Pequea Valley

STOCK PHOTO: Pequea Valley School District logo. July 2013 photo by Cindy Hummel/Correspondent

When: School board meeting, Oct. 1.

What happened: The board heard plans to expand the district’s in-house academy to reach at-risk high school students.

Background: Career Occupational Relevant Education — known as C.O.R.E. Academy — is a district-run program started this school year to improve the future employability of students through alternative, experiential learning opportunities. Currently offered to select ninth graders, the C.O.R.E. curriculum integrates core academic subjects — math, science, English and social studies — into various hands-on activities, such as designing T-shirts and brochures, assembling machinery and sheds, and touring local colleges and businesses.

Success: John Trovato, associate high school principal, said the program’s 13 active participants have not only maintained a near-perfect attendance record, but greatly improved their chances of graduating on time. Now, the district wants to include 10th graders and 11th graders, said Trovat and Principal Arlen Mummau. They said additional staff, equipment, transportation, and classroom space will be necessary. The board expressed unanimous support of this proposed expansion, which would increase the program’s capacity from 15 to 30 students.

Budget: John Bowden, finance and operations chief, said the district does not have a budget specific to its C.O.R.E. Academy, but a budget will be implemented before the next cycle. Mummau said the district received “significant funding” from a few local businesses who showed interest early-on.

What’s next: Mummau said C.O.R.E. Academy will be available to 9th graders and 10th graders in the 2020-21 school year and expanded to 11th graders in the 2021-22 school year.

— Kyle Kutz, LNP Correspondent