[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 53°F  
High: 58°F ~ Low: 45°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Resident urges CCS to join program

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Clay Community School (CCS) officials are considering the implementation of educational programs new to the corporation, which could affect the supply and demand of local jobs.

Brazil resident and Mooresville substitute teacher Jasen Gibbens approached Clay Community School board members -- during the November board meeting, attempting to persuade the corporation to participate in the state-funded educational program, Project Lead the Way (PLTW).

"In Mooresville, we are training kids to take the 150 jobs available in Brazil," Gibbens told The Brazil Times. "And this school corporation is not training our own kids to take these jobs. Implementing PLTW would allow them to be qualified for the jobs."

According to the PLTW website, the program is a "hands-on, Activities-, Project-, Problem-Based (APPB) comprehensive curriculum aligned with relevant national standards and is collaboratively developed by subject matter experts -- including teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals and school administrators."

The program emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving.

PLTW includes a Pathway to Engineering and Biomedical Sciences programs for high schools and a Gateway to Technology for middle schools.

These subprograms "set the highest standards for rigorous, focused and engaging study, developing students' innovative, collaborative, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills."

Gibbens said he discovered the need for these jobs through an Economic Redevelopment Commission report.

"Right now, no one has the proper training for these positions and can pass a drug test," Gibbens said. "There are no training facilities in town, and companies have offered to buy equipment for the schools to use. One company even donated equipment, but the schools aren't using it."

CCS Superintendent Kim Tucker told The Brazil Times she and Assistant Superintendent Tim Rayle have been looking into other programs similar to PLTW but haven't made a specific choice yet.

"Getting PLTW started is very costly, and there are a lot of stipulations we have to meet before we participate," Tucker said. "I don't want to remove several teachers from core classes, not end up getting enough enrollment to continue in the program or lose a teacher and lose all of that money that could have been used for something else."

However, Gibbens said the redevelopment commission has ways of getting the money CCS would need to start and implement PLTW, and that the money would be reimbursed by the state.

"With the investment of $200,000, they will get $236,250 annually if three teachers teach 21 classes," Gibbens explained. "If the state is going to pay for us to teach something, then the school should be willing to pay that."

The Economic Redevelopment Commission meets regularly on the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., but its next scheduled meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 in the Courthouse.

The CCS school board meets regularly on the second Thursday of every month.

The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m., in the North Clay Middle School Media Center.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Good job Jason!!!

-- Posted by jddriver on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 8:06 PM

"VERY $$$ COSTLY $$$ START UP"? Okay, let's spend more tax payer dollars on something that will only set back the Average kids more. We are a poor community, not a Zionsville or Carmel! There is too much expected of the schools already, unless you drop programs and services. Plus do we even have educators whose license allows them to teach these areas? Come on Clay County let's get a clue and not waste more money!

-- Posted by realitycheck! on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 3:12 PM

If you look at the story realitycheck! the school gets paid to teach these classes. Mooresville is a community like Brazil but it only has half the manufacturing jobs we have. The "average kids" will only be helped with these classes because these kids will be able to leave school and get jobs to do things that the businesses in Clay County want from its work force. To your point I have a teaching licence to teach in this area and I drive to Moorseville to teach them. It is not a waste of money if you get paid to teach the classes.

-- Posted by JasenGibbens on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 4:36 PM

Hey Jasen, I thank this is a great idea but you are fighting an uphill battle. The schools are failing because of the people you are dealing with. They continue to promote tired ideas and fail to prepare kids for the real world. I see it every day; kids barely pass a High School aptitude test to get a job. If your idea was being promoted by a PhD from an Ivy League School Tucker and Rayle would have brought it to the boards attention. The school corp. has too much on their plate, they are too busy buying and renovating the new real estate.

-- Posted by Schraderfan on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 7:37 PM

Okay, here we go again. First off, Jasen, what documentation do you have that verifies they are training kids for the 150 jobs in Brazil. Why would they not be training for all the jobs in Indianapolis. If I read you comment correctly, are you seriously saying that the kids are not educated, nor could any of them pass a drug test? Really????? Again, you have documentation to prove this, right? What about classes like welding, auto body, ag, and other hands on classes. Do these not prepare kids?

Dr. Schrader, comments like these are probably the reason the board let you go. Northview's graduation rate is near 94%, and the kids are passing state assessments at an all-time high. Ms. Tucker and Dr. Rayle are finally the people with the knowledge, work ethic, and dedication to kids to prepare them. It requires the board to trust their leadership and allow them to do their jobs. Too often, our boards have had personal agendas or people they want in/out of positions. Let the education be handled by the professionals.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 9:02 PM

Ron, your numbers are not accurate. You need to look at the Deparment of Educations Website. The graduation rate is 90.6% with 3% unable to pass the ISTEP which are granted waivers to graduate. The SAT Scores are 21 points lower than the average in the state and so on. The kids are higher an average in a few areas so there is some credit to go around. The school is all around average, so I would not be pounding my chest too hard Ron.

-- Posted by Schraderfan on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 10:29 PM

Thanks for the information Schrader. I was incorrect, Northview has a 90.6% graduation rate. That is up 10% from the prior 2 years under the previous superintendent. The interesting thing of note on that site, is that it does not show what percentage received waivers. Interesting how you put that stat in there. I would only say the only chest pounding that I have done in my previous post was that of support for the new superintendent and assistant superintendent. It would be interesting to see what morale is like at the schools with the new administration. Since you are a fan and all!!!!

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Mon, Dec 12, 2011, at 11:24 PM

Jason, great job! There are always a few clowns that try to tear down any idea that doesn't conform to the failed practices of the past. We need leadership in our schools and you have shown it!

-- Posted by Lafin on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 4:58 AM

Let me say this, if all has gone South in education then how in the world did all of the older generations survive? Are all people educated before the testing era stupid or uneducated? No one used to ever worry about how many kids passed or didn't pass and the U.S. still survived. I am a highly educated person who never had to take an ISTEP. It comes down to whether or not the kid and their parents want them to be sucessful, not the schools.

-- Posted by realitycheck! on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 12:22 PM

I teach this program in a different school district. Not only does it increase student interest in engineering, but it also helps them in their math and science classes. My numbers have increased every year. Many of my students have gone on to pursue engineering degrees. In some cases, I have had students who thought they wanted to pursue a specific field in engineering and found out that there was a different specialty within engineering that they like better. There have been some who wanted to find out about engineering, then realized it wasn't what they wanted (It's better to find out in HS than to wait until they are in college and trying to change programs!) The program originated in New York. The headquarters has been there since the beginning; however, Indiana has surpassed NY in the number of PLTW schools, so beginning 2012, the national headquarters will be in Indianapolis. This program will also enable some student to graduate with technical honors. I hope your community will look at this as an opportunity for the children. (By the way, my school receives a nice dollar amount per student for being enrolled in the program.)

The kids love the program. It is nice to have parents come up to me at a ballgame and tell me how their family dinner conversation usually involves my class because the student is that fired up about it! Students are usually here before the second bell and begin working on their projects without being prompted to do so.

It's nice to see students and parents excited about the program! Sometimes you just have to take the chance...

-- Posted by past grad on Tue, Dec 13, 2011, at 5:34 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: