DV’s new CTE classrooms presented
Updated: Sep 18, 2019
By Katie Collins
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MILFORD - Real life learning has been taken to another level at Delaware Valley High School. After 16 months of renovations, the district’s career tech education facilities were revealed September 7 to many amazed and excited about the classrooms that Board President Jack O'Leary said are “more realistic” to what the students will someday find in their chosen fields.
While the facilities that were built in the 1970’s were appropriate for the time, O'Leary said the amenities needed to be upgraded in order to provide an education for what “today’s trades person will need.” Discussion about the upgrades has been ongoing and to learn about other career-tech facilities, administrators and board members toured classrooms in other districts. DV's eight programs are: Building, Cooperative Education, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood, Electrical, Health Occupations and Marketing.
Superintendent Dr. John Bell said the community would be “proud” of the facilities. Despite the construction occurring during the academic year, each of the eight CTE programs continued to function. Bell said these renovations were much harder than building the elementary school because “orchestration” had to happen in order for the programs to operate and the construction occur in the different areas. He credits many for the $11 million project being a success.
Another wing to the high school was also built, where an old covered walkway was. In that space there are new classrooms for: engineering, a CAD drawing lab, wood shop and a newly blacktopped parking lot.
Choosing future professions
Students choose to be in a CTE program in the 10th grade. Through the program, they spend part of their day in the designated classrooms learning the industry with hands-on lessons. Through the programs, students have gone on to earn Pennsylvania skill certificates or even college credits that will help them once they graduate.
A teacher in the electrical program for 12 years, Ryan Kuhn called the upgraded electrical classroom a “fresh canvas” that offers students an opportunity to start with the basics of electrical theory and move on to commercial and residential wiring because of the new model home and building. When students start the program, they jump right into the hands-on learning with basic electrical wiring and conduit with switches and lights. Later, they move onto other aspects of the field. Kuhn said the hands-on helps to “reinforce the theory” of the lessons.
Common rooms found in the residential home offer students the chance to learn the necessary knowledge needed to address matters specific to the individual rooms, such wiring a kitchen, opposed to a bathroom. This, allows them to learn the “industrial aspect” of the field with a commercial area to train on too, Kuhn explained.
Culinary Teacher Alexander Niosi said the CTE teachers worked with the administration to design the different classrooms, as well as select the necessary equipment. In the culinary program, the students would cook and serve lunch to faculty in the Warrior Café; now, the public may soon be enjoying the young chefs’ foods too.
The culinary students start by learning the “fundamental skills” to make soups and salads said Niosi, where they later make meals that will lead them to take part in the full “restaurant experience.”
A culinary student, junior Grace Jandolfo called the classroom “amazing” because it’s quite larger and there’s more equipment that offers “more opportunities” for students to work with. Last year Jandolfo learned about cookie making and now, pastries are the focus, which she is excited for. Jandolfo would like to someday open her own bakery near a beach.
Early childhood program
Early Childhood Teacher Jill Farr called the upgraded classrooms “phenomenal” because there is more space and an observation area, which is something the students will one-day find in college. That is significant, because there are four college classes taught through Keystone College in the program and so, the setting was “replicated” to represent what would be found in college. Because the program is state approved, DV students may earn nine college credits.
To learn with infants, the students work with robotic babies as well as later going into daycare centers, preschool and elementary classrooms. Seniors for instance, go to the DVES where they student teach three days a week in each grade. Farr said, the students are having “college experience right here in high school” along with the “college credits to go with it” with some graduating with a minimum of 12 credits. But some do earn as many has 27 credits because they’ve taken other subjects in addition to early childhood classes.
Today, many of the early childhood graduates have gone on to be teachers in the district.
A senior, Ashley Kizis has been in the early childhood program since her sophomore year. The new classroom she called “much nicer” because it is “more modern” with more toilets and a new smart table as well as a playground that hasn’t been built just yet. These additions have allowed lessons to be “more hands-on.”
Every morning Barbara Coyle, department chair of the health occupations program said she is amazed because the new classroom and tools are “spectacular.” While she had an idea of what the classroom would be like, it turned out to be much more with equipment that includes a Wi-Fi mannequin that has a pulse, heartbeat, blood pressure and can even moan as if it were a person. A “majority” of the students who graduate the program want to be nurses, with others who want phlebotomy or ultrasound and some are even in pre-med now.
For more information about the Delaware Valley CTE programs, visit https://pa01001022.schoolwires.net/Domain/163.