Waite High School students A.J. Bertram and Boston Demecs admit they had some trouble adjusting to high school because they weren't as academically gifted as other classmates.
That is, until they were introduced to the carpentry program at their school as juniors and successfully became part of its unique School to Work program.
Now a senior, A.J. is earning $12 an hour working three hours each school afternoon with the Speiker Co.,helping to build the King Road Branch Library at the corner of King Road and Sylvania Avenue. Boston is working with Lakeside Interior Contractors on the sports complex for Perrysburg schools and can't wait for his upcoming graduation so he can join the carpentry union and eventually become a foreman.
Three other students ~ Amberlee Hunsaker, Chris McMillan and Zach Camp - are also being paid to work on job sites, looking forward to graduation and full-time jobs.
There are 10 contractors that have hired 17 students from the carpentry class over the last five years.
The School to Work program is just one example of the proactive approach being taken by the leaders of the Career Tech program within Toledo Public Schools, a program that offers students 31 career paths to explore while still in high school.
“We are trying to do a better job of aligning students with their skill set and their career interest, so the emphasis on education is on career development now,” Tom Dimitrew, director of agriculture, construction and engineering technologies, told The Blade. “We’ve sort of blindly sent students down a college-only path as a marker of success and that … is not a guarantee.”
The mission of TPS - to produce competitive college and career ready graduates through a rigorous curriculum - is one that Dr. Romules Durant, CEO/superintendent, is passionate about, and developing partnerships between area businesses and students is key for him.
The reason, he says, is providing students with jobs in good-paying industries will help Toledo develop a vibrant middle class again. His drive to offer students a wide variety of Career Tech options stems from a visit he made to Germany in 2014, when he saw first hand an apprenticeship system in which major corporations pour millions of dollars into the training of their young workers.
“Among people ages 16 to 24, only 7 percent of them are unemployed,” Dr. Durant said shortly after his visit. “Everyone is contributing to the local economy. They can pay for themselves; choice becomes an option.”
It is a message that is being eagerly received by local companies such as Lakeside Interior. Randy Hayes, the company's safety director and an enthusiastic supporter of Dr. Durant and students like Boston, is a firm believer.
"I was one of those kids and I found this and I have a nice career," he says.
To learn more about the 31 Career Tech programs that TPS offers - and to fill out an interest form - students and their families should go to the Career Tech tab under Schools at www.tps.org or they can click here: http://www.tps.org/school/career-tech.
To read more about Waite's School to Work program, click here for a Blade report: http://www.toledoblade.com/Education/2016/05/06/TPS-construction-courses-build-new-skills.html or here for a Channel 11 report: http://www.wtol.com/story/31905568/tps-school-to-work-program-gets-students-career-ready
Posted on May 13, 2016
Old Orchard Elementary students are benefitting from a unique partnership with students from the University of Toledo.
A celebration was held recently to mark the end for the school year of the UT Book Buddies program, which had UT students coming to the elementary school to implement learning strategies they were learning in Literacy and Reading Development for Young Children (CI 3460:002).
The class, taught by Professor Susan Parks, covers such topics as the study of literacy development, literacy-related instructional practices and materials, understanding the reading process and teaching for comprehension, writing development, reading-writing conventions and visual literacy as well as related state and national standards.
The UT students completed field work by working with the kindergarten students at Old Orchard.
Studies have shown that early literacy efforts will help students find success in later grades.
Posted on April 29, 2016
The Belvedere Room at The Toledo Club was the place to be on Thursday, April 28, when the best and the brightest of Toledo Public Schools were honored at the annual Celebration of Excellence.
The valedictorians and salutatorians from the eight TPS high schools with graduating seniors were honored with a dinner and a special program, as were the recipients of scholarships from the Toledo Public Schools Foundation.
Students brought along special educators and family members who helped them on their journey and were treated to a speech from Eastern Michigan University communications professor Dr. Dennis Patrick that was heavy on practical advice. (DO read the syllabus and go to professors' office hours, DON'T sit in the front row and text while the professor is talking ...) The dinner was sponsored by Eastern Michigan.
Click here to learn more about the students who were honored: 2016 Celebration of Excellence program
The top athletes in a number of sports – as well as those who carry high grade point averages – were honored on Wednesday, April 20, at the annual All City Sports Night.
The event, held this year at Scott High School, was designed to honor Athletes of the Year -- as well as All-City teams -- for baseball, softball and track and field for the spring 2015 season, as well as for the fall seasons of cross country, football, tennis and volleyball and the recently concluded winter seasons of basketball and wrestling.
Click here for a program that lists all of the student athletes: All City Sports Night program
Posted on April 22, 2016
A unique partnership between BP and the University of Toledo is going to develop Toledo Public Schools students into engineers.
Select TPS students will earn full tuition and money for academic-related fees through the new Rocket Engineering Prep Program. The students will attend the UT College of Engineering in exchange for successfully completing three summers of enrichment and mentoring programs during high school.