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CTE Success Stories: An HVAC mechanic who beat the odds

By Michaela Ward on Aug 31, 2015 02:31 PM

When Luis Maldonado first heard about the HVAC & Refrigeration Technology CTE program at Edison High School, he was simply passing his lunchtime with a friend who was already in the class.

“For lunch we’d hang out in the shop and he’d teach me what Mr. Zimak had taught him,” Maldonado recalled.  

This preview of the HVAC coursework led Maldonado to visiting CTE teacher James Zimak’s shop regularly. At the time, he thought CTE courses were a graduation requirement, so he signed up for Zimak’s class.

Germantown High alumni celebrate shuttered school's centennial

By Bastiaan Slabbers for NewsWorks on Aug 31, 2015 01:28 PM

The 100th anniversary party may have been held in West Philadelphia, but there was no question that the grand ballroom was bursting with Germantown High School pride.

On Saturday night, a black bear — the shuttered school's mascot — welcomed nearly 300 alumni as they celebrated their alma mater's centennial.

CTE Success Stories: 'Like we were actually managing a business'

By Michaela Ward on Aug 27, 2015 10:35 AM

It was Andrea Seitchik, a George Washington High School Career and Technical Education teacher, who first approached Dylan Henry about taking CTE classes.

As a 10th grader, Henry decided to give Seitchik’s Sports Marketing and Management program a try. He said he liked the first class, an introduction to the program.

“It made it seem like we were actually managing a business,” he said.

Mastery charter grows its network with 'turnaround of a turnaround'

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 26, 2015 08:37 PM

Scholar Academies operates one the highest-performing charter schools in Philadelphia, Young Scholars Charter School.

So when the Philadelphia School District gave the organization the keys to one of its own chronically struggling schools in 2010 through the Renaissance initiative, it expected to see significant improvement.

But five years after the transfer, the school has changed hands once again.

A look at career and technical education

By the Notebook on Aug 26, 2015 12:02 PM

The Notebook’s fall guide to high schools comes out next week -- on Friday, Sept. 4. As usual, the guide will include profiles of District and charter high schools (88 in total), as well as data on how students are performing in District and charter schools. 

For the first time, we have focused our attention on career and technical education programs and prepared a special package of stories exploring CTE in the District.

Judge rejects state plan to rescue Chester Upland district and cut charter payments

By Laura Benshoff for Newsworks on Aug 26, 2015 09:25 AM

Updated | 11:30 a.m.

Delaware County Judge Chad Kenney rejected the key piece of Gov. Wolf's plan to rescue the troubled Chester Upland School District on Tuesday: slashing payments to charter schools for their special education students.

In a 13-page opinion, Kenney wrote that the two days of hearings showed that the state-mandated funding formula sends to Chester charters far more money than they need or use to educate these students.

Principals fired in test cheating win back jobs through arbitration

By Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks on Aug 25, 2015 07:16 PM

Two principals fired by the Philadelphia School District in the wake of the statewide standardized-test cheating scandal have won favorable rulings through arbitration that could return them to school leadership.

What happened to Jasmine? Open your eyes to childhood trauma

By Daun Kauffman on Aug 25, 2015 02:04 PM

Jasmine was one of my favorites.

She was one of the shortest, scrawniest children in our 2nd-grade classroom. Maybe 45 pounds with her coat on. Her tattered backpack seemed as big as she was. Somehow the tiniest children can hold the most energy, the most emotion, and somehow they manage to get the most compassion from me.

When you peek in our classroom, you may see Jasmine stealthily surveying the classroom for the child most likely to respond the most spiritedly when she gives them the finger, or when she gives them a freshly sharpened pencil in the side of the head perfectly thrown from 20 feet away.

CTE success stories: Graduate helps youth make healthy decisions

By Samantha Weiss on Aug 25, 2015 12:48 PM

The Philadelphia School District’s career and technical education (CTE) programs give students an opportunity to choose a career path that best matches their interests and talents, while gaining hands-on training in high school. Many students who have participated in one of the District’s 41 CTE programs have transitioned to post-secondary institutions – college, university, or technical school -- and some have also gotten jobs in their chosen fields right out of high school.

The Notebook asked several graduates from a District CTE program how their participation shaped their interests and lives. We interviewed students from a variety of programs, from culinary arts to computer systems networking to autobody collision repair.

Several profiles will appear in our upcoming Fall Guide to High Schools, due out Sept. 4, and over the next few weeks, we will preview some of these students’ stories online. Our fourth profile is of Sandy Matczak, a 2009 graduate of Mastbaum's Health-Related Technologies program.

Special ed funding at heart of Chester Upland fight

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Aug 25, 2015 09:24 AM

Delaware County Court of Common Pleas Judge Chad Kenney is hearing arguments on a state-led plan to fix the Chester Upland School District's long-standing budget woes.

Without the plan, according to Gov. Wolf and other proponents, the district will not have enough money to operate for full school year and may not open on Sept. 2.

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