7:30AM - 4:00PM
Spotlight on Career and Technical Education Programs at Pleasant Ridge High School: Principles of Biomedical Science
The health care field is ever expanding and individuals who have some academic background in this area are at an advantage when it comes to finding employment. Pleasant Ridge High School has a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathway this year-Principles of Biomedical Science. This is our first year with this particular class and the success of the Advanced Chemistry/Physics students in Glenda Connelly’s class last year, winning the Burns and McDonnell sponsored Battle of the Brains, has helped fund the program this year, as well as funding the second course, Human Body Systems, which will be taught next year. Sam Preston is teaching the Principles of Biomedical Science class this year, after time spent this summer at a conference where he was introduced to the curriculum used in the class. He will also teach the Human Body Systems class next year.
There are students in the Principles of Biomedical Science class who also attend Highland Community College Technical Center (HCCTC) in Atchison. They are in the Medical Office Assistant (MOA) program at HCCTC and are also part of a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) program, also offered through Highland Community College. Two such students are Grace Wagner and Abigail Wiehe.
In the MOA program at HCCTC, the students, during the first semester, have had lessons on insurance, coding and emergency preparedness. In the CNA class the students are learning a variety of techniques to prepare them for the certification test they must take, and, after successfully passing the test, they become a certified CNA and can be employed in a nursing home. The second semester of the MOA program will have them in more of a “hands-on” approach, as they learn how to take blood pressure and find a pulse. The second year of the program at HCCTC finds them learning about the body structure and vital signs, something that goes hand-in-hand with the Human Body Systems class that is offered at PRHS.
The classes at the high school, Principles of Biomedical Science (for first year students) and Human Body Systems (for second year students) are project-based, student-centered classes. The students learn laboratory skills that they would not learn until their second or third year of study in an undergraduate program at a college or university.
Funds from the winning Battle of the Brains competition have been used to purchase equipment so that students can use in the classes-equipment that may not have been purchased without the success of Mrs. Connelly’s class. Those funds have made it possible to offer classes that are of interest to and that excite our students. The health care field continues to expand and through the classes offered at PRHS and HCCTC are assisting our students in finding vocational interests that excite them and lead to career choices that may not have previously been available to them. Both of the students featured this month are planning on continuing their education, after leaving PRHS, as Grace has a goal of being a mid-wife and Abi wants to be a neo-natal nurse.
Kansas Department of Corrections Awards FFA $4,642
On Tuesday, November 29, Pleasant Ridge High School Assistant Principal Lucas Siebenmorgen and FFA sponsor Gary Silvers were presented a check totaling $4642 by officials from the Kansas Department of Corrections, including Secretary of Corrections, Joe Norwood, and Lansing Correctional Facility Warden, Sam Cline. The Kansas Correctional Industries operates a farm at the Correctional Facility and the donation came as part of the Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Level and Price Loss Coverage.
The farmland that is owned by the Correctional Facility did not yield a profit this past year and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) stepped in to help cover the shortfall, as they do with many other local farmers. All federal programs are administered through the FSA.
The FFA programs at the two public school districts in Leavenworth County, Pleasant Ridge and Tonganoxie, both benefitted by the fact that the Kansas Correctional Industries, being a governmental agency, cannot accept funds from another governmental entity. The FFA chapters at the two high schools benefitted from this program. Mr. Silvers and the students in the PRHS FFA chapter have already begun discussing ideas as to how the funds will benefit their program. As they have done in the past, the funds will be used to support programs within the chapter, as well as supporting the overall goal of FFA.
Spotlight on Career and Technical Education Programs at Pleasant Ridge High School: Animal Science
This month’s spotlight on CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs offered at Pleasant Ridge High School features sophomore Norman Highfill and Gary Silvers’ Animal Science Pathway. Norman has been very involved in the Agriculture Education program at the high school, having taken Intro to Agriculture and Welding as a freshman and he is currently enrolled in Animal Science and Advanced Welding. He has also participated in several Career Development Events (CDE), which in everyday language are the judging contests the PRHS FFA chapter has been so successful in over the years. Norman, only in his second year of judging at the high school level, has been recognized for his judging skills.
Norman has indicated he would like to run a feedlot when he completes his formal education. Norman assists his father with the day-to-day running of the family farm where they have approximately 80 head of cattle. Norman will be able to utilize the skills he has acquired in the classes within the Animal Science Pathway. For a student, such as Norman, to be a Pathway Completer, he has to take an Introductory Level course (Intro to Agriculture), a Technical Level course (Animal Science) and an Application Level course (he will choose from Advanced Animal Science, Ag Business Management, or an Ag Internship course).
To pursue his interest in becoming a feedlot manager, it will benefit Norman to continue his education past high school. With the courses available through the Animal Science Pathway at PRHS, Norman can qualify for college credit from a community college. These credits can be transferred to a four-year college or university where he can obtain a degree in Animal Science, with an emphasis in Livestock Nutrition, something he wants to pursue for his career goals.
The opportunities that Norman, and other students with similar interests, have at Pleasant Ridge High School will help our students accomplish their career goals. All of the coursework needed to complete the Pathway is offered at the high school and Norman’s involvement with CDE’s will enhance his chances of getting scholarship offers that will reduce the financial responsibilities on him and his family.
