Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Health, tourism career classes to start in D-11 in fall

KRISTINA IODICE Updated: January 26, 2011 at 12:00 am

New programs aimed at preparing high school students for careers in health sciences and hospitality/tourism are a go in Colorado Springs School District 11.

The D-11 board on Wednesday unanimously approved the Career Technical Education Plan to be housed at the former Irving Middle School.

Some classes would begin in the fall, with a goal of 40 to 50 students for the first term, said Tom Junk, director of D-11 alternative programs.  

Within four years, he said, he envisions several hundred students participating in the so-called Pathway programs.

Students would take core classes at their home high school.

The school board approved the Pathways curriculum in October, despite concerns from board members that many details were not worked out. The concept was approved last spring.

In coming weeks, the district will finalize more details, including staffing needs.

The district has submitted letters of intent for two major grants for a community-based clinic, Junk said.

Concurrent enrollment agreements with Pikes Peak Community College for health science and hospitality/tourism classes also are being hammered out.

The district continues to work to involve local businesses and organizations in the new programs.

The Pikes Peak Workforce Center supports the career programs, Sherman Swafford, senior business consultant with the center, said at the board meeting.

The workforce center has submitted a grant proposal, and is working with others around the state to make connections that could help build the tourism program.

Irving is becoming a hub for many District 11 programs.

As many as 1,000 people daily take advantage of Achieve K-12 online, Adult and Family Education, Digital High School and School to Work Alliance Program.

The midyear budget modifications approved by the board Wednesday night included funds for changes and improved technology at the Irving site.

There are on going discussions about other space at Irving, including the possibility of leasing space to Pikes Peak Community College while its science labs are remodeled.

In other action, the board:

• Approved midyear budget modifications. The net results of changes was a decrease in the general fund contingency of $210,813, bringing the general fund balance to $3,652,492.

• Unanimously approved a five-year contract renewal for CIVA Charter School. About 142 students in grades nine through 12 attend the school.

• Awarded a contract to UMB Financial, based in Kansas City, Mo., for a purchasing card program to begin in July.

The district expects to receive back about $124,000 annually in rebates, said Kris Odom, executive director for contracting. The contract could be extended for a total of 15 years.

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Call the writer at 636-0162.

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