Rotary hears of FWCS program
23 Mar 2021 — Journal Gazette
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Ashley Sloboda

Mark Daniel left Parkview Field on Monday with souvenirs unrelated to baseball : business cards and vocal endorsements from people eager about Fort Wayne Community Schools' college and career readiness plans.

Daniel, the district's superintendent, told the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne about a career exploration program involving community partners and pipelines for in-demand industries in and around the city.

"I think we could really create an unbelievable program where Fort Wayne Community Schools should be recognized not just regionally but also throughout the state of Indiana," Daniel said during the lunchtime meeting.

The programming will help students fulfill the state's graduation pathway requirements, which begin with the class of 2023 : the current sophomores. Graduation pathways can be satisfied in multiple ways, including through dual-credit courses, internships and participation in a career program.

"We want to present experiences for our kids so that they can find their passion and then have a laser-like focus after graduation," Daniel said.

At the district's middle schools, plans include an eighth-grade experience featuring quarterly industry themes and project-based experiences that will help students develop skills that make them employable, among others, Daniel said.

Electric Works : which will house the district's STEAM school : will foster even more opportunities. There, Daniel said, eighth graders can explore connections to STEAM-related industries. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. 

The STEAM school is expected to welcome students beginning in the 2022-23 academic year.

Plans for high school students include exploring industry pathways in ninth grade, completing studies through an industry pathway in 10th and 11th grades, and participating in capstone courses, internships, dual-credit classes or work-based learning in 12th grade, Daniel said.

FWCS is focusing on six industries: health services; advanced manufacturing; trades; e-commerce; teaching; and information technology, data and analytics.

Students will have flexibility to change their minds.

"Never do we say, 'Student, you must stay in this pathway,'" Daniel said. "Pathways are fluid."

This story is provided free courtesy of The Fort Wayne Newspapers.
"Rotary hears of FWCS program" Journal Gazette 23 Mar 2021: C1