Student wants more vo-tech opportunities

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 3, 2008

FRANKLIN—More vocational opportunities was the plea from one Franklin High School student during the city school board meeting.

Lacurt Boone told the board that the school and its system are great, and &uot;many of my fellow students are serious about getting an education,&uot; he said.

&uot;The problem is that getting an education means different things to different people. Not everyone plans on going to college.&uot;

He noted that some aren’t interested in going to school longer, and therefore, are more work oriented, and still others don’t have the money for college.

&uot;Franklin High School doesn’t prepare these students for a career in a trade or skill,&uot; he said.

&uot;If more vocational classes were offered, students would learn a trade and be more interested in coming to school,&uot; he said, urging the board to &uot;find a way to offer more trade and vocational classes to students starting next school year.&uot;

Boone suggested the school system work with Southampton High School and its Technical Career Center, which offers cosmetology and building trades, and Paul D. Camp Community College, which offers trade courses such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and industrial maintenance.

&uot;There’s no reason why Franklin High School students should not be able to take advantage of these programs, so we are better prepared for the future,&uot; Boone told the board.

He also said that working with the other facilities would be a less expensive alternative to building a new structure to house new programs and hiring more instructors to teach the classes.

Franklin High School offers more than 15 career and technical education courses, which include classes related to the topics of marketing; health occupations; trade and industrial; technology education; business and information technology; and family and consumer sciences.

In an October work session between the board and city council, vocational education was one of the topics discussed. One of council’s beliefs is that &uot;vocational training should become a vital part of the high school curriculum in order to make the city’s vision of graduate employability a reality.&uot;

Superintendent Bill Pruett had told council that the county’s vocational program is successful, but overcrowded. He also had said it was difficult for students to take vocational classes and take all the classes needed to meet SOL requirements under the current A/B scheduling. On this schedule, the students take the same classes all year, just on alternate days.

That situation would improve with the implementation of the 4-by-4 scheduling method, according to school officials.

Also interest and commitment would have to be present, in addition to space for the program and funding, Pruett had said.