Baldwyn Career Advancement students experience hands-on learning with industries
The Baldwyn High School Career Advancement Center students have already started their vocational education while they continue to await the completion of the new facility that will house their classes.
Last week Baldwyn, Booneville, and Wheeler students enrolled in Advanced Manufacturing and Furniture Manufacturing at Baldwyn School District were able to take part in multiple hands-on learning experiences with industries.
The Advanced Manufacturing classes visited Baldwyn Tool and Die shops to see the tool and die processes. Brian Hogue and his staff demonstrated many processes and answered student questions. These classes also visited APMM to meet with management and practice safety procedures. APMM General Manager Kim Crumbie along with staff also demonstrated safety procedures, displayed model products, and answered student questions. The first nine weeks of this semester’s studies entail students learning and achieving safety training.
Later in the week, APMM management along with local leaders Senator Chad McMahan, Mayor Michael James, and Assistant District Attorney Brian Neely spoke to both vocational classes about their education and future job opportunities. Students were able to voice their questions and concerns about their education and future careers.
“We invited these industry leaders and Mississippi Department of Education consultants to be on our campus and see what we have going and make sure we are doing it correctly so we can offer what’s best for students. By doing things the right way, it enables our programs to have a strong foundation to continue to grow,” Baldwyn Schools’ Superintendent Jason McKay said.
While students were taking part in hands-on learning experiences and getting to meet industry leaders, Baldwyn Schools’ administration also met with industry leaders of APMM, Southern Motion, and HM Richards and Mississippi Department of Education consultants.
“We are very impressed with how well these new curriculum classes are streamlining and are well organized. We also are very attracted to the idea that surrounding school districts are able to partner with your school district to meet their students’ educational needs,” MDE Director of Career and Technical Programs Mike Mulvihill noted.
“We are also excited that we will be able to use Baldwyn Schools as a District of Innovation and model for other schools to advance their career and technical programs.”
Baldwyn Schools’ Vocational Director Danny Ramsey along with other administration held a work session with MDE consultants to discuss the overall goals and progress of the new curriculum programs for the Baldwyn Career Advancement Center.
“We are here to help Baldwyn School District develop curriculum guidance, curriculum structure, plans for future expansion and growth, and communication with area industry workforce needs,” MDE Career and Technical Consultant Don Hardin said.
“We look forward to having a long term working relationship with Baldwyn Schools. We want to see this district refine and expand its new curriculums as a model for our state,” Mulvihill added.
“The speed of setting up these programs successfully and erecting our new facility could not have been done with the help of MDE and our support school board. Our school board has taken part in many additional meetings and have been very flexible with changes and making sure our students’ needs come first,” Superintendent McKay added.
APMM donates robot for career and technical class
Baldwyn Schools’ new Career Advancement Center is still under construction and near completion. Last week, the Advanced Manufacturing class received a training robot as a donation from APMM.
The training robot is for the “dojo” (training area) and will be used to train students in safety, operating machines, programing machines, and more for the Advanced Manufacturing class. The robot is valued at over $80,000.
“APMM is very excited about the new school facility and will continue to support our community and the future of student education. The donation of the robot is just one example of our commitment to community involvement,” APMM General Manager Kim Crumbie noted.
Some 25 students from Booneville, Wheeler, and Baldwyn schools are enrolled in the class for this school year. Students are allowed to enroll in the class for two years to complete their education. Students also have the opportunity to receive certification for a “blue card” for NCCER which is National Center for Construction Educational Research. The NCCER card affords students the chance to be hired at a rapid pace rather than participating in additional training at manufacturing industries such as APMM and others.
“We have three types of students in our class. Students who want to continue with their college education and have job skills, students who want to start their career in industrial maintenance, and students who want to further their study in an engineering career,” teacher Morgan Fisher explained.
“The Advanced Manufacturing class is a chance for students to gain hands-on experience in working with industry and manufacturing. Students are able to gain skills and certifications that will advance their college and career needs.”
All the dojo activities help build awareness of a detailed job and progressively sets standards as learning takes place by the student. The dojo is housed in the new Career Advancement Center on the Baldwyn High School campus. The facility is expected to be open for students and teachers to utilize the classrooms this month. Currently, students have been studying and undergoing safety training in a BHS classroom.
“This donation is just part of the process in which APMM has shown their committee and an extra step in making our school better for the community and future of our students,” Superintendent Jason McKay said.
Baldwyn Schools organizes partnership with Booneville Schools
Baldwyn Schools will be “building bridges” with Booneville School District to improve the quality of education for both of their students.
Recently Baldwyn and Booneville Schools were named Districts of Innovation by the Mississippi Department of Education. Both schools will be working together to improve its class offerings and education for their students. This spring Baldwyn and Booneville faculty and administration will meet and make plans and organize their new class offerings in a joint effort.
“We are excited about this partnership and are motivated to doing what we can within our district to offer the best education opportunities for our students and their futures,” Baldwyn Superintendent Jason McKay said.
The mission of the District of Innovation status is 1) students who choose to be college bound will have the opportunity to participate in enhanced, rigorous classes, preparing them to fulfill coursework in a timely manner; 2) students who choose to go directly into the workforce will be eligible to work in a high wage industry based on the training and certification received through the Baldwyn Career Advancement Center; and 3) struggling learners will have received resourceful and creative remediation of deficit skills starting in middle through cooperative learning experiences that develop interpersonal skills along with academics.
The goals of the school districts will be 1) to provide career-readiness education and training that prepares a student to be a contributing member of the workforce and begin his or her career with a unique and valuable skillset that is extremely marketable to local industries; 2) to expand academic course offerings through online courses not available on the campus of Baldwyn High School and ensure students are college ready; and 3) to structure the school day and schedule to best meet the learning needs of students at the middle school level.
The mission and goals will include the launch of the new vocational education facility and classes at Baldwyn Schools and the bridging of Baldwyn and Booneville Schools Advanced Placement classes. Students will be able to take online AP classes, if there school does not offer the AP class they are desiring to enroll in.
The District of Innovation planning process will also include a community wide meeting, informative meeting for teachers, promotion of the Baldwyn Career Advancement Center and District of Innovation status, construction of facilities, staffing of BCAC, certification requirements for students to earn NCCR card, and industries to provide specific guidance on soft skills needed to be developed along with curriculum guidance and support as needed.
Baldwyn Schools named District of Innovation
Baldwyn School District has been named a District of Innovation by the Mississippi Department of Education. This elite status was awarded to the district after forming a partnership with Booneville School District for the “Building Bridges” program.
The “Building Bridges” program will enable students to access specialized courses in both districts. Baldwyn School District will provide students the opportunity to take career and technical courses and earn industry certification in industrial maintenance and/or furniture manufacturing. The classes will be located on the Baldwyn High School campus and taught by certified Baldwyn High School staff in the new vocational educational facility in which the construction process is underway.
Booneville School District will offer students the opportunity to take online Advanced Placement courses taught by Booneville High School teachers who have AP certifications.
“Working with Booneville allows our district to be creative and broaden educational opportunities for students,” Baldwyn Superintendent Jason McKay said.
“This partnership helps us work together to give our students the best chance to succeed.”
Booneville Superintendent Todd English added, “Our collaboration helps our schools use our strengths to benefit the students.”
District of Innovation statuses are awarded through an application process. During 2016 Corinth, Gulfport, and Vicksburg-Warren schools earned the status. During the February MDE board meeting, Grenada, Baldwyn, and Booneville schools were awarded the status. For more information, visit www.mde.k12.ms.us.
BHS vo-tech construction process begins
Baldwyn Schools has begun advertising for bids for the upcoming vocational education building construction.
In January a bond issued passed at over 85 percent approval for the funding of constructing a vo-tech building on the Baldwyn High School campus. The facility and vo-tech education will entail three different costs including personnel, equipment and supplies, and building construction. The personnel salaries will be funded through the Mississippi Department of Education; most of the equipment and supplies have been donated by area industries, and grants will be sought for remaining equipment and supplies; and the building construction will be funded through the bond issue.
Bids for construction will be opened on March 23 by Baldwyn Schools’ board members and administration. A bid will then be accepted, and the board and administration will move forward with a work session on March 24. With this anticipated schedule, construction is expected to begin by April. The construction company will be under a 180-day contract. The construction is expected to be completed during the fall of the 2017-18 school year.
The vo-tech facility will be 11,900 square feet including four classrooms, two large workshops, one conference room, four offices, two bathrooms, a lobby, expandable entrances, and a dock lift outside the workshops.
Currently Baldwyn Schools offers Teacher Academy, Business classes, STEM, Agri-Science, Career Pathways Exploration, and Family and Consumer Science vocational classes. With the addition of the vo-tech building, BHS will also be able to offer Furniture Manufacturing and Manufacturing Technician classes. The Teacher Academy and Business classes will be relocated to the new facility also.
“We are excited to begin this stage of construction and want to make sure we take every step in preparing our students with the tools and skills they need for their future education, career, and opportunities to be successful,” Superintendent Jason McKay said.
A Baldwyn School Bond Issue will be up for election by taxpayers on Thursday, January 5, 2017.
Baldwyn Schools’ Superintendent Jason McKay explained the necessity of this school bond at the December monthly city board of aldermen meeting last week.
“We have a vision for a Vocational Education building on our school campus. This building and its resources will not be limited to just our students but will be available to the whole community as well,” Superintendent McKay explained.
The school bond issue would be for the funding of a Vocational Education building on the high school campus and would be voted on in 2017. The taxpayers would not receive the first assessment until 2018. Currently, Baldwyn Schools has two existing school bonds which will expire in 2022 and 2024.
“We have a great opportunity at this moment to seize the chance to broaden our students’ education, career options, and more along with the citizens of the community,” Superintendent McKay added.
The cost of the building is estimated at $2 million for an 11,900 square feet building with four classrooms, two workshops with extended ceilings, one conference room, four offices, two bathrooms, a lobby, a dock lift, and expandable entrances.
Mississippi Department of Education would provide funding for five teachers, one principal, and one counselor for the vocational building. Baldwyn Schools has also made partnership with local manufacturers including APMM, HM Richards, and Southern Motion. Each of these manufacturers will be donating equipment for the two workshops in the facility which will house a furniture manufacturing class and a manufacturing technician class. The school is also seeking a grant to help fund the remaining equipment for the building.
Currently, approximately 40 Baldwyn students are attending the Prentiss County Vocational Education facility in Booneville to take vo-tech classes, while some students are also taking vocational classes on the Baldwyn High School campus as well. Vocational classes on the BHS campus at this time include Teacher Academy, Agri-Science, Family and Consumer Science classes, STEM, Career Pathways Exploration (CPE), and Business classes. However, the school board and administration wishes to expand these class options for their students and community members.
“We know that not every student is college bound, and some of our students learn best in hands-on environments. So we want to offer as many options as we can so that every student has the chance to meet his/her potential for their future career or college choice,” Superintendent McKay noted.
The new vocational building would house some of the existing vo-tech classes including Teacher Academy and Business classes, but would also add the furniture manufacturing and manufacturing technician class.
According to reports, Baldwyn would be the second school in the state to offer a furniture manufacturing vocational class, and the only school in the state to offer a manufacturing technician class.
Many of these vocational classes require testing and procedures for credit to be received by students. Some of the examinations will include students having the chance to receive a National Career Readiness Certificate and National Construction Education Certification. These certifications would be resume builders for job placements upon applying for jobs after high school graduation. Basically, students who receive these certifications would be job ready rather than having to undergo training prior to working in particular fields.
“Again the education provided in this new building would not be limited to BHS students. We have already invited Lee County Schools, Prentiss County Schools, and Booneville High School to attend the facility for their students to take the vocational classes alongside our students. This would in turn bring in more revenue for our vocational programs,” Superintendent McKay explained.
Currently, Baldwyn Schools pays a fee for BHS students attending the Prentiss County Vo-Tech which is estimated to be $35,000 yearly.
“We would also be able to offer night classes for adults in the community wanting to receive job training. We have been speaking with local manufacturers and other organizations that can help us provide these classes.”
*Production and instructional center for growing vocational programs
*Provide venue for development of vocational program
*Resume builder of certifications for college and career
*National Career Readiness Certification available
*National Construction Education Certification available
*Adult job training night classes
*Partnership with local manufacturers
*Attraction for new/incoming businesses and manufacturers
Taxpayer’s Estimated Costs on $2 million school bond issue
Estimated Taxes Per Month
All costs based on 2016 assessed valuation information.
Student and Community Testimonials
“Vo-Tech is a good learning experience for whatever career you choose for your future. It’s a great non-classroom experience where you can participate in first-hand work about your future career,” BHS seniors CJ McGaha and Kison Cole said.
"Everything in vocational classes is hands-on meaning we learn about it and then we have to perform and even get to see professionals in job shadowing. My metal fabrications class has given me first hand experience to keep me interested in a career in this field and be knowledgeable about it," BHS juniors Alex Curnutt and Logan Hutcheson.
“Vo-Tech has given me the opportunity to job shadow in several health care careers like nursing, lab work, physical therapy, and others. It has also given me the opportunity to see the real side of health care that I wouldn’t have seen in just the regular classroom without it. With this two-year experience, I plan to study health care in college for my future career,” BHS senior Russ Trollinger said.
“This is very exciting news not just for our school but for the whole town and community. This will help better prepare our young people to secure jobs in the future as well as give adults a chance to receive education and job training. This is also very attractive to our current and future businesses and manufacturers of the area. We thank Baldwyn Schools for their efforts in having this vision for our community,” Mayor Michael James said.
“The collaboration among a K-12 public school, businesses, and community colleges is one of the greatest education improvements that can be done at the local level. This project will allow for students to be certified in many areas and begin working upon high school graduation rather than going through training and temp services before they can really start their career. Hopefully, this project and collaboration can be a model for our state as a whole,” Mississippi District 18 Representative Jerry Turner said.
"Adding a vocational training facility is a very exciting opportunity for not just Baldwyn students but for Lee and Prentiss Counties also. After visiting some 31 public Mississippi schools this year, this facility will be unique to Baldwyn, and we hope it will become an educational pilot program for the state. Students in Lee County Schools, Prentiss County Schools, and Booneville Schools will have the chance to receive vocational training and certifications for their future careers. This a wonderful advancement for the Prentiss and Lee County business and manufacturing employments also," Mississippi District 6 Senator Chad McMahan said.
"A vocational educational facility will be a great asset to both Prentiss and Lee Counties. Not all students are college-bound, and it will be great opportunity for students who take part in this program to graduate high school and enter the work force immediately," Mississippi District 5 Senator JP Wilemon said.
“We will be working with the local community to strengthen the community’s work force. We have been involved with the planning of this facility and its curriculum since the beginning. We know this will be an opportunity for local students to help make their decision about college or integrate into the work force after high school. We want to help one student at a time to become a stronger community,” APMM General Manager Kim Krumbie noted.
“This partnership is exciting because we are able to be an influence and aid to the local district along with growing and developing future employment opportunities for Southern Motion and the community,” Southern Motion Human Resource Manager Joe Vance.
“We are excited to partner with Baldwyn Schools in this project. We see the benefit not only in helping the students but also in our future employments. The vocational training will help students receive education and tools they need to work in businesses like ours. This is really a positive for Baldwyn Schools and for us as a manufacturing business,” HM Richards Director of Human Resources Brad Boyd said.
A public meeting about the 2017 school bond issue election will be held at the BHS auditorium on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 7 p.m. with Baldwyn Schools’ school board and administration. Parents, teachers, elected officials, citizens, taxpayers and voters, are all invited to attend.
January 5, 2017 voting polls will be located at Prentiss County Electric Power Association Baldwyn Office 106 East Clayton Street for Prentiss County voters and at Baldwyn City Hall 202 South Second Street for Lee County voters. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
BHS expands curriculum to include on-site vocational classes
In August students at Baldwyn Schools began their 2016-2017 school year. This school year will have more class options for BHS students.
Last year BHS partnered with the Prentiss County and Booneville Vocation-Technology School to enroll 40 BHS students in vocational classes including Health Sciences I, Auto Services I, Business Fundamentals, Construction, Teacher Academy I, and Architecture and Design I. Students were bused from BHS to the Vo-Tech campus in Booneville each day.
Students are now able to take some of the vocational classes at the BHS campus. Business Fundamentals I-II and Business Finance/Accounting Fundamentals along with Teacher Academy I are now offered at BHS.
“These are our first steps towards offering vocational classes on site, and we do have plans to continue growing our vocational education,” BHS Principal Jeff Palmer said.
Students who choose to enroll in the other vocational classes offered at the Booneville vo-tech campus will continue to be bused each day to their class.
“Having on-site vo-tech classes helps us free up how many students we can enroll in vocational classes. Now that some students will be taking vo-tech classes here at BHS, that opens up more of the 40 slots for the Booneville campus classes,” Palmer added.
Other subjects that continue to be offered at BHS in the field of vocation-technology are Agriculture, STEM, Family Consumer Science, and Cooperation Education.
“Last year’s experience with students taking vocation-technology classes went well. Students were exposed to programs of study and careers that they had never been exposed to. We want to continue to offer programs of study that interest not just college-bound students. These vo-tech classes will be more career-oriented rather than academic,” Palmer noted.
Vo-Tech classes creates hands-on learning opportunities for students
Some 40 plus Baldwyn High School sophomores, juniors, and seniors have been engaged in vocation-technology classes through Prentiss County and Booneville since the start of this school year.
BHS students have had some pre-requisites to meet such as completing Biology I with an overall “B” average to enroll in Health Science I. Other classes open for students to apply for include Auto Services I, Business Fundamentals, Construction, Teacher Academy I, and Architecture and Design I.
“I am really enjoying taking classes at the vo-tech. I get to learn first-hand about the medical field. I will even get to visit clinics and get a feel for my future career,” BHS junior Mahalle Howell said.
Students enrolled in these classes are provided bus transportation by Baldwyn Schools to the vo-tech facility in Booneville. Students are enrolled in the class during the full-length of the school year during their first block period of the school day.
“Our students seem to be excited to attending vo-tech classes. It is already making a positive effect on their futures. We are also very thankful to Prentiss County and Booneville for helping us offer these classes to our students. And we also want to thank the Baldwyn School Board for being supportive through this educational decision,” Baldwyn Superintendent Jason McKay said.
“This is an additional cost that our school system is taking on, but it is also an investment in our students and school to create more opportunities for both.”
After completing their first year of a vo-tech class, students will then have the opportunity to take a second year in their select field of study chosen from their first year. Second year class offerings include Health Science II, Auto Service II, Marketing, Carpentry, Teacher Academy II, and Architecture and Design II. These second level courses allow students to gain field and clinical experiences in their classes. Second level courses also have requirements that stem from the student’s first year class.
For each year-long course completed by students, two high school graduation credits can be awarded.