by Roma Vivas
MIDLAND- M.I.S.D. wants students to learn more just reading, writing and arithmetic. They're expanding their curriculum to include things like animal care and retail management. School officials hope it will kick start careers.
It's all part of a new program called "Career and Technology Education" where students starting in seventh grade can choose a career they are interested in and learn more about it.
"The skills that you learn in any of these courses or career clusters that are also called programs of study is going to really help our kids," Linda Jolly, Executive Director of Career and Technology Education at M.I.S.D., said.
In total, there are nine career clusters these students can explore ranging from architecture and construction to marketing, sales, and services.
"We are trying to teach them communication skills, we are going to teach them about team work, we are going to teach them some type of social skills, how to be a team player," Jolly said.
Lee High School is already implementing the program and students got a chance to put their new skills into practice this year.
"Any time that student has the opportunity that is hands on, that's going to lock on load in their heads, because they feel they are more a part of it," Lee High School Teacher Donna Watson, said.
The family and consumer sciences class had a design contest for the teachers lounge, 63 students submitted entries and were thrilled to see their skills take shape.
"That's what so cool about this, it's not just a pretend project, we are actually going to get to see come to life and we are actually going to see what the room looks like after it's being done," Lee High School Sophomore Taylor Freesc, said.
M.I.S.D. officials say the electives for the nine different career options should be available starting in the fall of 2009.