VWSD to hold academy showcase for eighth graders

Published 8:10 pm Sunday, December 3, 2017

After spending the fall semester working through the 16 career clusters and identifying their top 10 career choices, it is time for eighth graders throughout the Vicksburg Warren School District to choose their high school career academies.

To help the students with their decisions, the high school career academies will be hosting a showcase at the City Auditorium featuring the three career academies — ACME (Architecture, construction, mechatronics and engineering), CAB (Communications, arts and business) and HHS (Health and human services — and River City Early College.

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“We have lots of visual things for them to look at,” Traci Esparanza, the academy coach at Warren Central High School, said. “They will be able to see what we are actually doing in the academies. CAB for example, that includes our art department, they are going to be bringing some pottery wheels. We will have some of our robots for ACME. The students will get some of the highlights of what happens in the academies.”

Students from Vicksburg Junior, Warren Central Junior and the Academy of Innovation will be brought to the auditorium in shifts Thursday and have the chance to spend 15 minutes learning about each of the three academies and River City.

“The whole day really is about high school students talking to the eighth graders about the academies and the different projects and things they will get to do in the academies,” Lucy DeRossette, VWSD’s Director of Innovation, said. “They have been working with their eighth grade keystone teachers to determine what are their top 10 career choices. They will have that knowledge and then they will come and see the ACME, CAB and HHS academies plus River City. Then they will go back after Dec. 7 and they will actually choose their academy for next year.”

The goal is for each of the students to leave the showcase with a better understanding of their academy choices and to make a decision on a first and second choice by the time they go home for Christmas break on Dec. 22.

“It will be determined by space and that is why we do the first and second choice,” DeRossette said. “If a child gets their second choice and they get into it and don’t like it, we will move them between school years. We feel like it is just as important that they figure out what they don’t want to do as they figure out what they do want to do.”

Students from VJHS will attend the showcase from 9-11 a.m., students from WCJH will attend from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and students from AOI will attend from 1-3 p.m. The showcase will then be open from 3-6 p.m. for students to return along with their parents to learn more about the academies, which DeRossette said is strongly encouraged.

“It really is going to be project driven because we feel like that is going to entice the children more,” she said. “They really don’t care about a pamphlet describing the courses they are going to take. They don’t care about a big poster board, but if they can see a product or a project the kids have been working on and the older students can talk to the younger students about those projects, that is our goal.”