Duncan Public Schools is working to set the standard, instead of reacting to other school districts who are ahead of the curve.
The school district is taking the helm of the Career Pathways program. Duncan is the first school district in Oklahoma to institute such a program. The program will train students to prepare for their chosen career paths.
“We’re in this position because Dr. (Sherry) Labyer is involved with the Southwest Oklahoma Workforce Investment Council,” Assistant Superintendent Glenda Cobb said. “They work with local industries to find out what they’re needs are in the workforce.
“Their needs haven’t changed. What they need is a work force that has skills that match the job.”
The school district has been working toward such a pilot program by introducing the Work Keys Certificate to Duncan High School sophomores. The assessment test rates a prospective employee’s levels in specific skill sets, from communication to math. This helps the employee figure out what kind of job they would be good at, while employers have an easier time finding someone to best fill an open position.
The Career Pathways program will take the assessment a step farther by having the teachers inform their students what jobs exist for their skill sets. Cobb said the program will give students an idea of why they are learning certain things and will give them an idea of what classes to take when it comes to preparing for life after high school.
“The teachers are encouraged to make the connection to the workforce,” Cobb said. “It’s a national movement that pushes for the three Cs, college, career and citizenship-ready.
“It shouldn’t be a big change for teachers. It’s just making that next connection. It’s the logical next step.”
Along the lines of Career Pathways, the school district is adding Project Lead the Way to the Duncan Middle School curriculum. This program will better introduce to students to math and science, and will give them an idea of some of the jobs that exist, including engineering.
DHS Assistant Principal Justin Smith said the Careers Pathway program is something everyone is getting excited about. Smith said this is something other schools in Oklahoma will want to learn about. “We’re trying to be the school other schools go to, instead of always going to other schools,” Smith said.
The high school administrators, including Smith and Principal Gary Reed, recently met with the school district administration to better familiarize themselves with the program.
The community will also get an opportunity to learn about the program and to find out how they can help better train students for the working world. A public launch of the program will stake place at 9 a.m. Aug. 8 at the Simmons Center.
The Career Pathways program may be new to Duncan and Oklahoma, but it has a record for success in other states, including Virginia. Representatives from the Virginia Department of Education will present the strategies they’ve used to make the program successful in their schools.
Launch happens at Simmons Center
Duncan, Comanche, Marlow, Central High, Bray-Doyle, Empire and Velma-Alma schools are closed for Monday March 3.
Empire FFA champions
The Waurika P.I. recently held its annual FFA Opening Ceremonies contest at the First Baptist Church in Marlow. Chapters from Stephens and Jefferson County competed for first place and an opportunity to attend the state contest in Stillwater.
Seventeen teams competed with four coming back for the finals. The Empire FFA ninth grade team came out on top. Team members were Cale Schreiner, Anna Mitchell, Luke Davis, Alexia Newman, Ryley Dumas and Blake Cheatwood.
Greenhand quiz finalists
Ryley Dumas of the Empire FFA chapter and Ryan Kerr of the Duncan FFA chapter were two of 50 high school freshmen FFA members from across Oklahoma to qualify for the state finals of the Greenhand Quiz Career Development event held Oct. 21 on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Central High FFA attends National Convention
Central High FFA attends National FFA Convention
A group of 11 students and five adults from Central High left the Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 30 on their journey to the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ken.
Duncan High yearbook team proves they’re ‘smoking hot’
Deadlines, staff meetings and presentations are only a few of the reasons the Duncan High School Smoke Rings yearbook staff were awarded with Sweepstakes for the second consecutive year.
This year’s yearbook “Smoke Rings” and newspaper “Demon Pitchfork” staff attended Fall Media Monday, hosted by Oklahoma Scholastic Media, on Nov. 4 at the University of Oklahoma. Staff members had their choice of various sessions to attend throughout the first part of the day, then awards were announced for the 2012-13 yearbooks.
Schools receive A-F report cards
Most school districts may not be happy about the results of the A-F grading system released Wednesday.
The Duncan School District received a D+, a grade it shares with the Comanche, Empire and Velma-Alma school districts. Those grades make up half of the school districts in Stephens County.
Other county results included Grandview with a C, Bray-Doyle with a C+, Marlow with a B- and Central High with an A. Central High was the only school district to receive an A last year.
- Waurika reacts to state standards
Teacher of the Year candidates
Nine Duncan teachers were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Duncan School District. And in two weeks one will be selected as Teacher of the Year.
These nine teachers are this year’s teacher of the year nominees. They include Christy Jarboe, Emerson Elementary; Kyle McPherson, Plato Elementary; Cindy Millirons, Woodrow Wilson Elementary; Michelle Spurgin, Mark Twain Elementary; Amy Benton, Horace Mann Elementary; Tammy Bennett, Duncan Middle School; and Denise Clark and Lisa Snider, Duncan High School.
DHS Band places eighth in OBA contest
Duncan High School Band’s marching season is drawing to a close. And for its final contest, the band placed eighth overall, while giving what Band Director Jeramy Haas referred to as its best performance.
The band competed in the Oklahoma Band Association (OBA) contest Oct. 26 in Mustang. The contest featured 4A and 5A high school bands from around the state. And the DHS Band was one of the competing bands to make it to finals.
Otha Grimes Scholarship benefits 10 nursing students
Ten Red River Technology Center Practical Nursing students were recently awarded the fall Otha Grimes Scholarship by the Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation.
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- School closings