Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said four programs or sub-programs will be new this fall – medical records, phlebotomy, environmental science and criminology/law enforcement.
“With the emphasis that the state’s putting on career and workforce development, we want to make sure that we’re meeting the needs of the community, the state and mostly the needs of our students in having these opportunities for them,” Lolli said.
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In recent years, employers in many skilled trade fields have said they’re struggling to fill open positions in Ohio, so schools have responded. Voters approved funding for a major expansion of the Miami Valley Career Tech Center in Englewood, which has had a waiting list for years, and a new, larger home for the Greene County Career Center, with more programs. An expansion of the career center at Fairmont High School in Kettering is also under construction.
In Dayton, three programs will be offered at both Ponitz and Meadowdale — allied health, business and engineering. The other pathways at Ponitz will be law enforcement, culinary arts, biotechnology, radio/TV, cyber security, automotive, construction, cosmetology, dental tech and graphic art.
Lolli said DPS sought input from its new business advisory team, which features companies in a variety of fields, to make sure it is offering valuable programs.
“We said to them, this is what we offer currently. What are your needs as a community business or organization?” Lolli said. “And through that conversation, we came up with the courses that we’re adding for this coming school year.”
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The application process for DPS’ career tech centers begins Thursday for incoming freshmen and next week for sophomores. The directors of many of DPS’ career programs made presentations to eighth-graders two weeks ago during a career fair and are making more presentations at DPS middle schools.
Lolli said once DPS students have applied and been accepted for career tech programs, the district will begin accepting applicants from local charter schools. Lolli said more than 200 former charter school students are at Ponitz now, and DPS wants to make sure there are enough seats for both existing DPS students and charter students who want to come back to DPS.