and local industries. Though this model works best in an urban area where more of these connections are possible, it can work to some extent almost anywhere. As Lauro states in his article: “We can’t do this alone. It will take collaboration and integration to help students prepare for the challenges of the future.”