There are a significant number of majors, and job opportunities, for students who are interested in the Agriculture field. To be specific, out of the 22 million people who directly work within the agricultural industry only 2 million are actively involved in "farming" on a daily basis (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The vast majority work as either food/agricultural scientists or in business related careers, such as marketing and merchandising. Through the courses offered through the Animal Science Pathway, as well as the other pathways in place at PRHS, students are allowed to discover what they may want to do after graduation from high school.
Spotlight on Career and Technical Education at Pleasant Ridge High School
Education officials love to use acronyms, or abbreviations, to name different programs that are currently being used across the state and nation. One such program is Career and Technical Education, or CTE. CTE programs, which are becoming more prevalent in all high schools, were established to provide a rigorous and relevant curriculum to prepare students for a wide-range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers.
USD 449 and Pleasant Ridge High School are heavily invested in CTE programs. These programs prepare students to be college and career ready by providing them with core academic skills, employability skills and technical and job-specific skills.
One of those students who has benefitted from our CTE programs is Matt Schwartz. Matt, who is currently attending PRHS half a day and spends the afternoon in Atchison at the Highland Community College Technical Center (HCCTC), placed second in the Nation this past summer in Database Applications at the National Future Business Leaders of America. Matt, who developed an interest in computers at a young age when his mother brought an old computer home from work, worked, diligently this past spring and summer to prepare for his national test. He was enrolled in the Graphic Design class last year and worked ahead of the class as he is motivated to learn as much as he can.
During the current school year Matt is enrolled in a new class offered at PRHS, Principles of Computer Science. During the first quarter of the school year the students in the class have been working on coding, using Python, a coding program that can be used to create computer games and mobile applications for tablets, among other uses. Mrs. Kelsey Bollin, the Principles of Computer Science instructor, was required to attend 2 weeks of intensive training this past summer so she would be able to teach the class at PRHS.
Matt is also enrolled in the Computer Support Technology program at HCCTC. In this program, students learn to be computer technicians, including troubleshooting and fixing issues that a person may find with their computer.
The Board of Education has been very supportive in working with the teachers and administration in providing the funding necessary to keep our technology updated so that our students who have an interest in this area will be able to learn as much as they can while in high school. We are also fortunate to have Highland Community College close by so that our students who have special interests can enroll in specific programs that will fit their needs.
PRHS STUDENTS RECOGNIZED AT KANSAS HONORS PROGRAM
Five members of the Pleasant Ridge High School Class of 2017, Madilynn Grafke, Bridget Howard, Haven Stutz, Delanie Thomason and Derek Zule, along with top scholars from Basehor-Linwood High School, Immaculata High School, Lansing High School, Leavenworth High School and Tonganoxie High School, on Wednesday, September 21, as part of the annual University of Kansas First City Chapter (Leavenworth County) Alumni Association Honors Program. The program recognizes the top ten percent of graduates in every high school graduating class across the state.
Since 1971 over 125,000 graduates have been recognized in Kansas and this year there will be 3500 such honorees, at 36 regionals programs across Kansas. Every high school, in every county in the state, are recognized through this program.
Those recognized in Leavenworth County were honored to hear remarks from Mike Denning, the Director of the Office of Graduate Military Studies at the University of Kansas. Denning is a retired Marine colonel, serving 27 years after graduating from KU and the Naval War College. Denning’s remarks centered on leadership and being a productive member of the community in which we live.
Congratulations to the PRHS students who represent not only the high school, but the entire school district and our community!
In an effort to make sure we are all staying connected, we have created a tutorial that will show you, step by step, how to sign up for our district TextCaster Alert system. This system allows our district to send out text messages about changes in schedules, inclement weather or any other necessary update. In order to receive these messages you must be signed up through the TextCaster system. Please be aware that you can sign up to receive text messages at the district level, individual building level or both.
If you signed up for TextCaster alerts in the past, but have changed carriers (even if you have the same number) you will need to sign up again. The system will not recognize your number if you changed carriers. We will be sending out a test alert on Friday 1/6/17 at 11:00 AM. If you do NOT receive the alert that says “TEST”, please contact your building administrator and we will help you. We want to make sure everyone is receiving the messages we send out and are aware of any changes to our normal routines at school.
It is a new day in Kansas education.
With the input of more than 2,000 Kansans, the Kansas State Board of Education has set a new Vision for Kansas education where “Kansas leads the world in the success of each student.”
Kansans are demanding higher standards in academic skills, as well as employability and citizenship skills, and the need to move away from a “one-size-fits-all” system that relies exclusively on state assessments from No Child Left Behind. This new vision for education calls for a more student-focused system that provides support and resources for individual success and will require everyone to work together to make it a reality.
Kansans have never backed down from a challenge and certainly not where our children are concerned.
With your support, Kansans Can!
Click here to view Kansas Commissioner Randy Watson's video concerning the Kansans Can Vision on the KSDE Livemedia YouTube site.
Availability of Services for Students with Special Needs
Your local school district and all public schools in Kansas provide free special education services for eligible exceptional children ages 3 through 21 or high school graduation. Parents are encouraged to seek assistance from teachers, principals or other professionals if they have questions regarding their child’s progress in school. ...read more