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Spring ISD adds new career pathway courses for next school year

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Spring ISD is updating their education planning guide to show additional courses the district will be offering next year as part of their career and technical education program.

Mark Miranda, Spring ISD’s executive chief of district operations, said during the Dec. 3 school board meeting that the district revised their CTE pathways this year based on updates from the Texas Education Agency and the district’s desire to have students complete their pathways.

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“Our desire is to streamline those pathways so we can be even more focused and effective in some of those CTE areas,” Miranda said.

Spring ISD Chief Academic Office Khechara Bradford said both middle school and high school education planning guides were revised and future focused and updated looking at future job trends to see which pathways the district needs to home in on.

Specific updates to the high school level include adding a P-TECH pathway to Dekaney High School, which stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High, which Bradford said would allow students to earn an associate’s degree in computer programming through a partnership with Lone Star College.

Another pathway added is a barbering pathway at Westfield High School, Bradford said, which would allow students to earn a certification in barbering along with their degree.

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“Students are really planning their four-year pathway using the education planning guide and thinking through what life after high school might look like,” Bradford said.

At the middle school level, Spring ISD is launching new schools next year, including the school for performance and visual arts at Bailey Middle School, offering students classes related to theater, art, dance and creative writing, Bradford said.

A school for international studies will also launch at Bammel Middle School next school year, Bradford said, which will help students develop in language and culture. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, she said all students going through the school would be exposed to up to three languages, and they could potentially add an American Sign Language course as well.

Polytechnic Middle School, located at Claughton Middle School, will launch next school year with pathways around animation, video game programming, and robotics among other courses, Bradford said.

There is also a slight shift in Pre-AP courses next year, Bradford said, which are now being listed in the guide as advanced courses, which then connect to AP courses. Bradford said this was because of the College Board redesigning their pre-AP program, whom the district partners with.

Spring ISD Board President Rhonda Newhouse said this was the earliest the board had received the next year’s education planning guide.

“That used to be my complaint is that we waited until February or March to try to schedule students for the following year when we should be backing it up until December such that parents will have the entire Christmas holiday to talk it over with students,” Newhouse said. “I hope that it can get out to our community because the pathways that we offer for choice for students is just growing and it’s tremendous.”

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