Bend-La Pine Schools received two grants totaling more than $660,000 from the Oregon Department of Education to fund Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at La Pine High School and Bend Senior High School. La Pine High School was awarded $335,000 to develop a new manufacturing and construction technology program of study for students. Bend Senior High School was awarded $328,000 to develop new courses including a Restaurant Business Management concentration and to modernize the school’s 1970s-era kitchen.
“These funds will provide a huge boost to CTE programs for our students. We know these rigorous, relevant courses lead to high-wage, high-skill, high-demand jobs,” said Superintendent Shay Mikalson. “As a district, we are continually looking to expand and enrich our career and technical offerings, from culinary and construction to engineering and agricultural science.”
The grant at La Pine High School will include the creation of six new courses that will introduce and help students to become skilled in manufacturing, metal working, framing, electrical, computer assisted design, plumbing, engineering, design and robotics and include the overhaul of the metals and wood shop. A semester-long capstone project will provide opportunities for apprenticeships and internships at local job sites.
The grant at Bend Senior High School will allow for the development of several new courses including a Restaurant Business Management concentration and the creation of an entrepreneurial food truck in partnership with the district’s Nutrition Services program. The innovative food truck idea will include retrofitting a small school bus and students learning about inventory, production, menu, cost structure and marketing. The funds will also modernize the existing culinary kitchen, which was built in 1972.
The funds for La Pine and Bend Senior high schools are part of $10.3 million in CTE Revitalization Grants announced this week by the Oregon Department of Education for programs at schools throughout the state.
CTE classes are designed to introduce students to skills and experiences they need in the workplace. They make academic content relevant, accessible and meaningful to students by providing it a hands-on and real work context. Areas of study currently offered in Bend-La Pine Schools include, but are not limited to: agri-science, business, culinary, engineering, forestry, future energy and power, graphic design and manufacturing technologies.
“We are also proud that the depth of the CTE programs offered at our high schools continues to increase as more students take consecutive years of increasingly complex content,” said Mikalson. “The percent of students completing three years in one CTE content area has tripled in recent years, which means students are gaining mastery and skills that will prepare them for success in the future.”
Mikalson says in 2015-16, our schools offered 148 CTE courses serving 2,298 students in our high schools. Eighty-eight percent of students enrolled in CTE courses graduated from Bend-La Pine Schools, 13 percentage points higher than the district average that year.