‘Practical applications’: Claremont officials reiterate endorsement of career-tech education | News


CLAREMONT — Claremont School Board officials upheld their assist this week for career-technical education and reiterated the board’s need to develop choices, however positioned the onus on district and faculty directors to guide these program-building initiatives.

In an interview with the Eagle Times on Monday, Claremont School Board Chair Frank Sprague mentioned he took objection to claims in a current Eagle Times article, which Sprague felt unfairly portrayed the college board as not caring sufficient in regards to the district’s career-technical college, the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center (SRVRTC).

Sprague, a now-retired highschool administrator within the Claremont and Newport School Districts, mentioned he has lengthy advocated for career-technical education, which could be a “conduit” for employment or higher-education, relying on the course.

“When I was a guidance counselor and had kids who were thinking about mechanical engineering, I would often send them over to [the engineering program] in Claremont, even for a year, so they could see the practical applications of designs and physics,” Sprague mentioned.

Sprague mentioned he took subject with a current article by the Eagle Times revealed on Saturday, Nov. 6, through which Alex Herzog, the district’s tech-ed director, made a number of claims to recommend the board’s lack of connectedness to the career-technical education middle’s operations, together with an general lack of board discussions in regards to the middle and a report by Herzog that the board’s funds committee allegedly didn’t need to spend money on new packages in 2019.

Sprague, who served on the 2019 funds committee, disputed Herzog’s account of that dialogue, saying that what the director delivered to the committee had been “suggestions” for brand new packages relatively than what Herzog known as “proposals.”

In phrases of program proposals, Sprague mentioned he wish to see extra of a complete gross sales pitch from the tech-ed administrator, to persuade the board that this program can be viable and precious to the native financial system.

“I would like to see more articulation to show the [program’s] pathway from the middle school, through the high school and River Valley Community College, and then into a business,” Sprague mentioned. “We have had career and tech pathways before, but never with any real true end goal in terms of [local] employers.”

To Sprague, the duty to advertise and market tech-ed packages falls upon this system director, not the board.

“If you have a school board you feel is not supporting you and needs convincing that the program is valuable and viable, you have to act in a way to show that it is viable and deserving,” Sprague mentioned.

Bringing college students to provide demonstrations is one strategy to impress board members, Sprague prompt.

“I would be coming to the board every couple of months with a presentation with kids talking about what they are learning and getting from their program,” Sprague mentioned.

Herzog mentioned in a follow-up interview that he will surely follow-up on that invitation.

Typically, Herzog has offered an annual presentation to the board and extra shows when requested by a board member. However ,Herzog has not given a substantive presentation to the board since 2019, largely resulting from disruptions brought on by the continuing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Herzog raised considerations in regards to the communication pressure between the board and the middle after a board assembly on Wednesday, Nov. 3, when the board had an impromptu dialog in regards to the career-technical education middle’s future use.

The district’s regional partnership with the Newport career-technical education middle is ready to run out on July 1, 2022. The Claremont School Board should determine whether or not to resume the contract or let it expire, through which case Claremont would have full management of its constructing.

Board members mentioned their dialogue of separating from Newport is pushed by packages that Claremont would like to offer regionally, reminiscent of welding and well being care. Newport already has these packages, although some Claremont college students discover it tough schedule-wise to journey to and from Newport.

But many supporters of Claremont’s career-technical education middle fear that the district would make use of the middle for different functions as soon as out of the contract. The district has already taken over classroom areas on each flooring of the constructing for pre-school and particular education packages, regardless of a 2015 state regulation that prohibits the use of state-approved career-technical education facilities for different functions.

Herzog mentioned he was alarmed final week when some board members made claims that the middle is “underutilized” and its programs are under-enrolled.

Herzog mentioned he took offense to the board making unsubstantiated feedback in regards to the middle with out the inclusion of Herzog or different representatives from the tech program.

“They said our building was underutilized and no one stood up and spoke for us,” Herzog mentioned. “They should have stopped the conversation and said to bring me in to answer their questions.”

Sprague mentioned the dialog was initially supposed to be an replace from the funds subcommittee, who had just lately met with Herzog to debate the middle. The board dialogue strayed from the supposed function.

In regard to the district’s partnership with Newport, Sprague reiterated that the board’s major curiosity regards the flexibility to supply related packages as Newport in Claremont. While the regional contract doesn’t handle the problem, the state reportedly prohibits partnering career-technical education facilities from having duplicate, “competing” packages.

The Claremont Newport School Districts will maintain a regional partnership assembly on Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to eight p.m., at Newport Middle-High School. An official from the state Department of Education shall be in attendance. The Claremont School District goals to obtain clarification relating to the flexibility to offer related or an identical packages throughout the identical partnership.