VWSD dares to meet changing world face to face for students’ sake

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Over the past few years, the Vicksburg Warren School District has not been content to follow a “business as usual” approach to education, seeking out programs to get students interested in learning and establishing programs to make education relevant to students, that is, preparing them for life after the classroom.

Superintendent of schools Chad Shealy last week outlined some of these programs to the Vicksburg-Warren County Board of Realtors.

He highlighted some of the school district’s programs: the arrangements with Hinds Community College and Alcorn State allowing students to earn college credit, the Academy of Innovation for engineering, and other future academies for subject areas to prepare students for careers and allow them to select a field of interest before high school.  Aug. 3, the school district takes probably its biggest step in innovation when it is designated a Ford NGL community.

As Shealy put it, “This is huge for us.”

The Ford Next Generation Learning program is a five-phase, approximately three-year program aimed at transforming existing secondary education into an educational program that prepares students for life, college and other careers.

The program’s result, Ford facilitators said, will be students better prepared for college and careers, and the community’s labor force would be strengthened for the future.

When people talk about education, it’s usually in terms of dollars and cents and teacher training. Our school district is including the most important element — the students, because it makes no difference how much we spend or how well trained our teachers are; if we can’t get the students interested in learning, we’re going nowhere.

They need stimulation, and that comes from innovative ideas like our school district is implementing and becoming a leader in the state in changing the face of education.

Shealy and the board of trustees should be commended for “thinking outside the box” and looking at educational programs that will not only teach students the basics but prepare them with the skills for an ever changing job market.