The Miami Trace Local School District released part two of its 2023 State of the District address on Tuesday evening.
The topic for this segment was called “Building for the Future – Career Field Connections.” Miami Trace Superintendent Kim Pittser began the segment by outlining the Career Connections program.
“As we build to our future, we see students’ interests in a variety of career paths. Our Career Connections program continues to expand. We are grateful for the partnership we have with Great Oaks and the career technical programs afforded to our students. Here at Miami Trace, we begin career exploration at the elementary level, where our teams hold discussions on the many occupations found in today’s global market. The secondary level continues these discussions and incorporates activities to broaden career exposure. Students in grades six through 12 utilize a tool to build career clusters and profiles based on students’ interests and strengths. While at the middle school, students participate in a career expo and job shadowing. At the high school, students participate in college and career fairs as well as the county’s Manufacturing Day. They also develop individual graduation and career plans.”
Eric Taylor and MacKenzie Long, Miami Trace High School students, shared the ways in which the district helps students prepare for their professional choices.
“At the high school, we use a tool called Naviance to guide students through their process of discovering what they want to do after high school and to assist in the creation of an individualized graduation plan,” said Taylor. “There are many different surveys that help students explore careers that may best suit them based on their skills and interest. One of the other ways my high school impacts my career planning is through a diverse offering of electives. For example, I plan on pursuing a career in the field of agriculture. I’m currently enrolled in two Ag courses to help me decide which sector of the field I would like to pursue. Miami Trace High School also offers art classes, digital design, video production, family and consumer science, and even career tech classes that teach students about electricity, plumbing and construction. Students have a wide range of elective options based on their desired experiences and future plans. Finally, Miami Trace offers career college fairs to provide students the opportunity to explore different career paths and colleges. College and career fairs are a perfect opportunity for students to ask questions, while also providing great insight into the education and career path that may be best for each student.”
Long then shared some of her insight.
“I’m a very involved student who enjoys and takes advantage of the variety of electives offered, such as the variety bands, choirs, video production, foreign language, and even a class in which fellow students and I created our yearbook. Last year, I was fortunate to be granted the opportunity to serve in the development of a program at the elementary school called Big Panther, Little Panther. It provides high school students the opportunity to be matched with a grade level and assist in a classroom. I have grown very close to the class I work with this year and I’m very grateful to serve them for three hours each day. This specific program has made me certain that I want to work with children. Because of this experience and the development of my individual graduation plan, I was able to take numerous quizzes on Naviance, which matched me with dozens of career paths based on my strengths, weaknesses, and desire to continue my education. Naviance then not only matched me with careers, but also colleges that fit my needs. From there, I was able to attend college fairs to look further into these colleges and career paths. Miami Trace has done more than teach me about opportunities for my future. They have put these programs and electives in place so that I can be confident with experience and research.”
Rob Enochs, assistant superintendent of Miami Trace Local Schools, spoke next.
“Beginning with the graduating class of 2023, students are now required to meet a new set of graduation requirements. The new graduation requirements consist of three key components which are course completion, show competency, and show readiness.”
Enochs spoke about course completion.
“Ohio outlines all the course requirements all students must complete to earn a diploma. Students need to complete four credits of English, one-half credit of Health, four credits of Math, one-half credit of Physical Education, three credits of Science, three credits of Social Studies, and a minimum of five electives. Additional requirements include the completion of two semesters of fine arts, and all students must receive instruction in economic and financial literacy. The Miami Trace School District requires a total of 24 credits for graduation, which does exceed the state minimum requirements.”
Enochs then talked about the second component, which was to show competency.
“Students will be required to demonstrate competency in the foundational areas of English and Mathematics by scoring 684 or above on the ELA II and Algebra I end of course exams. Students not earning a passing score on the first attempt will receive remediation and retake the test at least once. If testing is not a student’s strength, they have three additional options to show competency. The first option is to complete two defined career focused activities. To use this option of demonstrating competency, students must complete two actions out of seven available actions. The second option is military enlistment. For students who wish to demonstrate competency through military enlistment, Ohio law requires students to show evidence of enlistment in a branch of the armed forces. The third and final option is to complete college coursework. To use this option students must earn credit through the free College Credit Plus program in a non-remedial Math or English course for the subject area not passed.”
Finally, Enochs talked about the third component of meeting Ohio’s graduation requirements, which is to show readiness.
“Students must demonstrate readiness for their post-high school paths by earning two diploma seals from a list of 12 options. This will allow them to exhibit important academic, technical, professional and leadership skills. Finally, to ensure all students are on track to meet these requirements, and are prepared for life after high school, an individual graduation and career plan will be developed, reviewed and modified by the student and a staff member throughout their four years of high school.”
Enochs then stated that parents or guardians that have questions regarding the new graduation requirements may reach out to their child’s high school guidance counselor or the high school principal.
The next segment of the Miami Trace State of the District address will cover academics and was scheduled to be available to watch at 5 p.m. Wednesday, and the final segment, covering finance, will be available to watch on Thursday at the same time.