Local High Schools Recognized for Innovation Programs

 by TWIW StaffApril 2, 2021

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [DESE] recognized 18 high schools across Massachusetts for Innovation Pathway programs on Thursday, April 1.

Three of the recognized high schools are in Worcester County.

Innovation Pathways are early career programs that provide high school students with a coherent course of study focused on a particular field. These programs also offer access to college-level courses and internship opportunities.

The program launched in 2017. Many of the early career programs at high schools are in STEM-related fields, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, environmental and life sciences, health care and social assistance, and business and finance.

Innovation Pathway designation requires schools to to follow five design principles:

  • Equitable access for all students
  • Guided academic pathway relating to one of five specified broad industry sectors
  • Enhanced student supports
  • Relevant connections to career
  • Deep partnerships between high schools, employers, and workforce development boards

With the new announcements on Thursday, there are 49 high schools in Massachusetts with Innovation Pathway programs. There are 121 different pathways with 4,000 students projected to be enrolled by Fall 2021.

The newly recognized schools in Worcester County are:

Bartlett High School

Bartlett High School in Webster is adding two Innovation Pathways in Healthcare and Social Assistance along with Manufacturing. The programs will serve 120 students when fully enrolled.

The school is partnering with MassHire Central and Christopher House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Genex Optics as employer partners.

Students will have opportunities to participate in college courses through Nichols College and Quinsigamond Community College, and in senior year will complete a 100-hour internship or capstone project that will tie together elements of the program.

Uxbridge High School

Uxbridge High School is launching an Innovation Pathway in Business and Finance that will serve 100 students when fully enrolled.

The school is partnering with MassHire Central and the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Students in this pathway can take part in dual-enrollment coursework, which will enable students to transfer credits toward the attainment of a logistics certification, offered through Quinsigamond Community College.

Students in their senior year will complete a 100-hour internship or capstone project that will tie together elements of the program.

Worcester Public Schools

Worcester Public Schools is launching an Innovation Pathway in Environmental and Life Sciences at its six comprehensive high schools [Burncoat, Doherty, North, South, Claremont, and University Park]. This pathway will serve 45 students across these six schools when fully enrolled.

The district is partnering with MassHire Central, the Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Biological Initiatives, UMass Medical Center, and BioBuilder.

In their senior year, students will take part in a capstone course and work on projects and engage with peers, advisors, and mentors on a solution to a problem presented to them by local business partners.

 

Lead image credit: North High School -- Patrick Sargent/ThisWeekinWorcester.com

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