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Eye of the Tiger

Budget changes reduce CTE WORKS offerings

Senior+Sean+Granucci+envuelve+el+pie+de+un+estudiante+de+medicina+deportiva.+La+clase+no+se+ofrecer%C3%A1+a+los+estudiantes+el+pr%C3%B3ximo+a%C3%B1o+escolar+debido+a+las+reasignaciones+del+presupuesto+del+distrito.+%28EYE+OF+THE+TIGER%2FKEEGAN+NESS%29
Senior Sean Granucci envuelve el pie de un estudiante de medicina deportiva. La clase no se ofrecerá a los estudiantes el próximo año escolar debido a las reasignaciones del presupuesto del distrito. (EYE OF THE TIGER/KEEGAN NESS)

Senior Sean Granucci envuelve el pie de un estudiante de medicina deportiva. La clase no se ofrecerá a los estudiantes el próximo año escolar debido a las reasignaciones del presupuesto del distrito. (EYE OF THE TIGER/KEEGAN NESS)

Senior Sean Granucci envuelve el pie de un estudiante de medicina deportiva. La clase no se ofrecerá a los estudiantes el próximo año escolar debido a las reasignaciones del presupuesto del distrito. (EYE OF THE TIGER/KEEGAN NESS)

SINO OULAD DAOUD

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Senior Sean Granucci wraps a fellow Sports Medicine student’s foot. The class will not be offered to students next school year due to district budget reallocations. (EYE OF THE TIGER/KEEGAN NESS)

This year, CTE WORKS provided Roseville Joint Union High School District students with a total of 18 different Career Technical Education courses to choose from at various schools in Placer County. For the 2017-18 school year, students can only choose from seven.

CTE WORKS replaced the 49er Regional Occupational Program, which outlined dozens of courses ranging in subjects from child psychology to construction, providing Placer County students with a hands-on experience outside of school hours and job opportunities at no cost to their course schedules or wallets.

“The County Office of Education used to receive a ton of funding for what used to be ROP classes and became CTE WORKS. The county has a very small budget now,” RJUHSD superintendent Ron Severson said.

Now, funding is focused on CTE Programs of Study – a sequence of linear courses, led by a CTE credentialed teacher, designed to build technical job skills.
“The funding formulas have changed in California – the whole direction of CTE in the state of California has changed,” Severson said. “The governor initiated two different grants; they require you to have a sequence of courses that moves into a job field – that you have industry partners prepare a real pathway for a student to have really excellent job skills, and a one-time class doesn’t provide that level of preparation.”

A recent self-report by CTE WORKS reveals the 2013 switch to the Local Control Funding Formula, as opposed to state funding, led to hefty budget cuts at the Placer County Office of Education, pairing with a steady decline in enrollment. Last year’s countywide enrollment at 973 students dropped to 761 this year, with a class average of 19 students per instructor. And while in 2011, ROP employed 36 teachers, CTE WORKS employed just 16 this year.

That teacher employment number continues to drop, as teachers like Sports Medicine instructor for CTE WORKS Thomas Pass see their classes cancelled for 2017-18.
“As the instructor of the Sports Medicine class, I am very saddened about the discontinuation of the course,” Pass said.

PCOE CTE coordinator principal Justin Locketz helped to decide which courses, such as Sports Medicine, would not fit into next year’s CTE WORKS budget.
“We have worked with administration from the local school districts to fund the remaining CTE WORKS programs,” Locketz said. “Unfortunately, some programs were not supported by the districts to receive ongoing funding, therefore they will close. Sports Medicine is one of these programs.”

Pass, however, feels the discontinuation of his course does not reflect its enrollment trends.

“The enrollment trend for the Sports Medicine class has increased over the past few years,” he said. “My recommendation to students who want to jumpstart their careers as coaches, physicians and athletic trainers and who won’t have the chance to take Sports Medicine, would first be to contact your school officials and board members to let them know that there is a need for such a pathway of course in your school. At this point, I’m available to teach it.”

RHS sophomore Amy Adamson hoped to take Sports Medicine but will not be able to enroll in the CTE WORKS course.

“I want to be a physical therapist or something and so I was hoping to learn all about that,” Adamson said. “Now that they took it away I’m not going to be able to have that advantage over people that didn’t take the class. I was just really upset to hear that it was being taken away.”

The loss of certain classes chipped away at the total CTE WORKS enrollment numbers from individual schools in the RJUHSD. Granite Bay High School College and Career Center Coordinator Cindi Underwood believes there were classes whose farewell may have influenced this year’s enrollment numbers at GBHS.

