Jamestown High School recently held a “Meet & Greet” for 10th and 11th grade students who are part of one of six academies: Academy of Business, Management, Marketing & Technology, Academy of Natural Science & Resource Management, Academy of Pre-Law & Human Services, Academy of Communication, Performing, & Visual Arts, Academy of Pre-Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology and Academy of Pre-Medicine & Health Sciences.
“The academy planning teams, consisting of community and school personnel discussed this year’s goal of building ownership/community among the students in each academy and thought a ‘Meet & Greet’ for students would be a good first step,” said JHS Principal Mike McElrath. “Each academy team had students complete a survey of what they wanted to see in the academy and suggestions for academy-based activities. We are also running a logo contest for each academy so that students can have the opportunity to come up with a logo design.”
During the 2013-14 school year, Jamestown High School rolled out their academy approach as a means to increase student engagement and better define academic and career pathways for students. What began as a discussion among Shared Decision-Making Team members became a reality with the creation of the six academic academies. Each academy offers a theme or focus that is designed to give students an opportunity to explore a special interest, gift, talent or skill. Career Academies are a time-tested model for improving academic achievement and readying students for life beyond high school. Conceived over forty years ago, career academies address academic rigor, relevance of instruction, and building relationships between students and adults. More recently, the term college and career readiness is regularly referenced in scholarly work and the academy model is directly linked to this goal.
JHS Academies have community partnerships already in place with: Cummins, Dream It/Do It, Jamestown Audubon Center, Heritage Park, The Chautauqua County Health Network, Jamestown Business College, Lutheran Social Services, The United Way, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Jamestown Community College and a host of individual members of the community who are committed to this concept. JHS is looking to establish more financial support for their academies and hope to begin offering work place internships as early as next semester. If any business or organization is interested in working with the JHS Academies, please contact Dr. McElrath at 483-3470.