Racine Unified School District Shakes Up High School Curriculum
The Racine Unified School District is changing the curriculum at three of its biggest high schools. The idea is to encourage all students to start preparing for their future by having them enroll in one of three academies focused on specific careers.
"Part of what we want to do is for sure increase our graduation rate. I think students walk into high school freshman year and they sort of take whatever class gets assigned to them," said Dr. Lolli Haws, superintendent of RUSD.
Haws says to prevent that students at Case, Horlick and Park high schools will be required to pick from one of three career academies:
-Academy of Business, Marketing and IT
-Academy of Arts, Science and Health/Public Services
-Academy of Engineering, Manufacturing and Transportation
All three academies are offered at all three schools. In each one they take all the classes required by the state, including electives but the courses are tailored to the academy.
"It's going to be Algebra 2, Physics, etc. but within the context of the course they can talk to students about how this might apply toward designing a state set or an airplane," said Haws.
The idea is to help guide students to what they are not only interested in but excel in to get them excited about coming to school, and ultimately excited to graduate.
Haws says students can change their mind once while enrolled in an academy but UWM Interim Admissions Director Katie Miota says without focusing on college prep work, it might be tougher to get into college.
"If a student is heavily focused in one of those areas and that's replacing the college prep courses, then it might be a problem, however if its supplemental to those courses then its highly beneficial," said Miota.
Because as long as they have those core classes their future can be changed.
"As long as student can advocate for themselves and even talk about their journey if they did go down one career path and then senior year decided no I'm going to take a turn-tell us about that," said Miota.
The school board says no matter what path the students choose, they're leaving with a high school diploma and that is the top priority.