“Yes, we definitely had less students enrolled this year – it definitely impacted [student enrollment],” Underwood said. “Child Development isn’t being offered. I had some students come and ask me about that class not being continued next year – there were a couple, maybe two or three students did ask me about that class.”

According to Severson, the eventual decision to cut select classes was a financial one.

“The cost to the district was going to be far more than the value added to our individual kids. That was a financial decision that had to be made,” Severson said. “We looked for those programs that had lots of students – you know there were twenty, thirty students taking a program and those were the [programs] we wanted to continue offering.”

RHS senior Jillian Fang understands the shrinkage of the CTE WORKS program due to budgeting problems, but also to other, extraneous factors.

“A couple years ago I didn’t drive so it would be hard for me to take classes outside of school – that I would have to leave off campus [for] – especially if I didn’t have the transportation,” Fang said. “I have to be home and take care of and babysit my sisters. That’s not an option for me then.”

Severson similarly identifies transportation as a major thorn in CTE WORKS’ side, especially when it comes to high-schoolers attending classes inter-district.

“Part of it’s a transportation issue. It’s a hassle for a lot of kids to get from here up to Placer High School or to Lincoln,” Severson said. “There are kids from [other] school districts that were coming to our courses, and yeah it’s bad that they’ve lost that opportunity through this change too.”

According to Fang, more options arise in the form of on-campus classes like Project Lead the Way’s, not through CTE WORKS.

“It’s allowed me to have my [hands-on] learning within school hours without having to take time out of my day somewhere else,” Fang said. “In a way for me it’s good and bad because now that a lot of CTE [WORKS] courses have been dropped, a lot of students are trying to go towards the PLTW route and they want to join the classes. The thing is there’s only a certain amount of spaces that are available in the PLTW classes which then they get all filled-up.”

Severson admits that the funding transitions in the CTE WORKS program has had an adverse affect on students in the district.

“It’s had a negative impact on the kids,” he said. “We felt badly because it limited choices. There were some individual students who were really excited about a particular ROP class that’s not available to them. We felt bad about that.”

Moving forward however, Locketz hopes that the remaining CTE WORKS courses can only strengthen after cutting the others.

“Our average class size has increased over the past three years,” Locketz said. “This indicates that our remaining courses are popular with students and in high demand.”

These courses include Roseville High School’s CTE WORKS class – AP Computer Science A – taught by RHS math teacher Kevin Fagan. According to Fagan, AP CSA continues to provide students with critical skills in an ever-growing industry.

“I’m preparing students who are interested in becoming programmers or working with computer software or computer science or computer engineering, and the need for those jobs now and in the future is very significant,” Fagan said. “It’s definitely a challenging class, but for students who are interested in entering computer science as an industry professional, it’s a really awesome opportunity for them.”

Fagan maintains that AP CSA allows RHS to stand out from other schools, providing students in the RJUHSD with a unique opportunity.

“A lot of school districts in the area do not even offer computer science classes at all,” Fagan said. “AP Computer Science A, as far as I know, is only offered at Roseville High School and through my program.”

Junior Kendall Sparks plans to take the class next year, expecting this particular CTE WORKS class to play a fundamental role in her future college decisions.

“I kind of just hoped to gain experience with the class I’m taking, which is computer science, so I can base kind of what I want to do in college off of it – see if I’m interested in it or not,” Sparks said. “It’ll give me kind of an extra chance since I have a tight schedule already with classes on campus so I can take the extra classes. It’s pretty beneficial in my opinion.”

Fagan delights in AP CSA’s ability to bring him closer not only to his students, but to his past education as well, as he comments on his experience so far as a CTE WORKS teacher.

“I do enjoy it,” Fagan said. “My program allows me to connect with students who are interested in something that I am. I majored in computer science, I’ve taught math for most of my career but in college I was a computer science major, so it’s really exciting for me to be able to actually teach something that I went to school for.
“My expectation is to continue to offer AP Computer Science A through CTE WORKS as long as there is interest and the ability for me to teach it.” “As the instructor of the Sports Medicine class, I am very saddened about the discontinuation of the course,” Pass said.

PCOE CTE coordinator principal Justin Locketz explains why some courses were not chosen for next year’s CTE WORKS budget.

“We have worked with administration from the local school districts to fund the remaining CTE WORKS programs,” Locketz said. “Unfortunately, some programs were not supported by the districts to receive ongoing funding, therefore they will close. Sports Medicine is one of these programs.”

Pass, however, feels the discontinuation of his course does not reflect its enrollment trends.

“The enrollment trend for the Sports Medicine class has increased over the past few years,” he said. “My recommendation to students who want to jumpstart their careers as coaches, physicians and athletic trainers and who won’t have the chance to take Sports Medicine, would first be to contact your school officials and board members to let them know that there is a need for such a pathway of course in your school. At this point, I’m available to teach it.”

Roseville High School sophomore Amy Adamson hoped to take Sports Medicine but will not be able to enroll in the CTE WORKS course.

“I want to be a physical therapist or something and so I was hoping to learn all about that,” Adamson said. “Now that they took it away I’m not going to be able to have that advantage over people that didn’t take the class. I was just really upset to hear that it was being taken away.”

The loss of certain classes chipped away at the total CTE WORKS enrollment numbers from individual schools in the RJUHSD.
Granite Bay High School College and Career Center Coordinator Cindi Underwood believes there were classes whose farewell may have influenced this year’s CTE WORKS enrollment numbers at GBHS.

“Yes, we definitely had less students enrolled this year – it definitely impacted [student enrollment],” Underwood said. “Child Development isn’t being offered. I had some students come and ask me about that class not being continued next year – there were a couple, maybe two or three students did ask me about that class.”

According to Severson, the eventual decision to cut select classes was a financial one.

“The cost to the district was going to be far more than the value added to our individual kids. That was a financial decision that had to be made,” Severson said. “We looked for those programs that had lots of students – you know there were twenty, thirty students taking a program and those were the [programs] we wanted to continue offering.”

RHS senior Jillian Fang understands the shrinkage of the CTE WORKS program due to budgeting problems, but also to other, extraneous factors.

“A couple years ago I didn’t drive so it would be hard for me to take classes outside of school – that I would have to leave off campus [for] – especially if I didn’t have the transportation,” Fang said. “I have to be home and take care of and babysit my sisters. That’s not an option for me then.”

Severson similarly identifies transportation as a major thorn in CTE WORKS’ side, especially when it comes to high-schoolers attending classes inter-district.

“Part of it’s a transportation issue. It’s a hassle for a lot of kids to get from here up to Placer High School or to Lincoln,” Severson said. “There are kids from [other] school districts that were coming to our courses, and yeah it’s bad that they’ve lost that opportunity through this change too.”

According to Fang, more options arise in the form of on-campus classes like Project Lead the Way’s, not through CTE WORKS.

“It’s allowed me to have my [hands-on] learning within school hours without having to take time out of my day somewhere else,” Fang said. “In a way for me it’s good and bad because now that a lot of CTE [WORKS] courses have been dropped, a lot of students are trying to go towards the PLTW route and they want to join the classes. The thing is there’s only a certain amount of spaces that are available in the PLTW classes which then they get all filled-up.”

Severson admits that the funding transitions in the CTE WORKS program has had an adverse affect on students in the district.

“It’s had a negative impact on the kids,” he said. “We felt badly because it limited choices. There were some individual students who were really excited about a particular ROP class that’s not available to them. We felt bad about that.”

Moving forward, however, Locketz hopes that the remaining CTE WORKS courses can only strengthen after cutting the others.

“Our average class size has increased over the past three years,” Locketz said. “This indicates that our remaining courses are popular with students and in high demand.”

These courses include AP Computer Science A, a CTE WORKS course hosted at RHS and taught by RHS math teacher Kevin Fagan.
According to Fagan, AP CSA continues to provide students with critical skills in an ever-growing industry.

“I’m preparing students who are interested in becoming programmers or working with computer software or computer science or computer engineering, and the need for those jobs now and in the future is very significant,” Fagan said. “It’s definitely a challenging class, but for students who are interested in entering computer science as an industry professional, it’s a really awesome opportunity for them.”

Junior Kendall Sparks plans to take the class next year, expecting this particular CTE WORKS class to play a fundamental role in her future college decisions.

“I kind of just hoped to gain experience with the class I’m taking, which is computer science, so I can base kind of what I want to do in college off of it – see if I’m interested in it or not,” Sparks said. “It’ll give me kind of an extra chance since I have a tight schedule already with classes on campus so I can take the extra classes. It’s pretty beneficial in my opinion.”

Fagan likes AP CSA’s ability to bring him closer not only to his students, but to his past education as well, as he comments on his experience so far as a CTE WORKS teacher.

“I do enjoy it,” Fagan said. “My program allows me to connect with students who are interested in something that I am. I majored in computer science, I’ve taught math for most of my career but in college I was a computer science major, so it’s really exciting for me to be able to actually teach something that I went to school for.
“My expectation is to continue to offer AP Computer Science A through CTE WORKS as long as there is interest and the ability for me to teach it.”

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